3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music Middle School Band Middle School Chorus Middle School General Music


Here ‘Tis Folks!

Send it to your family and friends that couldn’t make it!
Hooray for our wonderful musicians!

1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music Kindergarten Middle School Chorus Middle School General Music

Hand Chimes End of Year Report

This year at Folsom we were lucky enough to be offered the Hand Chime Loan Grant from the Handbell Musicians of America. This organization sent us two sets of hand chimes for our classroom, and we put them to good use! Unfortunately not all that we did could be documented, often a teacher needs to be in the moment with students instead of stepping back to document- but I think this blog post will give you a good sense of how we used our chimes. We used them throughout the year in all grades. Only in the 5th and 6th grade did we really do what I would call a Hand Chime Unit, which only lasted about 4 weeks-one day a week. But the end result of that was a very cool hand chime piece read from notation. For the rest of our students we used them to enhance learning and music making in other aspects of our curriculum.

In Kindergarten, just as we learned to keep a steady beat, or a bourdun, using the 1st ad 5th scale degrees on a xylophone, we did this with chimes as well. We sung tunes like “John the Rabbit,” “Pitter Patter,” and “Snowflakes Falling,” while playing our bourdun.

In the following video at 1:05 you will see the First and Second Graders playing the hand chimes as part of our Human Piano! There is one piano player in this video, but sometimes we had two or three piano players playing at once. We did this as the First and Second graders were learning about Sound. They organized themselves from lowest to highest pitch, which they knew from their work in science class that the bigger the chime, the lower the pitch would be.

In First and Second grade we also used the chimes to easily see how sound is made with Vibrations. The bravest students touched the chimes to their noses to feel a major tickling    vibration!

We made the following video on Halloween in the third and fourth grade. We learned “Ghost of John” as a round, then added what we affectionately named the, “Spooky Hand Chimes.” Students then came up with an arrangement that included movement, (start hidden, on the cue of a chime slowly enter the shot, move around room, at end sink to the ground,) and a combination of chime playing and singing. We used this as a way to get everyone to the same place in knowing how to properly play the hand chimes. You can see that there are some students who still struggle to keep the chime vertical.

In fifth and sixth grade we followed the same process with “Ghost of John,” but as one of their classroom teachers is named “Tom” we went to his classroom, circled around him in the dark and sang, “Have you seen the ghost of Tom..” and then left without a word. It was sufficiently spooky.

In fifth and sixth grade many students were ready to read music with the chimes. After only about 10 minutes of rehearsal we worked up an impressive chime piece that I’ve unfortunately lost the video of. Students reflected after, “That sounded SO cool!”

In our 3rd-8th grade spring concert we used the hand chimes in a few pieces.
The third and four graders had given much focus to recorder, so we enhanced our two recorder songs “Gently Sleep” and “Hot Crossed Buns” by adding chimes and fingers cymbals to one, and chimes and xylophones to the other. Students were given the option of what they would like to play in the concert- some who may have felt less comfortable playing recorder were able to play chimes, cymbals, or xylophone- or they looked at it differently, if they were bored of those songs on recorder, they opted to play the other instruments! It worked out great for all!

IMG_1331As we learned to read more notes on recorder, we also read the notes with hand chimes. This way we were reading the notes while singing, playing recorder, and playing hand chimes. Here students are reading “When the Saints Go Marching In.” After I’d lead them through the music once, I asked student volunteers to lead it. This provided an extra challenge in music-reading and listening to these students.
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In fifth and sixth grade we learned the folk song “Liza Jane,” and used it to create an Orff-style arrangement on xylophone which we enhanced with percussion and chimes. Students that play in band were given the opportunity to solo over the arrangement using the C concert pentatonic scale. Soloists were able to select which instrumentation they would like behind them as the soloed which allowed us to play with the interesting sound of different combinations.

To end our concert the middle school chorus taught THE AUDIENCE the round, “Now It’s Time to Go.” Once the audience had gotten to know the tune, we sung it as a round, and the middle schoolers brought hand chimes out to audience members to play. Watching their reactions were great, some jumped right in, others were too nervous to play the chimes so they handed them off to others!
The following video includes excerpts from the concert and the 3/4 reading music while playing the hand chimes.

