Friday, November 15, 2019

FHS chorus, band and orchestra concerts!

Want to hear quality music at a great price? Concert is about an hour with a $5 suggested donation.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

October Music!

October Celebrity Singers in Chorus!

JFK 3rd Grade

JFK 4th Grade

 JFK 5th Grade

 Parmenter 3rd Grade

October Musician, Culture, and Composer of the Month!

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! Ask your children where they have heard the beat in music.

Here is Mrs. Forde's Class dancing to the beat. We talked about how people must listen and move to the beat and music to be great dancers. To see if they were really listening to the music, we moved to the song "Freeze!" Check out these moves!

1st Grade

Here is Mrs. Emord's class demonstrating the song "Little Ghosty." This song reinforces the resting tone (Do in Major and La in La based minor) and students were also asked to audiate or sing certain parts of the music in their head. 

2nd Grade
Below are students from Mrs. Carnaroli's class. We explored music from Africa this month while also working on reading duple rhythms and singing solfege syllables in major and minor tonality. Students learned an African call and response rhythm on the drums from Ghana and here they were playing along to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" which was taken from a tribe in South Africa.

3rd Grade
As 3rd Graders are learning about composers, Gustav Holst and Camille Saint-Saens, they also learned about becoming composers themselves! Students created their own planets as a class and composing 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!

We were having so much fun this month I completely forgot to get any pictures or a video! So sorry! Instead here is a new video I found that I've shown to 2nd and 3rd grade that teaches the solfege syllables and hand signs. The kids loved it!

4th Grade

Students have officially started learning the recorder! I thought the kids (and parents) would get a kick out of hearing the students the first time they play the recorder. In the second video you will be amazed to see how much control they learn in just one week! As them if they know the two ways to avoid squeaks on the recorder!
Mrs. Bessette's Class  - Note B

Here is Mrs. Merten's class working in groups on the song, "All Alone." I spend a lot of time in class showing students how to practice so that they can have strategies when they learn songs at home. Check out this awesome group work!

Recorders come home in January!:)

How fun is this?! 

5th Grade
Students are still expected to be playing the recorder at home so we can maintain our skills and add the ukulele. In November, students will be taking a few weeks to learn a Japanese round on the recorder, "Hotaru Koi." We are preparing for quite the concert! So far on the ukulele we have been learning the strings and parts of the ukulele. In November we will be learning Am and C chords with the down strum.

Apple Tree Practice on the Ukulele
Mrs. Vicente's Class JFK

Here is some additional motivation!


3rd Grade Parmenter Chorus
Mi Gallo - sneak preview!
(Check out our Spanish!)

5th Grade JFK Chorus
Hava Nagila - sneak preview!
(Check out our Hebrew!)

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween! Here are the MacMurray kids celebrating!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

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! Second grade families, don't forget you can tell me about an important culture in your family here 2nd Grade Musical Culture Survey) 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!) but 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 and more importantly what that feels like. (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. Bradley's Class 
Students explored a new rhythm to the chant "Stretch and Bounce." Students are also at a young age seeing the phrasing in the music.

Mrs. Forde's Class 
Students explored different ways they could use their voices and are also exploring new and exciting instruments!

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.) Later this can translate to instruments like guitar and hearing the I chord. 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 term we are going to take our rhythm skills to the next level by adding some new rhythms and more exploration into reading and writing these rhythms. We are also learning to sing patterns in major tonality using solfege (singing syllables) 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?

We also explored the significance of folk music and folk instruments. Students loved the old folk song, "Old Dan Tucker." Below students learned a folk dance to accompany the music and played the musical washboard and the musical spoons.
2nd Grade Arnold

Mrs. Grinley's Class

Friend from Mrs. Maiato's Class who made a cool connection and brought in his book to show me the Elvis Presley Shield Bug!

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. This term 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". We plan to use our skills to create our own planet. Stay tuned!

