Music

Ms. Alicia's Music Class

May
It's the end of another school year already! It really flies sometimes. (Sometimes more than others, of course.)

Choir, Ukulele, & Piano will be performing at Open House. Not every piano student chooses to play, so check with your son or daughter, but ALL Choir and Uke students will have music to share with you.

Ukulele and Piano - wear something nice

Choir - please wear Black/White/or a combo of both. Also, we are allowing Yellow accessories to accent one of our songs. :)

See you soon!

February
It's starting to feel like Spring! We are getting further and further on our Spring song in Choir. I have some really great singers this semester!

Music class is learning to read a few notes on the staff. We are gearing up to write some of our own songs this semester, so hopefully that will come soon.

Ukulele is really in full swing. I'm trying out something new this semester too! It's still in the experimental stages, so please be patient with me. I'm putting together a Google Classroom site that has chord charts and song sheets for the kids to access at home. I don't like letting them take home the books we make until the end of the semester because too often, they don't come back each week. SO! This would give them access to the information at home in case they want to practice. Here's the part I'm not good at. Here are instructions for signing in. What I don't know is if it is only accessible if you have Google account. We will find out together. If you follow these instructions and can't get signed in, please email me and I will do some additional researsch.
  1. Sign in to Classroom at classroom.google.com.
  2. On the homepage, click Add Add.
  3. In the box, enter the code  hnx0hok and click Join.
We have a four or more chords under our belts now, so we are adding to our repertoire pretty quickly! I'll keep adding songs, chord charts and maybe even some recordings in the coming weeks.

Piano is moving along as well. Most kids learn a new song or two every single week!


January
Thank you all so much for so many delicious and indulgent treats this holiday season. It's always wonderful to feel appreciated. I enjoy your children immensely and your appreciation for our work is really a nice addition.

Many new classes are starting up, although some of your kiddos are in for their 2nd semester of Ukulele or Piano. We'll get the beginners going and see if we can learn some new things soon for everyone! Choir has all new songs that I hope you'll enjoy at Open House in May! Music is busy learning about notes and listening to music and Musical Theater is no longer my domain but they are dancing their hearts out with Ms. Elona. I can't wait to see the final production!


November
Performances are coming! Choirs are preparing so well for Open House. Please check your child's wardrobe and see if they have something black and white to wear for the show. Any combination is good - black pants, white shirt; white dress with black belt - whatever you have! We just want to look good! (and sound good)

Ukulele classes have learned lots of chords and we are starting to branch out on some new songs! Hopefully some holiday ones will soon be in our repertoire too! Piano is advancing as well. New holiday music will be ready for them starting next week.

Music class is learning about instruments of the orchestra and their families. We are also having fun getting to play some instruments in class and playing as many games as we can fit in.

We can't wait to see you at Open House!!!

October
I hope you're as excited for cooler temperatures as I am! October always means cool evenings and mornings and kids are settling into routines. In Choir we are really making progress on our songs for Open House. It is challenging for only six - twelve kids to sing in two-part harmony, but many of my classes are doing it with style! I'm excited for you to hear them in a few months. Ukulele is solidifying their first few chords and writing their own songs this week. Maybe we'll become a YouTube sensation later this semester. . . ;)
Piano students are continuing to learn the topography of the keyboard and work on new songs. Musical Theater has learned their first Munchkin song and starting on their next one today. They are so talented at memorizing things quickly! If your munchkin has a "rapping" solo in the "Follow the Road" song, look for a link in the Musical folder soon and they can try it at home. Music class is having fun while learning rhythms, playing instruments and moving to Classical music.

Fall 2016!

Welcome back! I'm so excited for my classes this fall. I have a great lineup and the kids have been wonderful, so we are off to a great start!

In Choir we are learning our first song for Open House! Some classes are already successfully holding onto two parts! That totally makes my day! We will have some selections that are holiday songs and I try to include songs from many worldwide traditions, so hopefully we will learn something that you can enjoy them singing at home because a lot of these songs get stuck in your head!

