We’ve settled back into our music class routines, having finished the first quarter, and are looking ahead to our Christmas concerts.

As you may know, our music curriculum is set up to teach a wide variety of the basic building blocks of music – rhythm, notes, sight reading, and eventually chords and harmony.  The students come to music class twice each week.

In grades K-5, we’ve been reviewing what we know about rhythm, note names, and pitch reading.  Kindergartners and first graders are beginning to use their singing voices more consistently and are learning about long and short sounds as we begin to understand quarter and eighth notes.

In second grade, the big news is that we get to use music books now! This also means that we have had our first unit tests. Questions covered quarter notes and eighth notes, steady beat/no beat, and the solfege syllables do, mi, so and la. The students did quite well.

Students in grade three have been learning about instruments of the orchestra and dynamics.  Fourth graders are tackling more complex sixteenth note rhythms and learning about musical phrases – whether or not they are similar, and how to label them. They are also learning to play their recorders!

In grade five, we have discussed musical texture and popular song form.  We’ve also been doing some great singing as we prepare for the upcoming Christmas concert.  Fifth graders always look forward to this; finally it’s their year to be the “stars!” Soon they will begin working on their speaking parts.

In all of the K-5 classes around the first of October, we began spending a few minutes of most class periods on songs for the Christmas program. I try not to let concert preparation dominate class time right away, but as November rolls along you can expect to hear more and more Christmas music coming from my room in the annex!

Don’t forget:  The K-5 Christmas program is Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m.  in the big gym.  Please mark your calendar now!  All students in grades K-5 are expected to participate.

At the middle school level, the band and chorus are also working hard getting ready for their own joint Christmas concert, to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m., also in the big gym.  Once again, please mark your calendar now.  All 6-8 band and chorus students are required to participate.

The school year is off to a great start.  Please be sure to contact me with questions or concerns that come up over the days and weeks ahead.  By far the most efficient way to do this is email (lthorngate@stmb.org).

You may also reach me by phone at school (ext. 250).  Please be aware that I am here part time: all day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and just briefly on Monday.  This means that I may not get right back to you, depending on when you call.


Mrs. Thorngate