Music at CRES


Click a link below to learn about what your student is learning, who they are learning it from, and how you can help them continue to learn outside of school:

  • Home and Blog: Classroom updates - what’s going on in music this month? (scroll down)

  • Music at CRES: Ukulele resources, classroom expectations, teacher and family expectations, curriculum information, information about concerts, and our school song!

  • Music at Home: Featured songs and activities from music class - how can we make music at home?

  • Music in Our Community: Resources for local choirs, private lessons, vacation camps, etc. - how can we make music in the community?

  • About and Contact Ms. Brady: More info about Ms. Brady - who is my student’s music teacher?


Blog Post April 2022

4th graders participated in a ukulele songwriting workshop with local singer/songwriter Alice Limoges!

In small groups or by themselves, students picked topics, wrote lyrics, and added chords!

3rd graders learned about the 2 parts of a song:

-the verse tells the story

-the chorus is the main idea and repeats

and learned a song about local history: Andre the Seal!

Andre the seal.docx

1st, 2nd, and multiage students have been singing a folk song from Turkey: İki ekmek aldım

iki ekmek .docx

Kindergarteners have been singing, listening to, and moving to songs about birds!

One song we sing is "See, See, See" - follow the map and sing along with some students!

New Recording 6-1.m4a

We have also be listening to "Aviary" - do you know what an aviary is?

Sometimes we liked to pretend to go on a bird watching trip in music class - listen for the sound of the cuckoo bird!

Blog Post January 2022

3rd and 4th graders are learning about a new rhythm: 16th notes! When there is a group of 4 of them we can call it 'takadimi'.

We practice clapping it, composing it, and even finding a place for it in our rhythm puzzle! In this activity, students were given cards with one measure each of our song "Tideo" and had to put the song in the right order using just the rhythm of the words!

Here is something a 4th grader made for me -

the whole rhythm of "Tideo!"

1st, 2nd, and multi-age students have been singing and playing along with a song from Finland called "Jänöpupu ja Pakkanen Puhurin poika" or "Little Rabbit and Mister Frost". Here is a video of the story and song!

Rabbit and Mr. Frost.m4a

Here is the sound of some students singing the rabbit's song!

Kindergarten has been doing some activities centered around teddy bears. We can follow the path of the teddy bear with our voices, or move around dancing with our imaginary teddy bear!

Teddy Bear Vocal Exploration.pdf

We also sing a song about our teddy bear:

Teddy bear teddy bear turn around

Teddy bear teddy bear touch the ground

Teddy bear teddy bear touch your nose

Teddy bear teddy bear wiggle your toes

Try using your 5 different voices: singing, speaking, whispering, calling, and your inside your head voice!

Blog Post October 2021

Our music room received the best gift from parent Sam Clark - a brand new ukulele rack!! 3rd and 4th graders will be starting on ukulele this month, and can now enjoy this addition to the CRES music room.

Sam donated his time and the materials to build this beautiful rack that students will enjoy at CRES for years to come. Thank you Sam!

4th and 3rd graders are preparing to start their ukulele units by reviewing what they know about string instruments

4th and 3rd graders are also reviewing what they know about composing and reading rhythm patterns - here are some student creations! Ask your student to clap and say the patterns.

1st and 2nd graders are learning a Japanese folk song

Kindergartner and multiage students are practicing 'following paths with their singing voices' (vocal exploration) - a key activity to build their singing voices!

Hot Air Balloon Vocal Exploration.pdf

Kindergartners are listening to our song "Mice" played on two grand pianos and moving around to "I'm a Mouse"

Blog Post September 2021: music room tour!

Click on the video to see a tour of the music room!

Some changes this year are that students will return to having music twice a week for 30 minutes and we are able to sing with 3ft distancing!

It is so nice to have students back in the music room and making music together! Check back here for updates - it's going to be a great school year!

Blog Post March 2021: school year update

March brings a new set of classes to the music room! I have now seen 13 of the 21 classrooms at CRES, so I wanted to provide a quick update on how things are going and what we are learning:

  • Since my last post, the Maine DHHS/CDC guidelines around singing have been updated: singing can take place indoors as long as students are masked and 6' apart!

  • Students in kindergarten, grade 1 and 2 are working on a project throughout their time in music focusing on Camille Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals. At the end of music, student will bring home a coloring book with a page for each song. The slideshow to listen can be found by clicking here

  • Students in grades 3 and 4 will be spending much of their music time focusing on learning the ukulele. Resources to continue their ukulele work can be found by clicking here

  • We continue our literacy work across all grade levels as well as a focus on learning about all types of musical instruments this year

  • Students are adjusting very well to the new routines and expectations for the music room during the COVID19 pandemic, we are finding new ways to learn and have fun!