Ukulele is busy getting to know their instruments and some returning folks are helping new people with chords and songs. I love the ukulele. Portable fun and relatively easy!

Piano students are learning how to set up and break down the room. ;) Once we master that we will cover more material each period, but even now they are getting started and some of my returning kids have already learned some new songs.

Musical Theater kids are starting on the music next week! I can't tell you how excited I am to be part of that process. I have loved the past musicals and enjoy being part of the process this year.

Music students are learning about some rhythm and doing some great listening and movement activities this year. Next week we meet Bach, our first composer. Take a listen to his Musette in D Major if you get a chance at home and ask your kids what we did with this music in class.

February

This month we are settling back into the routine of class.

Instrument classes are starting from scratch, so my Piano, Ukulele and Guitar students have been busy learning the music alphabet (ABCDEFG) and learning where a few of those notes are on their instruments.  There are a few students and classes who are more advanced instrumentalists, so in the coming weeks I will be moving them ahead independently. 

In Music class we are beginning our unit on the orchestra and exploring different instruments while learning about rhythms and playing games.  :)  This semester we are going to look more in depth at how the instruments work and also try to work in some more composers. This week we listened to the Imperial March from composer John Williams. Movies are a great place to encourage kids to ID musical instruments or styles. If you have Harry Potter fans you can remind them that John Williams also composed that soundtrack! In Music Around the World we have started our journey to Europe and will learn about England, Ireland, Germany, Spain and Norway in the coming weeks.



January
Welcome to 2016! I hope you had an enjoyable break and New Year. I got so many sweet, thoughtful gifts from so many of your students that I was completely overwhelmed. Thank you for making me a part of your lives and your education and thank you for all the wonderful goodies. They were very much appreciated!

December

It's time for all those end-of-semester performances! In music we have many to share with you. Things will be a little bit different this year. Some children will be opting to send a musical greeting to you via email this year in lieu of performing at Open House. We will film next week (and if you get an email, your child will not be performing at Open House, just so you know what to expect!) Kids are working hard on their performances.


Thanks for all your support this semester! We have learned a lot and are looking forward to sharing it with you in various ways over the coming weeks.


November

This month we are polishing up some songs for upcoming performances and solidifying our basics on Ukulele and Guitar. Most kids are at the point where they are really starting to remember notes and chords and have a lot more comfort on their instruments. Music and Music Around the World are continuing to learn and explore and have fun in the process.



October!

I love October! it is such a fun and beautiful month! We are working on our music knowledge in all my classes right now. Any chance you have to reinforce information at home is great! Also, we occassionally do a worksheet or some drawing to illustrate our learning in class. Sometimes kids don't take them home - I think because they are rare for us- but they often have information that it would be beneficial to them to remember. If you think to ask your kiddo about any music papers, that would be great. Specifically, Ukulele and Guitar are working on reading TAB so we can add to our song repertoire and practicing at home would really boost us along!

Music Around the World is adding parts of Asia to our passport this month. Russia and China are just a few of our planned stops along the way. Music class is working on reading rhythms and working with Boomwhackers in hopes of composing our own song for you by the end of the semester.


Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year!
September
Fall is one of my favorite times of year.  It's always awesome to meet all the new students and get to know them and watch them learn.  I'm excited to be a part of the Westminster and Evergreen communities this year as well!  It is going to take me awhile to learn all the faces and names, but I will get there!

Instrument classes are very popular this semester, so my Piano, Ukulele and Guitar students have been busy learning the music alphabet (ABCDEFG) and learning where a few of those notes are on their instruments.  There are a few students who are advanced instrumentalists, so in the coming weeks I will be moving them ahead independently.  

In Music class we are beginning our unit on the orchestra and exploring different instruments while learning about rhythms and playing games.  :)  In Music Around the World we have started our journey to Europe and will learn about England, Ireland, Germany, Spain and Norway in the coming weeks.