We are still raising money for our own set of these chimes, it’s a project that we’ll continue on with as we’ve had so much fun at all age levels! Thank you endlessly to the Handbell Musicians of America for your generosity, you’ve played an important part in our learning at Folsom this year!

3/4 Grade Instrument Lessons Middle School Band Middle School Chorus

Videos! Middle School Chorus Reflections, Trombones in Snow, and Flute Instructional

Here are some great videos for you to enjoy. Happy Holidays!

Middle School Chorus reflects on the winter concert. I was amazed by their critique!

Trombones in Snow! It started snowing during Sawyer’s lesson. So we went outside and made stuff up.

We are SO excited to welcome Kane to our 4th grade flute group! Nora made him this video to help out during vacation! Lots of useful stuff, great job Nora!

Don’t forget to watch the video of the Winter Concert in the previous blog post. AND stay tuned for videos and pictures from the 3/4 grade auditions and our first rehearsal! YAY!

1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music Instrument Lessons Kindergarten Middle School Band Middle School Chorus

The 2014 Folsom Winter Concert!

Here ‘Tis!
Photos to follow!

(If you have any photos and would like to share them on the blog please email them to me at

The concert was a great success, all students put in a tremendous effort, and their hard work certainly paid off.

1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music Kindergarten Middle School Chorus

Lyrics for the Community Sing-Winter Concert Dec 11!

After we share what we’ve been working on in class with you, we’d like to sing these two winter favorites WITH you! We won’t have much time in class to learn all these words so any help you can give at home would be appreciated!

Deck the Hall
Deck the hall with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Don we now our gay apparel,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Troll the ancient Yuletide carol,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

See the blazing Yule before us,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Strike the harp and join the chorus.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Follow me in merry measure,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
While I tell of Yuletide treasure,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Fast away the old year passes,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Sing we joyous, all together,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Heedless of the wind and weather
Fa la la la la, la la la la…

Jingle Bells
Dashing through the snow
in a one horse open sleigh,
o’er the fields we go,
laughing all the way, Ha, Ha, Ha!

Bells on bobtails ring,
making spirits bright,
Oh what fun to laugh and sing a
sleighing song tonight!

Oh! Jingle bells, Jingle bells
Jingle all the way!
Oh what fun it is to ride
in a one horse open sleigh, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way!
Oh what fun it is to ride
in a one horse open sleigh!

1/2 Grade Instrument Lessons Middle School Band Middle School Chorus

What’s New in the Music Room? Mrs. V’s class, Chorus, and Deck the Hall!

Here is Mrs. Vandedord’s 1/2 class performing the fingerplay “Grandma’s Glasses.” Fingerplays help us build expression in our voices, faces, and bodies, and stretch our imagination!

Here the Middle School Chorus sings a Major Scale on Solfege as a round. It sounds beautiful and is relatively easy to do!

And lastly, as we approach our WINTER CONCERT on DECEMBER 11th at 6pm, the band is getting ready to accompany all of YOU singers in “Deck the Hall!” Here Lucas and Emma play their parts! (YOU CAN START PRACTICING FOR THE END-OF-CONCERT SING-A-LONG!)

3/4 Grade

3rd and 4th Grade Auditions for “On Top of the World”


The 3rd and 4th grade chorus will combine with the Middle School Chorus to sing “I’m On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons. We will have small groups and trios from the 3rd and 4th grade and soloists from the 5-8th grades singing chunks of the song.
Today the 3rd and 4th graders auditioned for those jobs!

Here is the compilation video of their work today- I bet you’ll know this portion of the song REALLY well by the end!

I was so proud of our brave singers, but also so proud of all the support everyone showed to each other during auditions. They blew me away!

1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music COOL MUSIC STUFF! Instrument Lessons Kindergarten Middle School Band Middle School Chorus Middle School General Music World Music

Performing Arts Students from China to perform at UVM!

Ms. Kauffeld’s high school Leland and Gray in southern VT hosts an arts exchange with students from a performing arts college in Inner Mongolia. As a result Ms. Kauffeld has traveled to China to perform TWICE including the summer before she started teaching at Folsom! PLEASE make an effort to travel to Burlington NEXT WEEK on Wednesday Oct 29th to see this AMAZING performance. Their dancing is unlike any you’ve seen before and their traditional Mongolian instruments are SO COOL. We’re even playing a Chinese folk song in band, maybe we could get them to play it that evening…
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