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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.
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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.

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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.
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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!

Categories
3/4 Grade

3/4 Sings Imagine Dragon’s “On Top of the World”

Categories
3/4 Grade Giants In the Sky

The 3/4 Cast of “Giants In the Sky” Reflect

Finally, the reflection video!
Check out what the 3/4 Cast Members of “Giants In the Sky” had to say about their experience in the play! (TWO VIDEOS ARE MISSING FROM THIS- I’M WORKING ON TRACKING THEM DOWN! DON’T WORRY SOPHIA AND PARKER!)

Categories
3/4 Grade COOL MUSIC STUFF! Instrument Lessons Instrument Series Middle School Band Middle School General Music

Instrument Series #1 Great Saxophonists YOU Should Know About…

This is the first in a series of blog posts aimed specifically at Folsom’s instrumentalists. Each will highlight some of the great instrumentalists that they should know about. Listening to great musicians will give our students examples of beautiful tone to strive for on their instruments, as well as examples of their instrument playing in many different genres, with different styles, and unique sounds.

While these posts are aimed at our instrumentalists they can be used to inspire other students into perhaps, starting an instrument, or for great music to listen to and enjoy!

Great Saxophone Players

1. Charlie Parker (1920-1955) charlie-parker Charlie Parker, also known as “Bird,” was born in Kansas City. He came from a non-musical family but luckily found himself at a school that promoted the study of music, so he took up the baritone saxophone. His mother eventually scraped together enough money to buy him an alto saxophone. As an unsupervised teenager Charlie began to frequent the Kansas City jazz clubs. He learned mostly by listening to others play. Because he didn’t know much about music theory, when he improvised (made up what he was playing over the chords played by piano/bass/guitar) he often played notes that didn’t quite “fit” with what the traditional sounds were in Jazz in the 1930s. Because of this his sound was unique. He moved to New York City and found like-minded musicians. Together the beginnings of a new jazz style called “Bebop” were formed. He met Dizzy Gillespie-a great trumpeter in 1949 and they became fast friends. Bird was addicted to drugs and alcohol throughout his career, and at the young age of 35 died because of it. “Birdland” is a jazz club in NYC named in his honor. This first recording is of Bird playing “Ornithology” The next is “Summertime,” which many of our middle school musicians sang last year. You’ll hear Bird on sax accompanied by string instruments.

2. John Coltrane (1926-1967)
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John Coltrane (often just “Trane”) pushed the musical boundaries of jazz contributing to bebop and “free jazz.” He played alto saxophone in high school and in church bands. He made the switch to tenor saxophone and taking inspiration from the greats like Charlie Parker, he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s band. Trane, like many other musicians at the time, became addicted to drugs. His dependency resulted in getting him fired from his band. He overcame his addictions and returned to the jazz world. Trane developed a technique for playing long strings of notes at lightning speeds, sometimes playing up to 1,000 notes a minute. Trane moved jazz to a freer place with uncommon harmonies and rhythms. This first recording is of John Coltrane playing “Giant Steps,” where you will hear his long streams of fast moving notes. The next is a video of Trane playing “My Favorite Things,” which many of our musicians know from “The Sound of Music.” Trane puts a new spin on this classic tune.

Saxophones don’t ONLY have to play jazz…
3. Theodore Kerkezos
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While it is uncommon to find a saxophone in an orchestra (but typical to find them in a Concert Band or Wind Ensemble setting,) there are MANY pieces written for solo saxophone and orchestra. Theodore Kerkezos is a professor and saxophone soloist in Russia. He has received some of the highest musical awards in Russia for his playing and teaching.
In this video you will here Kerkezos accompanied by the Moscow State Conservatory Orchestra in Russia playing Milhaud Fedoseyev’s “Scaramouche”

The info on John Coltrane and Charlie Parker comes from a very cool book that Ms. Kauffeld has in her classroom for YOU to borrow called “The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia Jazz & Blues” by Julia Rolf.
The info on Kerkezos comes from Ms. Kauffeld’s good friend who plays classical saxophone!

Categories
Middle School Band Middle School Chorus

District Music Festival Post 1

Hello Folsom Friends!

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Here at MVU we are having a blast having just started our second day of rehearsing at the Middle School District Music Festival! You should be extremely proud of how our Folsom students are representing our school. They are professional during rehearsals, focused, working hard, and showing respect to their conductors. They are setting a high standard for their peers from other schools!

Here are some pictures of the groups!
The middle school chorus is conducted by Mrs. Aimee Bushey, who teaches middle and high school chorus in South Burlington. This has been a fun way for our students to connect with her as some will likely attend SB and hopefully keep singing in chorus! Ms. Kauffeld student taught with Mrs. Bushey in her senior year of college and she is SO glad to be able to now share her love for Mrs. Bushey with her Folsom students!


I’m not sure of the band conductor’s name, but she is DYNAMITE! My new instrumental-education hero! It’s harder to get pictures of our kiddos in this group before it is SO BIG! Hooray!!! More pics to come…

Categories
1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music First Steps in Music Instrument Lessons Middle School Band

Music In Our Schools Month: The Final Week

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The music room has come ALIVE this week! Many Middle Schoolers are preparing for the District Music Festival this Friday, 4th grade instrumentalists have all been busy at working learning tunes like “Frere Jacques,” “Mexican Mountain Song,” and “Sawmill Creek,” Kindergarteners have been doing 3 different “Mixer Dances,” the 1st and 2nd graders have been learning about Sound in Science, so in music we’ve been talking about PITCH, VIBRATION, and VOLUME, and using the Hand Chimes to discuss all three vocabulary words, in 3rd and 4th grade we’ve been composing with quarter notes and eighth notes and doing our favorite Russian Folk Dance, “Sasha!” AND SO MUCH MORE.