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April

Welcome Spring!  It might just be me, but this year seems to be flying along.  In any case, here's what's on tap for April!
Music 1 will be working on performing a few songs with instruments.  We've learned to read some easy music, so now it's time to practice up for Open House!  Music 3 will wrap up our jazz history study as well as work on performing some songs on instruments and maybe even write a song of our own.  Piano andUkulele are really getting into the practice mode.  Students are becoming more independent and we'll keep encouraging that and adding to our repertoire in the weeks to come.

Thanks for sharing your children with me and be sure to put the date for Open House on your calendar!  

March
 
Music 1 is hard at work learning to read music.  We've learned our notes with Boomwhackers and some rhythms and now we're putting it to the test and trying to play music together!  Music 3 is also perfecting their musical knowledge and we are focusing on our Unit on Jazz for the next several weeks.  Students are learning about various jazz styles and composers for each.  If your son or daughter is working on some research and writing at home, please feel free to create a poster of your favorite jazz composer and bring it for display at Open House in May.  Some suggestions: Ella Fitzgerald, Scott Joplin, Dizzie Gilespie, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Glenn Miller, Cole Porter - just to get you thinking!
 
Piano and Ukulele are adding more and more songs.  Ask them to play one at home.  Some kids might not be up for it without the music, but others may enjoy sharing something they learned.  Either way - they are all working hard this semester.
 
February
 
This month we will continue learning some important basics in Music 1 and Music 3 with our goal being to read music on the staff by the end of the semester.   We'll, of course, learn some new songs, and play some games.  We'll also rap up our Unit on Bach and his compositions in Music 1.
Piano students are working hard at their new challenge and this month completing three songs in each class earns them a prize!  I'm hoping to see some great work!
Ukulele - we're adding to our repertoire and perfecting our melody on Rocky Mountain High as well as reviewing some basic chords.
 
 
January 2015!

I can't believe it's  already 2015!  I think I just started getting used to 2014 a few weeks ago....
In any case, this semester brings some returning students to piano and some new students.  New students will get familiar with piano and begin to learn how to play some easy songs.  Returning students are going to see if they can rise to the challenge of completing at least two songs in each class, which means we'll have a few kiddos really focusing on learning to read music.  There are a few apps out there for some of the new tablets I heard Santa brought some students.  😊. If you are looking for one to learn notes, my favorite is Flashnote Derby.  It's affordable and most kids love it.  I like that you can customize what notes you want to work on to promote success and make the challenges focused.  Give it a try if you are working on reading notes on the staff and I think you'll notice a difference!

Music 1 and Music 3 will be hitting some highlights of music with lots of songs, games, listening and playing of instruments thrown in to keep us learning and having a good time.

I'm very excited for Ukelele class!  I have only recently added this instrument to my repertoire and I love how portable it is and the easy chords and songs.  I think it is going to be a hit!

December
   Performances are getting close!  Please plan to attend our Open House to celebrate with us in some holiday songs accompanied by our various music classes as well as some solos from our piano students.  We look forward to sharing with you and hope you have a wonderful Winter Break.

November  -

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love pretty much everything about it!  In music this November, we will use some of the traditions of the holiday as inspiration for our music games and songs.

Music 1 & 2 - We've learned a lot about rhythm, now it's time to focus on pitch.  Both classes with spend more time playing some of our classroom instruments and trying to accompany ourselves on songs that we sing.  Ideally we'll get good enough to share one with you at next month's Open House Celebration.
Music Around the World:  We are keeping our African song and instruments on simmer this month to share with you next month.  In the meantime, we will look at other holiday traditions around the world.
Guitar and Piano:  We're getting more comfortable performing for each other and learning to read some music.  This month we'll add to our repertoire and have a few more things to learn about reading music so we can end the semester with a good base of knowledge.

