4th Grade

Week of 1/15

posted Jan 18, 2018, 6:29 PM by Whitney Tandon

Hello 4th graders!

Here's what we did this week:

  • Learned the new bowing "staccato".  Staccato means short; to get a nice crisp sound, make it a small motion, which comes initially from the pointer finger.  This is easiest to do around the middle of the bow.  Try not to use your upper arm or shoulder when doing staccato.

  • Worked on the beginning of Cascade Afternoon, which is almost all staccato notes!
  • Reviewed what we did last week in Cascade Afternoon & Rigaudon.
  • In the book: reviewed Bluebird's Song, and worked together on #168, Arkansas Traveler.

Your assignment for next week is:

  • Book: #167 and #168
  • Review Happy Birthday (learn it by memory!)
  • Rigaudon measures 11-19
  • Cascade Afternoon beginning to A

See you soon!
Ms. Tandon

Happy New Year!

posted Jan 8, 2018, 10:10 AM by Whitney Tandon   [ updated Jan 11, 2018, 9:22 AM ]

Hello 4th graders!

Welcome back! It's been a while since I've updated this site, and I apologize!  But we made it through the winter concerts with flying colors and now hopefully are done with the snow days for a little while..

The newest thing we're working on is the concept of the NATURAL SIGN.

The natural sign cancels out a sharp (or a flat) in a key signature.  
So, if a key signature says one sharp, as we know that means that all F's in the piece will be sharp.

BUT: if you come across an F with a natural sign in front of it, then that one is played as an F NATURAL instead of sharp.  AND - the natural sign lasts for a whole measure.  So, play all F's in that measure as naturals.

When you get to a new measure, the key signature resumes.

In the book, we worked together on SPY GUY, CHROMATIC MOVES, and BLUEBIRD'S SONG.

Look at Bluebird's Song (#134).  Why aren't there any natural signs next to the C's in this song?  

  • This week: Review Bluebird's Song (#134).  AND practice (and try to memorize) the Birthday Song (#143).  Is C supposed to be sharp or natural?
  • Our new concert piece (for String Jamboree) will be RIGAUDON (Click on title for recording).  Start practicing it!  Be sure to check the key signature before you get going!  You should be able to play 3-11 for next week.  If you can do more, great!
  • I don't have a recording available that I can put online for Cascade Afternoon (our combined piece for grades 3-12), but we'll continue to listen to it together in classes.  We started working on rehearsal letters B to C together.  Please review them at home!

Week of 11/13

posted Nov 15, 2017, 9:56 AM by Whitney Tandon

Hi 4th graders!

Here's what we're doing this week in lessons:
  • Practicing switching from bowing to plucking; first on a G scale, then in Sailors' Song
  • Working on two important sections of Sailors' Song: the plucking section, and the last four measures
  • Working on measures 11-17 of Olympic Fanfare
  • Working on Jingli Nona - dividing it up into instrument parts
  • Reviewing the note F natural and playing it with Mary had a Little Lamb & Jingle Bells, just for fun!
In orchestra, we're trying to PLAY THROUGH all of our pieces!  Can we do it?

The assignment for next time is:
  • I am NOT handing out a practice schedule this week. It is your job to try playing through each piece and find any stumble spots, then stop and review them at least 3 times, then go back and try to play the whole thing again once you've worked through them.  
  • Once you can play all the notes and rhythms, be sure you're paying attention to things like the clarity of your sound, the direction of your bow, etc.  
Remember, it's always good practice to play in front of someone else.  Even if it's a donkey...

Happy November!

posted Nov 7, 2017, 6:36 AM by Whitney Tandon

Hello 4th graders!

Can't believe it's already November and our concert is only a month away!

This week, we're finishing up learning the notes of our pieces so we can relax as we get closer to the concert.  This week's practice schedule includes making videos of yourself playing our pieces -- you do NOT need to share these videos with me (unless, of course, you're so proud that you want to!).  The videos are mostly meant for you to do some self-evaluating -- 
listen to the quality of your sound
find out which spots make you stumble
watch your bow direction, etc.  
You've gotten so good now, that YOU can be the teacher too!  What things do you see that can be even better in your own playing?  What things are you already doing great?

Keep up the great work!!  Practice schedule is attached below.  Notice some fun new things on there too... Mary had a Little Monster?  Spooky Bells?   See if you can figure these out...

Ms. Tandon

Week of 10/30

posted Oct 30, 2017, 7:30 PM by Whitney Tandon   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 10:01 AM ]

Hello 4th graders!

Here's what we're doing this week:

  • Warming up with the D and G scales, 2 to a bow
  • Echoing patterns of notes using G-C
  • Playing Jingli Nona
  • Reviewing measures 23-30 in Sailors Song
  • Reviewing measures 11-18 in Olympic Fanfare
  • Telling the story of Spiffy the Spider!
The assignment for next week:
  • Concert music!  Jingli Nona, Olympic Fanfare (all) and Sailors Song.  
  • For Sailors Song, focus specifically on 31-49.  This is a slightly longer section than we've had the past few weeks, but since nothing else is new, it should be do-able.  It might help to break it in half into two sections.  Push yourself this week -- the concert is not too far away!!
Here are some videos I found of teachers helping their students with Sailors Song.  Find the one for your instrument; watch it (pay attention to position), then try playing along!  You should also scroll down to the bottom video to hear all of the parts together.


