Ms, Riccios Music Class 2019-2020

Welcome Students and Families!

I am looking forward to a great year of music with SMI students! 
Below is a quick snapshot of some of the things we will do in Music Class this year by grade. We will do some things that we did last year but will surely be adding new lessons and experiences.

Early Childhood, Pre- K and Kindergarten:

Students will learn about instruments and have fun playing various instruments in the classroom! Children love instruments and they enjoy especially the percussion instruments....blocks, drums, cymbals, maraccas, castanets, bongos, triangles etc.

They will listen to simple songs from different cultures sung in  different languages!  They will learn Alouette and Freres Jacques in both French and English! They will sing and dance to the Macarana!They sing along and draw pictures of what they are singing and seeing and hearing! (Their work will be displayed outside the Music Room!)

Early Childhood, Pre-K and Kindergarten will fine tune their listening skills.........sometimes we will just listen to various types of music and students will recognize the way in which music changes what they feel. They will be encouraged to verbalize this.

We will also sing, sing, sing! We will practice music for the Christmas Concert and LIturgies and sing as frequently as possible. Students will learn the rudiments of rhythm and beat and dance, dance, dance!

Grades 1,2 and 3 will learn at different levels about instruments of the orchestra. They have enjoyed learning that each section of the orchestra is its own "family" with its own function, members (Instruments)  and location in the orchestra! This year the class will sometimes be divided  into sections and use technology when possible! 

Websites students will use in class;

Some will listen to music of their choosing. Some will listen to the basics about Music Theory. Some will compose their own music, while still others will play a computer game on the following website: 

 The above is a website we will use frequently to access the various aspects of music described above.
Students will  demonstrate their knowledge of Music Theory orally, (Q and A) and /or through Class Discussion. Their will be a focus on paired learning and cooperation within groups as they learn and work in teams, sometimes.

Grade 4, 5 and 6 will all learn and/or perfect their existing skills on the recorder this year. The recorder is something the students all love to do! Last year,  only Grade 4  had lessons and instruction on the Recorder and did an awesome job perfecting their  skills.

Grades 4, 5, and 6, will be asked to purchase a recorder if they do not already have one . Some students are at different levels of experience and expertise with the recorder. Minimal practice is asked of students each week.

A notice will go home soon with regard to the purchase of a  recorder for your children if he/she does not already have one.

Coupled with this will be lessons on basic theory, identifying notes, and various beats and rhythm. Also students will learn a bit about various genres of Music and learn basic vocabulary words used in Music. 

Students will practice for the Christmas Concert and rehearse for music at Liturgy. At the start of the year,, feedback from students will be sought in terms of what they wish to learn and/or do in music and, where possible,  the  curriculum will be adjusted accordingly. 

SMI students love to sing so we will sing, sing sing!
We will touch a bit on Music History and become conversant in singing the various styles of music.

We will learn about harmony and how to sing in harmony. 

Grades ,7 and 8 Students will be surveyed at beginning of year as well so as to incorporate their interests and abilities into the Music lesson planning wherever possible. 

There will be less emphasis on writing and research for all grades than there was last year. Lessons will be much more student -centered while at the same time students are learning the basics of Music THeory (Notes, timing, dynamics, Vocabulary, the Fundamentals of Reading Music )

Students' appreciation of various types of music will develop as they learn and understand the  evolution of Music History and different Music Genres. 
Use of Chrome books will be implemented more often in class and students will be encouraged to explore and experiment with various types of music, independent of the classroom.  Music is a form of self-expression and this will be emphasized in all classes. The link between Music and Liturgy will be explored and felt as students will learn about Sacred Music and learn to sing some newer pieces in harmony!

For all classes, it is my hope that your  child learns to appreciate music even more than he/she may already. I will work to develop their aural, (listening) skills, and their performance skills.

Some ways they will learn are through direct instruction, cooperative learning, performance, oral and written question and answer, listening exercises, group discussion, music games, videos , arts and crafts etc.