One favorite recording from October was Saint-Saen's Danza Macabra.  Many classes heard it and listened for the different instruments or used it for a listening game.  Here's a link in case you heard about it at home and wondered what they were talking about! Click here
October

Things are starting to ramp up in music!  We're gaining some knowledge and starting to use it to create songs, instruments, rhythmic patterns to play while we sing and all kinds of games.  This month we'll keep adding to our knowledge so that by the time you come to December's Open House we'll have some great things to share with you.
Music 1&2:  More songs, more games and now we're going to start learning to read music.  
Music Around the World:  We're concentrating on the continent of Africa for a few weeks - learning songs and making instruments from found nature.
Guitar and Piano:  We're getting more into the routine of setting up the instruments so now we have time to start learning some songs.  Our goal now is to learn at least one new song each class and share it with the class each session.

Any interested families are very VERY cordially invited to attend an upcoming concert I think you might like.  I sing and play with a vocal group called Kantorei.  Details for our next concert are below!  Hope to see you there!

Get Your Tickets Today!

Saturday, October 11th, 2014 
2:00pm Purchase Tickets Now 
7:30pm Purchase Tickets Now 
Lone Tree Arts Center

Through sight and sound, we depict the grandiose splendor of our wonderful state. Celebrated photographer John Fielder joins Kantorei for this once in a life time experience. We’ll sing about our majestic trees and mountains, some cowboy songs, and enjoy familiar favorites by Colorado’s adopted son and poet laureate, John Denver -all performed to the gorgeous art of John Fielder.

Tickets ($20/$15/$5) are on sale now and may be purchased atwww.lonetreeartscenter.org.



September

Welcome Back!   Summer sometimes seems to fly past and here we are again!  It's fun to be back in the classroom; people seem taller, some are more independent, some are so eager to learn - which teachers love!   I'm excited to start another year at HSC.  Just so you have some idea what to expect:
Music 1 & 2:  We will continue to learn songs every week, incorporating games with them as often as possible.  We use these songs to help us learn about music - rhythms, melodies and harmonies will all be explored.  This month we'll build some basic knowledge so we can learn to play around with it and make music on some additional instruments next month.
Music Around the World:  Most kids have finished their Passports, now we just have to visit lots of countries and fill them in!  We're going to learn about music from a different country each week with a touch of culture and some songs.  I'm very excited for this class.  We're going to learn some really cool music and have a lot of fun too!
Guitar and Piano:  These classes involve me getting acquainted with your child and learning what they already know and trying to build on that.  Each class has some total beginners and some who have played before, so it is fun to try to help get everybody moving forward.  Please bring any music from home that they may be wanting to play and need help with.  Also, children are welcome to borrow materials as long as parents communicate with me in person or via email that they would like their child to do that.  Happy practicing!

May

Music is wrapping up soon!  We have some performances coming soon that we hope you'll join us for and in other classes we're playing some games to enjoy showing off our knowledge.

Open House will include performances from our Guitar and Advanced Guitar classes, with some classic folk songs and some of our own inventions to make them sound more interesting, so it should be fun!  We've certainly had a good time putting them together.  Some students from piano class also have some original compositions and traditional songs to share with you.  If you're able to make the time to come, please join us to celebrate their hard work and creativity.

Music Appreciation and Ear Training are both reviewing rhythms and notes that we have learned as a class and we're heading outside for some Music Baseball in the next two weeks as a fun way to stretch our legs and cement our knowledge at the same time.  Wear your running shoes!


March

I can't believe it's already March!  The year is going quickly.  If your children are anything like me they are ready for Spring!  

In Music, we are going to prepare some Springtime songs on boomwhackers and recorders.  We had fun starting "Mary Had A Little Lamb" in Ear Training class on Boomwhackers.  Boomwhackers are tubes that are cut to differing lengths to make different pitches.  You play them by hitting them against something else, your hand, your foot, a chair. . . they are fun to play  - you can click here for a listen.  https://soundcloud.com/alicia-rigsby/ear-training-class-mary-had-a/s-Oqgex




February


This month we're getting settled in our class routine as well as exploring more musical ideas.

