Monday, October 9, 2017

Second Grade Folk Dancing Events



Dear Parents and Guardians:

I hope that you all are having a great week! I am writing to invite you to please take out your calendar and mark down a very special date. During the end of November/beginning of December each second grade class will be invited to Loon Lake Elementary for a second grade family folk dancing evening. At this event, families will learn folk dances alongside of their second grade student. All are welcome; however, children younger than seven years old will need to be paired with a parent or guardian. Please come ready to join in the dancing!

Please get out your calendar now and mark down these very important dates:

Wed. Nov. 29th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Mrs. Doran’s class
Mon. Dec. 4th  from 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Mrs. Ulin’s class
Tues. Dec. 5th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Mrs. Ziegler’s class
Wed. Dec. 6th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Mrs. McCullough/Locey’s class

These events will be held in the Loon Lake Elementary gym. I look forward to seeing you then! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Aaronson
NicoleAaronson@wlcsd.org
musicatloonlake.blogspot.com
twitter: @mrsaaronson

First Grade Informances


Dear Parents and Guardians:

I hope that you all are having a great week! I am writing to invite you to please take out your May calendar and mark down a very special date. During the third week of May 2018, each first grade class will be hosting an evening ‘informance’. What is an informance? It is a family music event in which families are invited to sing songs, dance, and play musical games alongside of their first grade students. This will be an opportunity for first graders to shine and truly show-off all of the musical skills that they have developed this year. As first grade is a time in which students develop basic music reading skills, you will be able to see your child read and perform simple rhythms and melodies. It has only been a month since school began, but I am already excited to show you a year’s worth of progress in May!

Please get out your calendar now and mark down these very important dates:

Mon. May 14th from 6:30-7:15 p.m. – Mrs. Hoger’s Class
Tues. May 15th from 6:30-7:15 p.m. - Mrs. Scott’s class
Wed. May 16th from 6:30-7:15 p.m. - Mrs. Bandy’s class


Each informance will take place in the LLE music room. I look forward to seeing you in May! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Aaronson
NicoleAaronson@wlcsd.org
twitter: @mrsaaronson

Monday, September 4, 2017

Welcome Back!!


Hello Everyone and Welcome to Music at Loon Lake!

My name is Nicole Aaronson and I am very excited to be teaching music at Loon Lake Elementary School again this year! I am looking forward to meeting all of our new students, greeting all of our returning students, and sharing a year filled with joyful music learning experiences. All year students will be learning musical concepts through singing, dancing, playing classroom instruments, and participating in a wide variety of musical activities and educational games. 

In an effort to make this blog more helpful, this year it will serve as a supplement to my twitter account. While my twitter account will be updated weekly, this blog will be updated periodically to deliver news which requires more than 140 characters. Items you will see on this blog will include curricular information and details about performances and events such as the fifth grade musical. You can sign-up to receive email notifications each time this blog is updated by entering your email address in the "Follow by Email" box found on the right side of the home page.

If you would like to follow the music classroom on twitter, my handle is @mrsaaronson. www.twitter.com/mrsaaronson

I would like to once again express my excitement about the 2017-2018 school year! I look forward to seeing all of you soon!







Sunday, February 26, 2017

Week Twenty Four in Review (Feb. 20 - Feb. 24)



Greetings from the music room! This was an exciting week of singing, moving, and playing instruments! Here are some of the highlights: 

Kindergarten students did not have class with Mrs. Aaronson this week due to the mid-winter break.

First grade students practiced reading quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests to the song Bow Wow Wow this week. First, students were asked to find the rests in the song aurally, then students were shown the rhythm on the board. Students also practiced reading high/low patterns from a two line staff. Students were led in a discussion about how to know which notes are high and which notes are low. Students were challenged to hear high and low patterns in their head. Once students heard the silent pattern in their heads, they were asked to sing it out loud. Students are making considerable progress in this regard! Students also reviewed the song Old Joe Clark and practiced fluid and bumpy movements. Students also practiced moving fluidly with a rhythm stick and freezing into a statue. Students enjoyed trying to mimic Mrs. Aaronson’s movements especially when she froze in silly poses. 

