Friday, November 9, 2018

JFK and Parmenter Music in October 2018!

October Celebrity Singers in Chorus!

JFK 3rd Grade

JFK 4th Grade

 JFK 5th Grade

 Parmenter 3rd Grade

Mrs. Mac's PD (professional development) in October!

Hung out with Mr. Barrett (Jefferson and DT elementary music teacher) on a Saturday at Bridgewater State University to learn ways to reach diverse learners in the music setting! Of course, what's more inclusive than a jam session?:)

On October 5th, Foxboro hosted music teachers throughout Massachusetts. Among other activities, I attended a workshop on ukulele in the morning and musicians of the month in the afternoon. Here is David Piper from Concord Public Schools presenting on ukulele!

October Musician, Culture, and Composer of the Month!

(Parmenter Birthday Bulletin Board)

1st Grade Musician: Yo-Yo Ma 
2nd Grade Culture: Africa
3rd Grade Composer: Camille Saint-Saens

Other snapshots of Music in October!
Below are pictures and videos of different activities and concepts we explored in music. I plan to feature every class that I teach at JFK and Parmenter by the end of the year. Stay tuned!
Also follow me on twitter @MrsMacMusic1

Kindergarten has been having a blast exploring their voices and instruments! Students have also been discovering that the beat is everywhere! In this activity, students used flashlights to create a light show. Students were asked to demonstrate the beat using flashlights. Even Mrs. Plouffe, Franklin's music director, had to join in the fun!
Mrs. Trottier's Class

Mrs. Trockman's Class 

Here is Mrs. Bradley's Class dancing to the beat. To see if they were really listening to the music, we moved to the song "Freeze!"

Here Mrs. Trockman's class is exploring their singing voice (and scaring our poor videographer Mrs. Trockman!) while moving to the song "Skin and Bones." 

1st Grade
Here is Mrs. Kolodny's Class demonstrating beat and a duple rhythm chant for "Pumpkin Patch." Below they are exploring different instruments while singing a triple rhythm song "Skin and Bones."

2nd Grade
Below students in Mrs. Maiato's class are playing a game called "Witch Witch." While they play I am able to see if they can independently find and sing patterns in the song. Students in 2nd and 3rd grade love this game! 

3rd Grade
As 3rd Graders learned about the Planets and composer, Gustav Holst, they also learned about becoming composers themselves! Students created their own planets and composed their own music to accompany their planets. This month we added a melody using notes and solfege that we are learning on our barred instruments. Still more to do but we look forward to performing this for you!

Here is Mrs. Henneberry's class performing "Skin and Bones." Notice students are playing the macro beat in triple meter, singing and also created their own arrangement with other percussion instruments.

Below is Mrs. Schreiber's Class playing the game "Witch Witch." This is a great way for me to assess students singing patterns alone and with others. In third grade we are reviewing the solfege syllables they learned in second grade.

4th Grade

Students have been loving their recorders! We've been so busy I forgot to take any videos! Right now we're learning our first two notes B and A and learning practice and reading skills so we'll be ready to learn songs on our own in January. Get ready! Recorders come home then! 

How fun is this?! 

5th Grade General Music
Students are still expected to be playing the recorder at home so we can maintain our skills and add the ukulele. We are preparing for quite the concert! So far on the ukulele we have been learning the strings, parts of the ukulele, down strum and the C chord. 
Here is some motivation!

5th Grade Chorus JFK
Below 5th graders are working on a round "Hey Ho" and wanted to try singing it in three parts. They also explored expression in the song "Ghost of John."

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween! My youngest had a great first Halloween. Does he remind you have a song...?:) 

Friday, September 28, 2018

September Music!

September Music!
Every month I'm going to be posting pictures of celebrity singers in chorus. I will also be posting the musician, culture and composer of the month for first through third grade. (Thank you for all of your suggestions! Please feel free to still send in recommendations for your families' cultures!) Finally, I'm trying to include pictures and videos of what goes on in the music room! September was a bit of a blur but there will be more next month. I teach 33 classes a week (25 JFK and 10 Parmenter) so while I can not capture every class, every month, (I would need a personal videographer!) I'll do my best to capture each class before the end of the year. Hopefully, by seeing another class in your child's grade you'll still be able to have a great conversation with your child about what they're learning in music! 

