• Do you have a favorite folk song or singing game you remember from your youth?  Have you sung or played it with your child?  I'm very excited to invite students in all grades to share a folk song from their cultural heritage during our "Family Folk Song" project.  A folk song is a traditional song passed won through generations, rather than a composed song or pop song. I look forward to hearing your child share his/her family's favorite folk song!  

    Students in Kindergarten and First Grade are responding to the cues of a conductor while creating rainstorms with drums and percussion instruments.  Our next unit is "Mallet Madness" when we'll continue conducting while playing xylophones and glockenspiels.  We continue to develop singing voices, listening and movement skills through a variety of folk songs, rhymes, and singing games as we work to become "tuneful, beautiful, and artful" musicians.  Children have frequent opportunity to sing alone and with others, and are also beginning to improvise vocal conversations in the guise of whales, kittens, and owls.  

    In Second Grade, students are beginning to explore the world cultures through singing games and folk dances from the United States and around the world.  They're also working together to develop ensemble skills using drums and other percussion instruments through the "World Music Drumming" curriculum.  New challenges in singing include introduction of harmony through partner songs, rounds, and ostinatos, and solo singing is encouraged during call and response songs.  

    In general music classes, third and fourth graders continue to develop vocal, movement, and instrumental skills as we explore traditional American folk songs from regions across our great country, and folk dances and singing games from many cultures.  Students' Conversational Solfege skills are improving rapidly, and we'll soon be able to explore improvisation and composition.  We're developing rhythm ensemble skills through our "World Music Drumming" curriculum, as students work to sustain independent parts in smaller groups.  Many are becoming adept at creating and maintaining their parts in an ensemble.  Bravos to our young musicians!  

    Ms. McLaughlin
    Music Teacher