Second grade students learned about half rests this week. Students were led to discover that the patting/silent hand tap movement that they performed to the song Poor Old Crow last week was to prepare them for reading and performing half rests. Students learned that a half rest looks a lot like an Abraham Lincoln hat. They also discovered that hat and half are very similar words which will be helpful differentiating it from other rests. Students also practiced identifying half notes in the song Are You Sleeping. Once students could successfully find the half notes, students were asked to play a chime on all half notes. This created the aural image of bells ringing in a steeple. Students also reviewed the placement, hand sign, and sound of their new note (re). Students were challenged to aurally identify the sound of the new note by playing a game called poison pattern. As students were incredibly successful, next week they will learn the name of this new note!

Third grade students reviewed melodic notes do re mi sol la do’ by learning a new song called Donkeys Like to Munch on Carrots. The words are as follows:

Donkeys like to much on carrots
Carrots don’t like that at all
Heehaw, heehaw
Listen to the donkey’s call

The lyrics to this song reminded Mrs. Aaronson of the children’s book Creepy Carrots. Students enjoyed reading this book as a class. The book is about carrots that do not enjoy being eaten and trick a rabbit into building a fence around the carrot patch. Students also reviewed melodic note low la this week. Students practiced singing patterns containing low la and reviewed the song Captain, Don’t Side Track Your Train. Students also began learning a new song and game called Chicken on a Fencepost. This song will be used to introduce a new melodic note.

Fourth grade students were informed that they will be taking a treble clef assessment next Tuesday. Students were given a study guide and asked to study the notes of the treble clef staff as well as the recorder fingerings for those notes. We will play a review game on Monday to prepare for this assessment. Students also began readying for our instruments of the orchestra unit by taking a pre-assessment. Students were asked to identify whether the instruments that they heard belonged to the woodwind, brass, strings, or percussion family. This assessment will be used to show student growth in the area of tone color.

Fifth grade students reviewed the song Oh, What a Wondrous Thing and were reminded of the vocal techniques that they can use in this song. Students also sang this song as a round with Mrs. Aaronson. Students practiced conserving their air by performing an exercise called One Man and His Dog. Students also learned about a new vocal technique called ‘open the throat.’ Students practiced taking a silent deep breath and then expelling their air by using a siren. Students did a remarkable job at performing a very high, well supported siren!

Mrs. Ellis’s students were introduced to quarter rests this week. After considerable practice, students are beginning to master the concept of musical silence. Students practiced reading patterns of quarter notes and quarter rests. Students also explored the upper ranges of their voices by letting out the cowboy cry ‘yeehaw’ during a story called Cowboy Joe.

Mrs. Ross’s students reviewed the song Li’l Liza Jane which will be used to introduce new note high do. Students also reviewed melodic notes do re mi sol la and practiced singing and playing the last two phrases of Rocky Mountain on the xylophone. 

Mrs. Muller’s students reviewed the musical form theme and variations this week. Students used the song Li’l Liza Jane as the theme. Students then created ways to vary this theme. We explored different dynamic levels and also added different instruments to the theme. Students reviewed the song Paddy Works Upon the Railway.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Week Twenty Three in Review (Feb. 13 - Feb. 17)



Greetings from the music room! This was an exciting week of singing, moving, and playing instruments! Here are some of the highlights:

Kindergarten students explored their voices this week by imitating the sound of a slide whistle. Students did a wonderful job of using the upper range of their voices to truly imitate the sound! Students also explored their voices by playing a game called Find Your Partner. In this game, each student is given a piece of paper with an animal on it. At least one other student has the same animal. At the beginning of the game, each student makes the sound of their animal. By listening to the sounds, they must find the person/people who have the same animal and form a group of like animals. Students loved this game and asked to play it multiple times! Students also learned a new chant called Grandma’s Glasses which will be used to begin working on the difference between high and low sounds. 

First grade students were led to discover that See Saw and Rain, Rain Go Away begin with the same rhythm and melody. Students were given the opportunity to write the rhythm of See Saw on individual white boards. Students drew a single line and wrote notes above and below the line in order to show high and low sounds. Students also began learning the song Old Joe Clark. Students moved fluidly during the first half of the song and patted a slow steady beat during the second half of the song. Students also explored many different types of movements with a scarf. Students moved smoothly, roughly, and pretended to dab paint in the air. 