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 within the next couple of 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, rhythms and fingerings from last year and adding some new practices to our bag of tricks! I also am taking time to review how students can practice at home and work productively in groups. Remember, recorders should always be in backpacks and every student should be practicing the recorder 5x a week for 10 minutes each time. This year to allow more time for ukuleles and students who need to do make-ups practicing will be expected every other week. We'll see how it goes! 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!

New date! 
5th graders at JFK and Parmenter will be invited to sing the National Anthem with the Providence Bruins! The date is January 17th (evening). More information to follow! 

September Celebrity Singers

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 support personal and celebrity singers from the previous week, I try to chose two students each 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!
Science and Art
JFK 4th Grade

JFK 5th Grade

Parmenter 3rd Grade

JFK 3rd Grade

Monday, September 30, 2019

Advice from 5th graders!

I love this tradition I started a few years back. I ask my fifth graders to write down advice for future music students. Here is the quote I always share...
Below are just some of their words of wisdom!:)

Advice from 5th Graders (2018-2019):

Always practice your recorder!

Practice, practice makes perfect but there is no such thing as perfect which is why you should practice no matter what anybody tells you.:)

Break down hard things into easy things.

Don’t be scared to try out for a solo because you might get it and if you don’t try out you will be mad that you didn’t.

It’s when you’re most nervous you’re most powerful.

Trying out for a solo is like picking up a new book. It may be hard or stressful but it is still worth it. Don’t be afraid of a solo. 

Always try new things.

Have fun while you’re in music! It makes it better than it already is!

Don’t worry what others think.

Do whatever music YOU want to do and believe in your dreams!:)

You might not be comfortable but Mrs. Mac helps you.

Don’t forget your music folder/recorder.

When you’re playing the recorder blow softly.

Focus and don’t goof around because you will regret it.

Use diction.

Work hard and you will always succeed. 

Keep trying even when things are hard for you.

Nothing is impossible. Try your best and you will eventually get it.

You won’t succeed unless you try.

Try your best and do not give up.

Be confident in your work. Try hard.

Just have fun and do your best. Do your job and you will succeed.

When people think it’s impossible, make it possible.

Nothing is impossible when you put your mind to it.

It’s okay for things to be hard, but Never give up! Recorder players - you can do this.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Save the dates!

All 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th families should have received a welcome back e-mail from me this week. If you did not receive an e-mail please check your junk mail. If you still can not find the e-mail please let me know at

All important music dates are posted on my blog to the right of the page under important dates. Please note, some dates may not be listed because they are selected by classroom teachers. 

Newly added - 5th graders at JFK and Parmenter are invited to sing the National Anthem for the Providence Bruins game on Friday, January 17th (evening)

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Music Wrap-up!

May Celebrity Singers in Chorus!

Congratulations to my 3rd graders at Parmenter and 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at JFK for such memorable concerts! Every student showed growth this year. What more could a teacher ask for? Bravo!

JFK 3rd Grade

JFK 4th Grade

 JFK 5th Grade

 Parmenter 3rd Grade

May and June/July/August Musician, Culture, and Composer of the Month!

Mary 1st Grade Musician: Stevie Wonder

June/July/August 1st Grade Musician: Edvard Grieg

May 2nd Grade Culture: Mexico *Disclaimer: This is not the real Ritchie Valens but I thought it gives kids a good picture of him!

July/July/August 2nd Grade Culture/Musician/Composer: Mr. Jamie Barrett of Franklin, MA!



May 3rd Grade Composers: We highlighted all the composers we would be hearing on the field trip! Andre Filho, Felix Mendelssohn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Strauss II, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Georges Bizet

Thank you again to the Parmenter and JFK PCC for an amazing experience. What a treat to be in a real concert hall hearing a professional Orchestra led by a Professional Conductor.

June/July/August Composers: The Beatles!

Other snapshots of Music in May and June!
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

3rd grader creates warm-up for us to use in chorus

K and 1 learning a melody on barred instruments "Acka Backa".

