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 macmurraym@franklin.k12.ma.us 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

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Parmenter 5th Pop Song Playlist

Ok Parmenter 5th graders! Your turn! Here are your student submitted pop songs! We will vote Tuesday or the following Monday!