Second grade students discovered where the new note, re, lives on melody street this week. Students were led to discover that the melodic pattern that they had been solo singing is the pattern mi 'new note' do. That means that the new note, re, will be moving into the lot between mi and do’s houses. Students also learned the hand sign for this new note and practiced singing melodic patterns with this new hand sign. Students learned a new song, Poor Old Crow, and were asked to keep a half note pulse during this song. Students were also asked to perform a half note pulse while making every second pulse silent. This prepares students to learn about whole notes. Students reviewed the song and game to Closet Key and practiced finding the half notes in the song Are You Sleeping.

Third grade students practiced reading low la patterns on the staff this week. Students were led to discover that patterns with a strong low la presence have a “Halloween” or “spooky” quality to them. Students began learning a new song containing low la, Captain, Don’t Side Track Your Train. Students were challenged to find the pattern ‘mi-mi-re-do-la,’ in this song. After a bit of trial and error, many students were able to find the location of this pattern. Students also practiced reading rhythms to play a game to the song Black Snake. While students sang the song a black yarn snake was passed around the class. The student whose hands were closest to the snake’s head was able to choose a rhythm from the board. The class could earn up to three points by reading the rhythm. Students enjoyed trying to achieve a perfect score!

Fourth grade students prepared to test for their red belt this week. Students reviewed the form of Lightly Row and practiced reading notes and checking fingerings with partners. On Tuesday, students were give the opportunity to test for their red belt. On Thursday, students enjoyed receiving their belts, playing poison pattern (while practicing new note F#), and learning to play Fight Song on the recorder.

Fifth grade students reviewed vocal techniques ‘conserve your air’ and ‘fountain of air’ this week. Students learned a new song, Oh, What a Wondrous Thing, and discussed how they could use these two techniques to make the song sound its best. Students also watched a video of the One Voice children’s choir’s audition on America’s Got Talent. Students were asked to use what they have learned about posture, breathing, and vocal techniques to create feedback for this choir. Students did an incredible, thoughtful job answering this question! Students were also given a brief overview of the history of written music in the Western world. Students were given the opportunity to listen to and follow along with an ancient manuscript of a Gregorian Chant. 

Mrs. Ellis’s students focused on preparing to learn quarter rests this week. Students worked together to decode the rhythm to the song Big Black Cats. Students discovered that there is a rest at the end of the first phrase – no sound on the beat! Afterwards, students sang the song The Muffin Man and began practicing rests using muffins on the interactive white board. Eight muffins were arranged to represent the steady beat. Students spoke yum to the steady beat, one yum for each muffin. One by one, students began removing muffins from the white board. Students were instructed to stay silent in place of the missing muffins. This proved to be quite challenging for many of the students as this exercise requires immense focus and hearing the beat internally.

Mrs. Ross’s began preparing to learn a new note, high do, this week. Students learned the song Li’l Liza Jane and discussed the lyrics to this song. Students also reviewed melodic notes do re mi sol and la by reexamining the song Rocky Mountain. Students were led to discover that they now have all the tools to play this entire song on the xylophone. Students began transferring their knowledge of this song to the xylophone.

Mrs. Muller’s students continued to focus on form this week. Students listened to a piece called Los Mariachis. This time students were given a blank listening map. The form (rondo) was marked in but the instruments for each section were left out. Students were instructed to listen to the recording and then fill in the boxes with the most important instruments in each section. Once again, students were incredibly successful! Students then began learning about a form called theme and variations. Students were show a series of three pictures and asked to name the theme of each picture (high heels, cookies, cars). Students were then asked to discuss the variations on these themes (color, size, shape). Students then discussed how composers can use theme and variations in music. Composers can vary a theme by using different instruments, dynamics, speed, etc. Lastly, students were asked to create a picture showing themes and variations. Themes consisted of pizza, eyes, and vehicles.

Week Twenty Two in Review (Feb. 6 - Feb. 10)



Greetings from the music room! This was an exciting week of singing, moving, and playing instruments! Here are some of the highlights:

Kindergarten students rustled up some cows this week while singing the song Hunt the Cows. This song contains two different sections: fast and slow. Students explored the upper ranges of their voices by letting out the cowboy cry ‘yeehaw’ during a story called Cowboy Joe. Students also learned a new steady beat song entitled One Finger, One Thumb. This song requires students to add more movements with each repetition: finger, thumb, arm, leg, head, sit down, stand up. Students also continued to practice moving fast and slow to the song Rig-a-jig-jig.

