"SUMMER NOTES" from Mrs. Thorngate

Spring 2018 was a busy time in music


In kindergarten, songs about travel helped us learn about even and uneven rhythms -- i.e. “trotting” and “galloping.” We also learned a special song, "I Am a Promise," for an important day of celebration, kindergarten graduation. First graders discovered the quarter rest while continuing to learn more about so and mi, and a new pitch -- la. We took a first step in studying form in music by exploring songs that have two different sections, labeling them "A" and "B."  

Second graders also added to their musical knowledge, learning about dynamics (loud and soft) and the musical accent. Third graders performed some of their favorite songs from music class at a local nursing home. We began learning about upbeats and downbeats, as well as meter signatures.

In grade four, after spending much of the winter learning to play the recorder (culminating in a concert in March), we had a chance to get back to more singing from our music books. We also began to explore major and minor.

Fifth graders learned about building chords, identifying key signatures, and notating sixteenth-note rhythms.  We continued to sing in two and three parts in music classes. Toward year’s end we wrote songs in class (words and music) in the style of 12-bar blues.  

In addition, fifth-grade band students joined together in Beginner Band under the direction of Mr. Hafenstein. The remaining fifth graders, dubbed the Fifth Grade Chorale, worked on vocal selections with me. These budding musicians joined the middle school band and chorus students in presenting an outstanding spring concert on May 29 in the gym.

All in all, it was a successful year . . . and now it's time for me to say goodbye as I retire from teaching.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my nineteen years at St. Mary School. Thank you for

sharing your children with me and for the many words of encouragement over the years.

Mrs. Lisa Thorngate