3rd graders preparing to perform their Stomp Compositions in the concert.

K and 1 student improvising in duple meter.

5th graders practicing Riptide on the ukulele.

1st grader sharing a traditional Chinese instrument for Show and Tell.

5th grader sharing his self-taught piano skills.

4th grader sharing her talents with voice and ukulele.

Have a great summer!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

March and April Music!

March and April Celebrity Singers in Chorus!

JFK 3rd Grade

JFK 4th Grade

 JFK 5th Grade

 Parmenter 3rd Grade

March Musician, Culture, and Composer of the Month!

1st Grade Musician: Bobby McFerrin

2nd Grade Culture: Ireland (and some Scottish bagpipes!)

Here are different classes practicing an Irish jig. 

2nd Carnaroli

2nd Maiato

1st Fitzgerald

What a treat! We even had a 2nd grade student at JFK perform an Irish step dance for us!

3rd Grade Composers: For woman's history month we talked about many different female composers and how they paved the way for other female musicians. 

Check out singer, songwriter and guitarist, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Many people don't know about her but she is called the "Godmother of Rock and Roll" and influenced many musicians such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and many more!

April Musician, Culture, and Composer of the Month!

1st Grade and 3rd Grade: Musician and Composer Sergei Prokofiev
Prokofiev was a new composer for both grades and I thought it was a great opportunity to tie into the 1st grade unit on sound and the 3rd grade unit on instruments of the Orchestra. Students enjoyed learning about the story and instruments in Peter and the Wolf.

2nd Grade Culture: Brazil
In music we did some drumming and some very basic samba. Here is a little more involved tutorial on how to samba. Maybe it will be the new "floss".:)

Other snapshots of Music in March and April!
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


In kindergarten we have begun exploring the rhythm and students are echoing patterns but also starting to improvise. We are doing the same with our singing voices! Here is a video students really enjoyed! My question for the students was "Can we lose the beat or rhythm?" The answer? "No but we have to be careful to never lose our confidence." 

1st Grade

Students used an African song "Funga Alafia" to practice their beat and learn to move with personal space and shared space. Mrs. Kolodny's class loved having Ms. Fitzgerald's class come join us.

2nd Grade

Here second grader's are learning to layer rhythms by learning this rhythmic round. It was also a great connection to the duple rhythms we are now reading and writing.
 Mrs. Carnaroli's Class

Mrs. Maiato's Class

Mrs. Sandford's Class

3rd Grade

Students from 3rd Grade
Students at JFK and Parmenter are preparing for their field trip on May 21st (Parmenter) and May 24th (JFK) to see the RI Philharmonic Orchestra. Students have been learning about the different instrument families. Some students at both schools brought in their string instruments to demonstrate!

Below is activity we did to start learning some of the music we will be hearing on our field trip. Here students in Mrs. Grinley's class are exploring the rhythms of the Blue Danube through movement.

Here Mr. Tighe's class is playing a game "Leprechaun." Students at all ages love this game and I love it because I can differentiate it for all different levels to teach different musical concepts. In third grade we were using it to learn different minor singing patterns.

In third grade we are preparing a new composition based on the world famous percussion group, Stomp. I love walking around and seeing students excited and working hard to create their own music!

Mrs. Schreiber's Class (Day of wax museum dress rehearsal:)

Mrs. Consilvio's Class

4th Grade - JFK
Recorder Karate is going so well! Please help encourage your children to practice 5 times a day for 10 minutes. All songs will be performed at our end of the year concert.
Solo auditions will be in two weeks! Looking forward to hearing everyone! Here is one video students can use to practice at home!

5th Grade
Students in 5th grade are busy! At JFK students are memorizing "My Country Tis of Thee" on the recorder. At both schools students are trying to master the G7 chord. We've been having some really fun play alongs on the ukulele. Here is one example...

Mrs. Kroeber's class

Try it at home!