Thanks for reading! Mrs. Mac(Murray)

This first term students are focusing on two things. 1. Learning that the beat is a steady pulse. (We've been exploring our surroundings and finding the beat everywhere! Our hearts, tools, clocks, music, instruments, our bodies, buses, windshield wipes, swings and so on can all move with a steady pulse!) 2. We can use our voice to shout, speak, whisper, sing, chant, and audiate! (Ask them to show you all the voices we use in music!) 
Mrs. Trottier's Class JFK
Students explored a new instrument, the tambourine and found the beat in Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog".

1st Grade:
In first grade we took a few weeks to review our concepts from kindergarten. We are now focusing on two learning objectives. 1. We can echo patterns in duple meter using syllables. (We are using syllables such as Du (pronounced Doo) and Du de (pronounced Doo day). This is the second step in learning how to become fluent in rhythm. 2. We can accurately find and sing the resting tone. (The resting tone is one of the most important notes in a song sometimes referred to as "Do" pronounced "Doh" when in major tonality. Students could not get enough of our musician of the month, Ray Charles. We talked about how there must have been times when things were hard due to being blind but he never gave up! 

2nd Grade:
In second grade we spent a few weeks reviewing end of the year first grade objectives. This year we are echoing and identifying two different kinds of patterns in duple meter (Macro/micro patterns and Division/Elongation patterns). We are also learning to sing patterns in major tonality using solfege starting with the resting tone! (Think Sound of Music Do-Re-Mi:) We decided to start our cultures right here in the United States! How lucky are we that we are the home to the King of Blues, Rock, Pop and many more? Students also met a jazz favorite Louis Armstrong!

3rd Grade:
In third grade we spent a few weeks reviewing end of the year second grade objectives. This year we are focusing on composers. We are singing solfege syllables in major tonality and we have been reading and creating rhythms in duple meter. We learned about the composer Gustav Holst who used the planets as inspiration for his composition "The Planets Suite". 

Sneak peek at the one of our planet compositions. Students created this rhythm as a class, talked about revisions with friends and then voted on the final 16 beats!
We listened to Mars in class. Here students can see what it looks like in concert.

4th Grade:
Students in fourth grade spent the first month learning the names of the notes on the treble clef staff and reviewing rhythms in duple meter and their names. Ask your students to teach you the tricks for the line and space notes! Recorders are beginning in just two weeks! They will come home in January:)

5th Grade:
We have been so busy catching up on recorder from last year! We are reviewing notes from last year and adding some new practices to our bag of tricks! Students are learning how to count rhythms! Their middle school teachers will be so impressed! Remember, recorders should always be in backpacks and every student should be practicing the recorder 5x a week for 10 minutes each time. Can't wait for ukuleles will begin this month! 
Feel free to check out my previous post: Thinking of buying a ukulele?

3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Chorus
All choirs have been learning or reviewing their chorus objectives. So far we have done...
1. We can sing with the 5 points of posture.
2. We can sing with great breath support!

Reminder that concert dates are on their right side of this blog page. These kids are going to sound amazing!

September Celebrity Singers
3rd Parmenter
3rd JFK
4th JFK
5th JFK

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

JFK Concert Date Change

Sorry for any confusion!

New concert date for JFK 3rd and 4th end of the year concerts is Thursday, June 13th. Information has been updated in important dates.

Please share! Thank you! Mrs. Mac

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Mrs. Mac is back!

Welcome back everyone!
I'm so excited to be back at Parmenter and JFK Elementary Schools. While it's always hard to see a maternity leave and summer come to an end (I can't believe my baby is almost 6 months old!), I'm thankful I have a job I love coming back to. One new thing this year is my room at JFK! I'm now in room 28 in the modulars. Some former students may remember when I was in there before! While it's always hard to say goodbye to an old room, I'm thankful for the AC in my new room. Looking forward to a year of musical growth! 
~ Mrs. Mac


In an effort to enrich your child’s musical experience, I have created a board for first, second, and third graders at both schools that ties their birthdays to famous composers, musicians and cultures. My hope is that in addition to helping them grow as musicians it will also help them learn different types of music and grow in their acceptance of people’s differences.
Like last year, to try to provide more consistency and align with the classroom and music curriculum, I'm going to do a musician for 1st grade, culture for 2nd grade, and composer for 3rd grade. 