Piano students and guitar students are starting to dig into their instruments and repertoire a little more.  Advanced guitar is hoping to go play for the Kindergartners sometime later this quarter for a few fun song/games that they can do with us.

Music Appreciation is expanding their musical knowledge of notes and rhythms and we are getting into our instrument collection.  We will finish our Chinese New Year gongs in the next week or two and then will start working on learning about the science of how sound is made in preparation for making our first more complicated instrument from the string family.  As we get closer I will put out a call for recycled materials that the kids can bring to use to make their instruments.  To the left, you can enjoy our Music Alphabet Snake/Dragon we designed in class this past week.

Ear Training is also working on their musical knowledge and learning how the melodies that we hear would look if we wrote them down.  This month we're also going to test our skills on recognizing instruments in the context of music.  We'll start with woodwinds, so if you hear any great clarinet concertos in the car on the way to school, see if your child can recognize the clarinet!  We'll also finish listening to Poulenc's "Babar" which provides a great series of short pieces that really help tell the musical story.  We'll talk more about listening for how composer uses sound to express emotions.


January. . . 

Oh Baby it's Cold Outside!  At least today as I write this.  Thankfully, Colorado is never predictable (I went to college in Minnesota.  Prediction: long cold winter.)  so hopefully it will be nice a few Mondays this month.  

This semester is getting off to a quick start with some new and some familiar classes.  Here's what's on the docks for this month in Music.

Guitar and Piano:  We'll spend some quality time reviewing some of the songs that we know from previous experience and getting our friends who are new to the instruments up to speed so they can play some songs too. 

Ear Training:  We're going to listen to lots of music and start seeing if we can notice which way the melody is moving.  We'll do some detailed listening and some general listening, so ask your kids when the radio is on and there's an interesting song if they can describe the melody at all.  Is it moving up?  Down?  Super repetitive?  

Music Appreciation:  We are small but mighty!  We're going to learn some songs, play some games and start thinking about making ourselves and instrument in class.  Watch this video of the Landfill Harmonic to see my motivation (we are watching it in class as well) and I'll be asking for some recycled materials after we brainstorm instruments and materials we might be able to repurpose to make and instrument.  Watch for more details coming soon!    http://vimeo.com/52711779


November!

The semester is progressing quickly and we’re starting to really be able to use our new musical knowledge to make some music together.

Music Theory – We’ve learned the notes and the intervals  and rhythms and now it’s time to play some more songs!  This month we’re going to keep learning music theory while we spend a little more time making music on the boomwhackers.  Our goal is to be able to play the songs well enough for an audience to enjoy them, so we’ll focus on a steady beat (and, of course, the right notes!) 

Music Appreciation – Our Standup Symphony is coming together this month and will hopefully be on display before Thanksgiving.  Students have worked hard to identify the instruments of the orchestra and their instrument families both by sight and sound and now we have colored our own little group of musicians and plan to put them on a stage to show our knowledge.  We’re also adding some new composers to our musical timeline and trying to earn some new Recorder Karate belts in class.

Guitar – We’ve had a fun time perfecting a few songs- you can listen here: SoundCloud to our audio recording of Hey Ho with two guitar parts and some great singing!  We also explored a new free website that allows us to play at home called GuitarBots. ( Parents should have received an email invitation, but anyone can join – you earn more minutes per day by linking to other players, so if you’re interested and not currently in class, please ask someone in class if they can send you a link and have more play time available each day.)  It’s a great site that makes playing the guitar a little like a Wii game, so check it out here:  www.guitarbots.com

Piano – This month we’re going to keep working on our music reading skills and learning new songs, but also playing some songs by rote.  Parents may receive a link to a website that has “Reminder Videos” of the songs that we learn by ear.  Kids enjoy these in class and can use the videos to “remind” themselves what the songs are at home, since learning by rote means we aren’t using the music.