Blog Post August 2020: new school year plans

With the recent vote to approve the district reopening plan, I have begun to fill in some of the pieces of what music will look like at CRES for the 2020-2021 school year. Please read some of the changes to keep our students safe below:

  • To limit the amount of people each student and teacher interact with on a daily basis, specials have switched to new schedule for this school year. Each student will go through the 5 specials in 'cycles' - segments of the year that last 7 weeks each. This means your student will see the same special everyday for 50 minutes for ~7 weeks before moving onto a new special. The schedule will be found on the "Music at CRES" page.

  • Because of Maine DOE guidelines and research that has found a higher concentration of aerosols expelled while singing, singing will only be allowed outdoors with masks and 14 feet of space between students.

  • To ensure the largest amount of distance between students and to eliminate the use of rugs (harder to sanitize) the set-up of the music room is a little different this year. Students will be seating in rows of chairs with markers for the boundaries of their personal space.

  • To limit sharing materials, students will use supplies assigned to their spot and all supplies and materials will be cleaned between classes. (Eg. an instrument box labeled 5 will only be used by the student who sits on spot 5)

  • Also to limit sharing materials, I will utilize the school provided individual student supply box and ipads.

  • Because of the changes in schedule and the necessary changes in curriculum, what and how we learn in music will look very different this year. Many of the things that form the pillars of music class need to be re-thought: singing, folk dancing, instrument usage, group work.

Please do not hesitate to reach out via email with any questions or concerns. While there is still much that is unknown, we are very lucky that students at CRES will still have regular music programming. Your students and I will work together to re-think music class and ensure that we are meeting our learning goals in new ways!

Blog Post June 2020: virtual learning overview

My intention was to post regular updates monthly, but let's just say March brought a few extra variables to the table to say the least!

From March-June 2020, CRES students experienced virtual learning. For music, this meant:

  • 3 activities post each week for each grade level

  • once weekly live music class (last 4 weeks)

  • access to Ms. Brady's virtual bookshelf

Looking at the data I have on website access and attendance for live music classes, there were many families who could not or did not take part in these opportunities. Virtual learning had a steep learning curve for everyone, myself included! I am hopeful that should we need to do school remotely sometime next year, we will learn from our experiences this spring and it will be a more engaging and successful system for all.

If you or your student has any feedback on how remote school went for music, please feel free to send me an email at

It is uncertain what the 2020-2021 school year will look like for music, but I am hopeful that music will always be a part of your student's school experience!

Blog Post February 2020: featured activities for each grade level

4th grade: concert preparations in 3 languages

This month, 4th graders have been conquering the challenge of learning a song in a new language! At our concert next month, we will be singing in Turkish, English, and using takadimi rhythm syllables (which help us read and understand rhythm). I'll let my student reveal the Turkish, but take a look at the rhythms below and let your student show off their talent!

3rd grade: three note solfege reading

3rd graders are anxiously waiting for me to reveal some new solfege notes. We have been working on reading, writing, playing, and listening for mi, so, and la - here are some skills 3rd graders have shown that tell me they are ready for 2 new notes!

mi so la WS.pdf

2nd grade and MA: using Orff instruments for the first time

2nd graders and multiagers are using Orff instruments for the first time this winter. Early on, we spend a lot of time learning the procedures of the instrument area (how to enter and exit, how to rotate instruments, rest position and ready to play position). Then we learn about all of the different instruments in the area (xylophones, metallophones, and 6 different drums). Finally, we are ready to play classroom songs as well as create our own!

1st grade: introducing and practicing ta and tadi

1st graders have been expanding on a concept first introduced this fall: in kindergarten, we practiced 'steady heart beat' vs. 'the way the words go' - now as 1st graders we know 'the way the words go' really means the rhythm pattern. Recently, we learned how to 'decode' and 'say' rhythm patterns. Here's a chart that sums up our learning. Throughout the year, we are working on playing the patterns accurately, listening and decoding patterns, and composing and improvising our own!

Kindergarten: following vocal paths and creating our own

We are learning about and practicing the 4 voices we use in music class (singing, speaking, calling, whispering), and a great way to find or practice our singing voices is vocal paths! We can follow the paths with our voices, and then create our own path with some giant pipe cleaners!