SECOND GRADE FAMILIES: In terms of cultures, I hope to present music with as much authenticity as possible, I know I will be learning much of the music alongside your children. I also recognize that within a small region there are many different musical styles. Therefore it will be impossible to represent all regions and styles. Here is where you come in! If you have any knowledge of music from another part of the world or you would like me to celebrate music from your family's country please take this short survey below to share your idea! A yellow paper will also come home that you can fill out if that is easier. If you already shared last year, please share again! Thank you in advance!

2nd Grade Culture of the Month Survey

All concert dates can be found on the right side of my blog page under important dates. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. *Feel free to share these dates and my blog to any school groups you may be a part of!

For those of you new to JFK and Parmenter or have students in 3rd grade who are hopefully coming home excited about chorus here is a quick overview! Chorus is a 45 minute block once a week in addition to general music where students come together to sing as a group. My goal is to help students grow as musicians, gain confidence, and have fun! As a special incentive, I pick celebrity singers every week. Find out more below!

Q: What's a celebrity singer?
A: A celebrity singer is a student in chorus that demonstrates great effort, leadership, and focus. They also show great singing technique such as good posture, vowel shapes, pitch, breathing, etc. Sometimes I also pick a student whom I feel has shown great improvement. With the help of the educational assistants and celebrity singers from the previous week, I try to chose one boy and one girl per week. Some weeks I can't help myself and pick more!

Q: Where did this idea come from?
A: I wanted to show students that anyone can join and love chorus and become a singer. It's not just for a certain type of person, everyone was born to sing! I began thinking about celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, Beyonce, Matt Damon, Theodore Roosevelt, etc. that were all in chorus when they were younger. Sometimes the best singers are the people you would least expect!

Q: What can I do to help?
A: Never tell your child they can't sing! Also be careful about how you joke about your own singing. We're all born with the right equipment to sing. Some of us unfortunately just never learned how to use it! Anyone can learn to sing!


Every year parents ask for recommendations for private teachers for all different instruments. The music department has a running list of well qualified teachers in the Franklin area. However, every year we see incredible talent throughout Franklin and realize there are teachers we are missing. If your child takes or has taken private lesson and you would like your child’s teacher to be recommended, please fill out the below referral or direct your child's teacher to this link. Your child's teacher can also contact me at if they would like to be added to the list.

Our current list which is still being updated can be found at the following link
Private Lesson Referral List

Sunday, March 18, 2018

February and March Music!

Introducing Drew Robert MacMurray! Born March 11, 2018 (4 weeks early!) 4 lbs 12 oz. He is little but healthy! Already so loved by his big brother and sister. Looking forward to bringing him in later in the year to meet everyone!

February Celebrity Singers in Chorus!
JFK 4th
JFK 3rd
JFK 5th

Parmenter 5th

February and March Musician, Culture, and Composer of the Month!
1st Grade Musician: Insooni/Bobby McFerrin (March)
Korean singer featured at the 2018 Winter Olympics!

The king of improvising, here he is improvising a jig with his audience!

2nd Grade Culture: India/Ireland (March)
Kids loved this song that many adults might recognize from the film "Slumdog Millionaire".

I thought kids might enjoy hearing pop singer Ed Sheeran singing a famous traditional Irish song, "The Parting Glass".

3rd Grade Composer: John Williams/Johann Sebastian Bach (March)
John Williams conducting the theme to Star Wars!

Bach was one of the world's greatest composers! Did you know he could also play a mean organ? Here is an organist, Hans-AndrĂ© Stamm, playing Bach's Toccata et Fugue.

Other snapshots of Music in February and March!

Below are pictures and videos of different activities and concepts we explored in music. I plan to feature every class that I teach at JFK and Parmenter by the end of the year.  Even if you don't see your child's class, you can still learn what they're doing in class by watching another class' video!

K Mrs. Bigos' Class - Valentine's Day rap

3rd Grade Mrs. Lussier's Class creating and reading rhythms in triple meter along to "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter.