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This week has been outstanding for before-school practicing! We’ve seen the return of many faces, (though looking a little sleepy at times,) but I am thrilled to have you back, and so proud of the extra effort you are putting in.
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The Middle School Musical, “School House Rock!” is well under way with our amazing director, Gina Fearn. A terrific group of middle schoolers (and a few awesome 4th graders!) have been learning songs, blocking, and choreography for the show.
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As we finish out the week I hope to collect more responses to the prompt,
“MUSIC MAKES ME____!” If YOU would like to fill out a sheet at home please let me know and I’ll make sure one makes it home to you!
Here’s a video of Preston rocking the bells, and another of many snippets from the past two weeks- Random Acts of Music, glimpses of K and 1/2 music classes, and band lessons.


WAHOO!!!!

Categories
1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade COOL MUSIC STUFF! Instrument Lessons Middle School Band

MARCH IS MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOLS MONTH!

Music-Month

The whole month of March we celebrate Music In Our Schools Month! At Folsom we’ve bookended the month nicely by kicking it off with the Island County Music Festival, and next Friday 14 Middle Schoolers will travel to Missisquoi Valley Union High School to participate in the District Music Festival either singing in chorus or playing in band. The rest of have been busy with RANDOM ACTS OF MUSIC during the school day. We’ve had performances over the P.A. system, a special “Human Piano” performed by one of the 5/6 classes during the Kindergarten-4th grade lunch, and we’ve got more in the works for our last week. Here’s a video showing a few random acts, and a few fun things we’ve done in music class. Some middle school performers are featured, as well as Mrs. Degree’s 1/2 class and the 3/4 team. Enjoy!

Categories
1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade Kindergarten

Dr. Seuss Week Day 4! Drummers Drumming

Here is another crazy Dr. Seuss song called “Drummers Drumming,” see if you can figure out why it’s called that.

AND this is a round, so grab some buddies and sing it together!

Rap, tap, tap, tap!
Rap, tap, tap, tap!
Rattle, tattle, rattle, rattle,
need a little rattle, tattle,
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
need a little Boom Boom!
Rattle, tattle, tap, tap,
Boom! Boom Boom!

Categories
1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade Kindergarten

Dr. Seuss Week Day 3! My Uncle Terwilliger Waltzes with Bears!

Day 3 of Dr. Seuss Week-

Today we’re celebrating “Horton Hears a Who,” SO many folks are looking comfy in our PJs… a few of us chose to dress in a “Unique Way,” OVERALL WE LOOK FABULOUS TODAY AT FOLSOM!

Here is another of Dr. Seuss’ wacky songs, “My Uncle Terwilliger Waltzes with Bears!”
You should find that the lyrics have come home with your child today.

My Uncle Terwilliger waltzes with bears
it’s a terrible, terrible state of affairs,
Every Saturday night, he creeps down our back stairs,
sneaks out of our house to go waltzing with bears!

Wa-wa-wa, wa-wa-wa, waltzing with bears,
with polar bears, honey bears, griz-zi-lies too!
And there’s nothing at all that our fam’ly can do,
to stop! My Uncle from wa-wa-wa waltzing,
To stop him from wa-wa-wa, waltzing with bears!

Categories
1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade Kindergarten

Dr. Seuss Week Day 1 and 2!

Happy Dr. Seuss Week Folsom Families!

Did you know Dr. Seuss wrote many crazy songs? There’s a great book of them called, “The Cat in the Hat Song Book.” I will record one each day and put them up on our youtube channel this week for your enjoyment at home, I’ll also send lyrics home with your kiddos!
Here are videos for Monday and Tuesday.

First is the “No Laugh Race,” stand face to face with a partner and see who can make it through the song without laughing!

Now the no laugh race is about to start,
Stand face to face three inches apart,
Just stand there and stare and stare,
Nobody laugh now don’t you dare!
Wiggle your ears, wiggle your nose,
Wearing eyebrows? Wiggle those,
But if anyone giggles out he goes!
The laugher is the loser, out he goes!
Somebody laughed so somebody’s out,
Who dared laugh will please drop out!
(Repeat as many times as necessary)
(Last time) Now we’re down to the last sad face-
He’s the winner of the no laugh race!

Next is the “Super-Supper March!” Good luck getting all those words in there…

Hungry, hungry I am hungry. Table, table here I come.
I could eat a goose-moose burgerrrrr,
Fifteen pickles and a purple plum!
I could eat three bowls of goolash, half a pound of wuzzled wheat.
I could eat a peck of pooberrrrs,
Then I’d really get to work and eat!
Oysters, noodles, strawberry stroodles,
French fries, fish hash, one red beet.
Lamb chops, wham chops, huckleberry mish mash,
Oh the things that I could eat!
Donuts, dumplings, blueberry bumplings,
Choc’late mush-mush, super sweet.
Clam stew, ham stew, water-melon wush wush,
Oh the stuff that I could eat!
Deep dish rhubarb upside down cake
I could eat a frittered flum.
Hungry, hungry, I am starviiiing!
Table, table, table HERE I COME!