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

 

 

Fall is on the way.  It has certainly been a bumpy ride weather-wise!  Luckily, all our musicians seem pretty resilient and have survived the heat and the rain equally well.

October will bring some new things in music:

 Music Theory – We will continue to add to our knowledge of rhythms and pitches and enjoy playing our Boomwhackers even more in class.  We’ll make some of our own song creations to play together and keep learning some new ones in class, a few with a Halloween theme.

 Music Appreciation – We will get into the instruments of the orchestra as well as add on our second composer of the month – Beethoven!  For a super cool visual to go with the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, try this YouTube link.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uOxOgm5jQ4&list=WL3tsiwiiFJfepo3red_JsGNI4XsNN9cmB  We’ll look at it in class too because of its great visual for rests.

 Guitar – We’re getting so much better!  We know the strings now, we have almost mastered our first song in two parts and we know some basic chords to use with songs.  This month we’re going to try to add to our repertoire with some melodies and solos to play.  We’ll also spend a little more time learning music notation, as our fingers are still adjusting to pressing on the strings!

 Piano – We’re learning our way around the keyboard and will focus on some C position songs in October.  Hopefully we’ll be able to play one or two that you might recognize.

 Advanced Piano – This class is having fun playing lots of games to reinforce our advanced knowledge.  We’re also learning on making a repertoire list of songs we can harmonize with our C and G7 chords.

 Thanks for sharing your kids with me!  I’m really enjoying getting to know them.



What's coming in September????

Lots of music, that's for sure!  Check out a few of the highlights listed below.

Music Theory:  We'll start learning more about rhythms and find some chants and songs to help us solidify our knowledge.  We'll also get a chance to try out the rhythm instruments that we have in our collection.  Hopefully at the end of the month we'll be ready to write our own chant/rap and illustrate it with our rhythm notation.

Music Appreciation:  We're going to start learning a few notes on the music staff to prepare us for some recorder playing later in the semester.  We're also starting to focus on our first composer of the semester - Johann Sebastian Bach.  We'll learn some fun autumn themed songs and games as well.

Guitar and Piano:  We'll spend some quality time reviewing some of the songs that we know from previous experience and getting our friends who are new to the instruments up to speed so they can play some songs too.   

I love fall (I realize it's still 90 degrees and summer as I write this, but I'm hopeful that by the end of September, we'll start seeing a little difference in the weather!)  My favorite are all the great varieties of apples and I try to make as many pies as my family will eat!  Here's a fun recipe for Apple Pockets in case some of my apple songs and rhythms have made you hungry in class.

Apple Pockets

Ingredients

            4 frozen bread rolls

            1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

            7 teaspoons sugar

            ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

            2 apples - chopped

            Flour, as needed, for handling the dough

            1 tablespoon butter

            Water, for spritzing

 

Preparation

            Allow the dough to defrost and rise according to the instructions on the package.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a baking sheet.

            Combine cornstarch, 5 teaspoons of the sugar, and the cinnamon into a small bowl. Add the cornstarch mixture to the bowl of chopped apple and mix gently until the apples are completely coated.  Set aside.

            Sprinkle a little flour onto the work area.  Flatten each roll of dough with a rolling pin until it is a 6 -inch wide circle, using flour to avoid sticking.

            Melt butter in a small bowl.  Brush some of the melted butter onto each circle of dough.  Spoon apple mixture onto each dough circle, leaving an edge. Fold over the other side of the circle and press the edges tightly closed with the back of a fork. 

            Put the pockets on the baking tray.  Lightly spray them with water, and then sprinkle the top of each one with ½ teaspoon of sugar.  Place them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.  Cool them on a plate or wire tray for 15 minutes before eating.


Enjoy!