First grade students reviewed the high and low sounds in the song See Saw. Students practiced singing ‘high’ for the high notes and ‘low’ for the low notes. Mrs. Aaronson drew a line in between the high and low notes to further clarify the separation between the notes. (This also prepares students to read music from the five line staff). Students also practiced keeping a ‘slow’ beat to Paddy Works on the Railway and transferred this beat to their feet. Students were encouraged to move slowly and heavily as if they were carrying heavy railroad equipment. At the end of each repetition of the song, students echoed rhythmic and melodic patters sung by Mrs. Aaronson. Students also enjoyed watching a video in which men worked on the railway while songs were being sung. 

Second grade students reviewed the rhythm and melody to the song Knock the Cymbals. Students also learned the dance to this song. After performing the dance, students were once again asked to solo sing a melodic pattern. After each student completed his/her turn they were allowed to play a cymbal three times. Students enjoyed having the opportunity to actually ‘knock the cymbals!’ Students also began learning a new song which contains half notes called Are You Sleeping. 

Third grade students discovered that the new low note is a skip lower than do. Students practiced identifying this note on the staff and learned to recognize this note on melody street. Students were then led to discover that the note’s name is low la. Students then practiced playing the pattern do-la,-do on the xylophone. Lastly, students learned a new song entitled Let’s Play in the Snow. Students named various articles of clothing that would need to be worn outside in the snow. These items were added to the song as students swayed their arms back and forth to the dotted half note pulse. This motion prepares students to learn about 3 beat meter. Students were then given the opportunity to create a swaying motion with a partner. Students were very creative with the ways in which they chose to sway!

Fourth grade students prepared to test for their blue belt this week. Students reviewed the form of Juba and practiced reading notes with partners. On Tuesday, students were given the opportunity to test for their blue belts. On Thursday, students began preparing for their red belt test on Lightly Row. Students reviewed the difference between high D and low D and began to analyze the form of the song and practice the notes for the A section. Students also learned the fingering for brown belt song Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, F#.

Fifth grade students focused on breathing this week and also learned two new techniques: fountain of air and conserve your air. Students watched a video that demonstrated how a ping pong ball can float on the steady stream of air coming out of a shop-vac. The class discussed how using a steady stream of air provides support for the notes that you sing especially high notes. Students learned an exercise with an octave leap to practice using a steady stream of air. Students learned one more technique, conserve your air. Mrs. Aaronson blew up a balloon and then let it fly through the classroom. The balloon did not conserve its air and it quickly deflated. Then the balloon was blown up again and the ends of the balloon were pinched together. Air leaked out slowly and the balloon ‘sang beautifully’! Much to the children’s disappointment (the sound was obnoxious at best), the balloon stayed inflated for a significantly longer time. The class discussed how conserving your air allows you to maintain a strong sound on long notes.

Mrs. Ellis’s students focused primarily on the difference between fast and slow this week. Students learned two new songs, Take My Little Car for a Ride and Hunt the Cows. In Take My Little Car for a Ride, the singer drives his/her car too fast and gets pulled over by the police! The singer then promises to drive slower. Students enjoy pretending to drive their car in a way that matches the recording. In Hunt the Cows students pretend to be a lazy cowboy who overslept and is late to find the cows. At first he/she hurries to do the work, but after being unable to find the cows decides to take a nap. Oops! Students also learned a song, Big Black Cats, which will be used to help introduce quarter rests.

Mrs. Ross’s students continued to focus on half note and melodic note la this week. Students learned a new song called Are You Sleeping. Students practiced reading the rhythm to this song. Students also learned a new song entitled Let’s Play in the Snow. Each student named an article of clothing that would need to be worn outside in the snow. These items were added to the song. Students also continued individual assessments to the song Ida Red, Ida Blue as students chose red or blue envelopes to determine whether they would perform a melodic or rhythmic patter.

Mrs. Muller’s students began focusing on form this week. Students reviewed the listening map to March Past of the Kitchen Utensils and reviewed how the song has sections that repeat. The repeating sections are marked with the same letters and pictures. Students were then introduced to a piece called Trumpet Tune Round-O. Students were given this listening map in small cut up pieces. The students were asked to listen to the recording and attempt to place the strips in the correct order. With minimal guidance, the students were extremely successful. Students learned that songs with the same pattern as this song, ABACA, are known as rondos. Additionally, students learned a new song for singing entitled Paddy Works on the Railway.