Sailors Song Violin 1


Sailors Song Violin 2


Sailors Song Viola


Sailors Song Cello


Sailors Song Bass

ALL PARTS TOGETHER (this is a little faster than we will play it, and there are no slurs (I added those).

Sailors Song All Parts

I am NOT handing out a practice schedule this week: your job is to find your trouble spots, and set small goals for yourself.  Can you divide your time the way I have in previous practice schedules? 
- Warm up (scales are good)
- Something fun and familiar
- Something new, in SMALL SECTIONS with repetition
- Something else new, or review something from the day before
- End with something that makes you feel good

Make your own practice schedule! You DO NOT need to write it down.
All my best,
Mrs. Tandon

Week of 10/23

posted Oct 26, 2017, 12:07 PM by Whitney Tandon

Hi 4th graders!

This week, we are:

  • Reviewing Jingli Nona in the book (#125) and learning about 1st and 2nd endings
  • Reviewing Sailors Song, measures 15-23.  Then trying to play from the beginning to 23!
  • Reviewing all of Olympic Fanfare.  Can you play the whole thing?
  • Learning the sounds and story of Spiffy the Spider!
The assignment for next week is:
  • Master Jingli Nona!
  • Master Olympic Fanfare!
  • Learn the next 8 measures of Sailors Song. Now you can play measures 1-30!
  • Play Spiffy the Spider at home!

Practice schedule is below!  Have a great week.

Week of 10/17

posted Oct 18, 2017, 11:08 AM by Whitney Tandon

Hello 4th graders!  

Here's what we're doing this week:

In lessons:
    • Reviewing "Song for Maria," which we each dedicated to someone we care about. 
    • Trying to go through the first day on this coming week's practice schedule.  It includes a quick review, starting a short section of something new, and starting to write a song ourselves!  We can do this ALL - what a feeling of accomplishment!  Small sections at a time is the key to success.
In orchestra:
    • Reviewing the melody of Sailors Song.
    • Reviewing measures 7-15 in Sailors Song, which we practiced last week.  Then trying to play 1-15 in Sailors Song.
    • Reviewing 11-17 in Olympic Fanfare, which we practiced last week.  Then trying to play 1-17.
The assignment for next week is:
 #125 in the book
Sailors Song measures 15-23 
Olympic Fanfare measures 27-35
Work on writing your own song! (Details on the practice schedule)

Practice schedule was handed out in class and is attached below.

Week of 10/10

posted Oct 12, 2017, 7:15 PM by Whitney Tandon   [ updated Oct 13, 2017, 12:15 PM ]

Hello 4th graders!

This week we're continuing to work on our two new concepts:  Low notes G, A B and C; and slurring notes together in one bow.

Here's what we've been doing in class and orchestra:
  • Reviewing some of the exercises you practiced last week on page 31
  • Working together on starting #116, Song for Maria (change the name to "Song for.." someone you love!)
  • Reviewing Sailor's Song melody
  • Reviewing what we've done in Olympic Fanfare

The assignment for next week is:

  • Book: #116 (we already did the first four measures in class, and notice that they are almost the same as the first four measures of the second line!), and review #124
  • Sailor's Song: learn measures 11-17
  • Olympic Fanfare: 1-23

Also, work with the four flashcards I gave you .  ** NOTE:  I FORGOT TO HAND THESE OUT TO SOME HH 4 CLASSES!  I'll give them to you next time I see you..  

For those of you who have them: How quickly can you now name our four new notes??

Practice schedule is included below.

See you soon,

Ms. Tandon

Sailors' Song

posted Oct 2, 2017, 6:46 AM by Whitney Tandon

Hello 4th graders!

This week we will keep working on slurs and reviewing notes of the G string, which should be very familiar by now (if they aren't, keep reviewing pages 26-27 and playing Name That Note!)

We are also adding a new orchestra piece: Sailors' Song!  
To listen to Sailors' Song, CLICK HERE!

If you have misplaced this week's practice schedule, it is attached below.
Have a great week!

Name That Note!

posted Sep 26, 2017, 5:14 AM by Whitney Tandon   [ updated Sep 28, 2017, 3:39 AM ]

Hello 4th graders!  We're working hard on those new notes of the G scale.  Keep reviewing page 26 until they are familiar to you.  

Then, try playing this NOTE READING GAME!  See how well you can do!

We are also learning slurs this week.  A slur is two or more notes connected by the same bow. Fun!

How many notes can you fit in one bow?

This week, I started handing out practice schedules.  This should help you divide your time between the book and our orchestra music.  We'll start working on Olympic Fanfare together; more orchestra music to come soon!

The assignment for next week's lesson is #109-112 in the book, MASTER page 27, and start Olympic Fanfare.  If you need a new copy of the practice schedule, please click on it below.

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