1st Grade Mrs. Zarella's Class - "The Sled"

4th Grade - Mrs. E. Williams' Class "Who Has Seen the Wind"

4th Grade - Mrs. Merten's Class - "Who Has Seen the Wind"

2nd Grade - Mrs. Henault's Class - "Ahg-Doom Bahg-Doom" Traditional Indian Children's Song

JFK 4th Grade Chorus- "Believer" sneak peek!

JFK 5th Grade Concert: Save the Date!
Wednesday, March 21st 9 AM
*I'm so disappointed to miss this concert. The kids have worked so hard all year to show you everything they have learned in chorus and in general music with the recorder and ukulele. I know you will be so impressed. Special thank you to Allison Fuller, my good friend and colleague. She teaches K-5 general music and chorus at Parmenter with me and at Oak Street. The kids are in good hands!

Monday, February 12, 2018

JFK and Parmenter at the Providence Bruins!

Thank you to all the fifth graders at JFK and Parmenter who came to sing the National Anthem Friday night at the Providence Bruins game. It was also fun to see so many families who came to support them! Special thanks to Mrs. Schenna (Parmenter) and Mrs. Laing (JFK) who organized the event through the PCCs. It was a really special experience that I hope will last a lifetime! Here are some pictures and videos!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

January Music!

January Celebrity Singers in Chorus!
JFK 3rd Grade TBA in February
JFK 4th Grade TBA in February
Parmenter 5th Grade TBA in February
JFK 5th Grade

January Musician, Culture, and Composer of the Month!
1st Grade Musician: Alicia Keys

2nd Grade Culture: China
Students enjoyed comparing our string instruments to these Chinese string instruments. Happy Chinese New Year!

3rd Grade Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
 Students loved learning about the young prodigy, Mozart. Here was a connection we made with a current musical prodigy.

Be on the lookout for a new musician we're learning about! South Korean R&B singer, Insooni, will be hitting the stage for the Olympic opening ceremonies! Here is the theme for this 2018 Winter Olympics!

Other snapshots of Music in January!

Below are pictures and videos of different activities and concepts we explored in music. I plan to feature every class that I teach at JFK and Parmenter by the end of the year.  Even if you don't see your child's class, you can still learn what they're doing in class by watching another class' video!
3rd Grade Chorus cheering on the Pats by reinventing the warm-up "Donkeys always love their carrots":)
Mrs. Schreiber's 3rd grade class practicing improvising in triple meter through the game "My Pony Bill."
Thanks to the FEF we were able to complete our class set of ukuleles at both JFK and Parmenter and get enough tuners for half the class. Here is Mrs. Vicente's 5th grade class hard at work tuning their ukuleles!

Here are Mrs. Forde and Mrs. Trockman's class Kindergarten classes performing "Engine Engine #9" on the barred instruments. Students are not only learning proper mallet and barred instrument technique, they are also demonstrating the macro beat, chanting and beginning to learn how to improvise and create a middle or B section to a piece.

Mrs. Lyons 5th grade class demonstrating our new ukulele skills! Students are now able to play an F chord and change between chords in a song. Here we are performing the chorus to Three Little Birds. We hope to have the verse down in time for our end of the year concert!

Mrs. McCarthy's first grade class is performing the song "Peter" on barred instruments. We use this song to sing and audiate but also to find Peter's meter which is triple meter. Students are being assessed this term on moving to the macro and micro beat in duple and triple meter and identifying which meter they are hearing and feeling. 

Here is Mrs. Wilmarth's class showing a popular 2nd and 3rd grade game called meter tag. This is a great way to get kids moving and thinking in terms of duple or triple rhythms. 2nd graders also explored music from China. This was our attempt to create a Chinese Lion dance while performing and singing a traditional Chinese folk song "Yahu Hai". 

Here Mrs. Kolodny's 1st grade class learned a chant in triple meter called "Hickory Dickory Dare". Students learned how to add a short repeating rhythm called an ostinato to help create more texture. Students then added instruments and finally in the second video audiated the words while performing their rhythms. 

5th Grade Pop Songs!
Pop songs have been voted on and announced. Thanks to all for your submissions! This was the year of Imagine Dragons! 
JFK - Thunder
Parmenter - Believer
I love going on youtube and getting ideas for all different ways to perform these songs. Take a listen!

JFK 5th Grade Concert: Save the Date!
Wednesday, March 14th 9 AM