February Music Update

Dear Families,

First of all I want to thank all of you who came to see your children perform during the Winter Sing.  It really meant a lot to them, because it shows you support them.  I was very pleased with how well everybody performed, which I have told your children.  I think the Spring Sing is going to be just as great if not better than the Winter Sing, because now your children have experience performing on stage with me as their conductor.  In addition, they will continue to advance within their musical studies.

Starting on a positive note (no pun intended) February is a very special month.  February is actually one of my favorite months, because there are so many holidays during the month.  For instance, we celebrate African-American History month.  In music class we will be learning about African-American musicians and the Harlem Renaissance.  I think African-American History month should not only last a month, but should last everyday.  We should always acknowledge the contributions African-Americans gave towards music.

Next week is Lunar New Year, so in grades kindergarten to second we will be singing a greeting song about what people say in Chinese as they wish each other a Happy New Year.  Of course there is also Valentines Day, Washington’s Birthday, and Lincoln’s Birthday.  It’s incredible how the shortest month of the year has so many holidays.

In kindergarten we will finish learning about dynamics.  We have discussed when we use our daytime voices how we sing loudly and when we use our nighttime voice we sing softly.  Students had the opportunity to decide how they wanted a certain measure in a song to sound by selecting a picture of the moon to use a nighttime voice or a picture of the sun to use a daytime voice.  We will also start to focus on beat through various songs.  Students will point to an iconic representation of the songs we will sing on a steady beat.

In first grade, we will finish learning about internalizing and singing sol and mi.  In addition, we will sing  a song in parts.  This song is also within a book by Eric Carle.  In addition, we will also continue learning circle dances.  We have successfully learned the movements, lyrics, and pitches to the song Bow, Wow Wow.  It is important for students to learn dances within music class to help them feel the beat to music as they move with their body.

In second grade, we have finished learning about half notes.  This month we will start learning about the solfege syllable re.  We will learn how to internalize re to help sing with proper pitch.  In addition, we will apply our knowledge of half notes as we learn songs with re.  Students will also get the opportunity to create a visual representation of what they heard rhythmically and melodically using unifix cubes.

In third grade, we have been learning about low la.  Students have had the opportunity to choose a tempo or dynamic on the word wall for different songs we sing.  We will continue to have students choose a tempo and/or dynamic on the word wall for different songs we sing, since they enjoy this immensely, and it helps them understand how music can be interpreted in different ways.  In February, a new rhythm will be introduced, which is an eighth note barred with two sixteenth notes.  We will also learn about syncopation through a song that is played as a hand game in a groups of four.

Fourth graders will continue to improve their note and rhythm reading.  In addition, we will continue to learn our pieces for our concert in May.  We have learned a lot of the notes in first position.  Students are working on transferring reading to playing on their instruments with fluidity.

Fifth graders have come along way during this month.  We have played all the sections within a piece.  We will continue to fine tune this piece for our concert.  In addition, we will learn how to play notes that are not on the tapes.

Happy Music Learning!

All the best,

Ms. Waldman