Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Yee-haw! We are gittin' all geared-up for our annual Hoedown/Square Dance. As I have said before, this is one of my favorite performances of the year. For the last 3 weeks, we have been learning our country and western dances in music class. It's just GREAT FUN (and pretty good exercise).

Our hoedown will be held next Tuesday, September 27, at 6:00 pm. We will be meeting in the gym to watch the classes dance. The 3k classes will dance first and we'll go right up the classes. The 5th and 6th graders will end the evening with the Cotton-eyed Joe. Your child has been "partnered up"  for the dance, so please do your best to have him/her here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Composer of the Month - August

We are learning about one composer each month in music class. Our composer for the month of August was Ludwig van Beethoven. The children learned about his early music education (which he began at age 5), his friendship with Haydn, his admiration of Mozart, the loss of his hearing in his adult years, and that he continued to compose music after completely losing his hearing.
We all found it pretty amazing that he could continue to compose and perform music after becoming deaf. He never heard some of his own greatest compositions.

We have been singing "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee",  a hymn set to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from his 9th symphony.   I also let most classes play "Ode to Joy" on the handbells. The older students read the melody line. They really enjoy playing the bells, and they get excited when they can recognize the tune. After reading/playing the tune in music one day, a 5th grade student exclaimed "We're not so bad that I can't tell what we're playing!"

The younger students played "by tap."  In this method, I give the students the handbells, and as I tap each one on the head, he rings his handbell. They sound great as long as I know my part and play it well. Look below, and you will see photos of some of the 4k students playing (and being played) "Ode to Joy".