Students will develop a greater understanding of what music is and what is can do. Music can provoke thought, change your mood, change your mind, make you want to get up and dance, cry, laugh or all of the above! Music can make you want to sing along and learn more about the composer. Music can make you want to learn how to play an instrument and develop the discipline required to do this! Music can make you  want to write music yourself and/or to perform in front of an audience. 

I hope that your child excels in Music at SMI this year as I work hard to make Music Class a wonderful experience for all students!

When music appreciation is encouraged in the home, Music taught in school becomes more interesting and relevant and purposeful to the student.  
With this in mind, here are some great websites for students/ families to access from home:

Performer-Based Websites
World Music With DARIA is a website from this multiple award-winning educator and musician. The website was given a 2009 Parent's Choice Award for its family-friendly introduction of world music to young people and it's resources for teachers, parents and special education professionals. The instrument section allows children to color, hear and find pdf instructions on how to make world music instruments such as cajónes (box drums), didgeridoos, shekeres, pow-wow drums and guiros along with cultural background information.
The From The Top website is designed for young classical musicians. This clever website has: The Green Room, Hall of Fame, Answer Zone, Student Lounge, a Reference Room and an area for parents and teachers. Partnered with the highly successful From The Top radio program, this site offers the more “serious” young musicians an opportunity to hear from others like them and benefit from socialization of sorts with others like themselves.
JazzKids was created for children of all ages. The website offers teachers, parents and even the youngest students the opportunity to be introduced to jazz. The interactive audio, video and curriculum are not intended to replace a teacher!

Symphony-Based Websites
The new SFSKids presents an updated online experience entirely different from the original SFSKids. Some of brand-new features and content throughout SFSKids include: a fun and playful series of educational modules presented as immersive environments and using animal avatars as guides; the ability to explore various linkages between composers, instruments and music compositions; the use of some game-based techniques to motivate repeated listening and engagement; gesture-controlled simulation scenarios using the mouse and keyboard to provide “hands-on” experiences of playing instrument and conducting music; interactive online tutorials to learn about music basics; the opportunity for users to compose and notate their own original music; and much more.
The site features games, listen and learn, and various teacher resources, from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Great graphics and fun games-like the clarinet scavenger hunt-make this New York Philharmonic website great, especially for instrumental students.
LSO Play allows you to experience the orchestra from multiple points of view.

Music Game/Theory/History/Listening Websites
This website contains hundreds of learning games of varying levels, all carefully planned to gain mastery of the elements of music theory, ear training and rhythmic skills in an exciting, challenging environment.
This site is just for kids—to talk to other kids about piano, listen to the Taz-man, jump to other cool places, time travel to meet a famous composer or pianist, get a great tip to help withlessons, get help with writing piano or music reports or even ask a question!
The Yellow Cat piano program offers students the opportunity to excel at the piano. Its learning methods enable students to learn quickly and to achieve higher levels of success than the standard music program.
Includes quality theory tutorials, and interactive identification and ear training drills in note reading, key signatures, intervals and triads.
Students can test their music knowledge with quizzes, matches, concentration card games and other activities.
Elementary-age students can enjoy exploring, creating and manipulating music.
Elementary students can enjoy playing with an interactive Improvisation Station.
Enable students to compose from a MIDI keyboard and add voice-overs or other audio recorded through a microphone.
Access online accompaniments that function as virtual accompanists.


Update:  I hope your child will consider joining SMI Chorus this year. It is open to students in third grade and above and meets every Friday Period 9. 
One of our goals is to have our SMI CHILDRENS CHORUS sing in the Choir Loft at St Marys Church once per month. The parish community very much appreciates the sound of children's voices. I am willing to offer extra rehearsals so that children can prepare to sing the Sacred Hymns at Church once per month. Please let me know if you are interested in more information and/or if you are interested in helping this get started at SMI! 

If you ever have any suggestions or questions, please contact me at