Friday, 29 November 2013

Student Led Conferences

Thank you to all the families who came out to our Open House Student Led Conferences.  It was wonderful to see so many parents and students come to the music room. It was very enjoyable to meet so many of you for the first time and have your child share some of their music learning!

SJSD Children's Choir

We are so proud that we have 5 Grade 5 Stevenson representatives singing in the SJSD Children's Choir this year.  This is an auditioned choir that sets out to give our students a dynamic learning experience in choral singing and techniques.  In addition, students build lasting relationships with peers and reap the benefits of hard work in polished, professional opportunities.  Students had the privilege of attending a 3 day choir camp in September and meet on a weekly basis for rehearsals with director, Mrs. Harochaw.  Congratulations on all your upcoming concerts!
Stevenson Children's Choir students
Congratulations to the Mrs. Harochaw and the Children's Choir on their excellent first performance on November 7th.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy

Since June 2013, Mr. Miller and I have been working on writing a theme song for the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy.  In September, we finalized writing and took the project to our students and began teaching them the song.  In October, we were ready for recording and began laying tracks for the student parts.  In November,  Mr. Miller and I recorded some other solos including J. Gagne, our SJSD Arts Coordinator and some piano riffs.  The project is in the final stages of production in the studio and a few special touches will be added.  Stay tuned for the premiere :)
Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy students recording the chant parts
SJSD Arts Coordinator recording the harmony

Students recording solos

Fall Learnings - Term 1

September, October and November 2013 were busy months in Stevenson's music room.  Students learned music routines and had a focus on becoming more comfortable using our singing voices.  In preparation of Remembrance Day, students rehearsed and discussed what an excellent singer and looks like and sounds like.  Here was our list:

Kinders showing what some excellent singers look like.  What can we do in improve ourselves?
Often during music, we'll practice good listening skills.  We like to play the 'Dream Game.'  As students are listening to a song, they imagine an image(s) about what the song is about, like a movie scene, colors or pictures.  We reflect and discuss ideas like the following questions -

1. Talk about the dynamic levels of the song. When is it the loudest? When is it the softest?
2. Is the song instrumental or have singers?  How many singers are there in the song? Is the song sung by one or more singers? Male or female? Are there back up singers?
3. Was the song smooth or choppy?
4. Do you notice any repeating parts of the song? What part repeats? What parts are different?
5. What instruments do you hear in the song?  What kind of effects are created?
6. Is the song fast or slow? Does it change speeds?
7. How does the song make you feel? Does it make you happy? sad? excited? angry? Why?
8.  What images or colors come to mind when you hear this music?  What do you think the composer is trying to say?

Kinders playing the "Dream Game"

Kinders are learning to follow directions and cues.  As we sing songs, we like to do actions.  Here is some students performing one of our favorites - Elephants Have Wrinkles.
During music listening, we heard 2 songs by the composer, Johan Sebastian Bach.  As we listened we, imagined how the songs made us feel and noticed certain characteristics.  


Group instrument practice

The Grade 2/3 classes were busy making music in Term 1.  We were practicing matching our voices to sing in tune with each other, keeping a steady beat, conducting in 4/4 time, practicing solfege hands signs, reading music and practicing rhythms, learning and practicing patterns on the glockenspiels, metallophones and xylophones.  
Drummers practicing their part in the song, "Freedom March"
"Light a Candle for Peace"
Grade 2/3 choir


Grade 1s have learned how to show excellent singing.  We practiced matching pitches and sang in a singing circle to learn our parts.

Grade 1 singers
During a Halloween activity, we practiced being good listeners.  Students listened to short clips of music that was either happy or scary sounding.  Students held up the face they felt showed the correct sound.  We almost got them all right!   
Is the song happy or scary?
Room 14s faces
Room 16s faces

Our Remembrance Day song included a snare drum.  Here we are comparing and testing the sounds between a snare and timpani.  Which one is lower?
Drum roll please!

Creative expression and movement is an important part of music.  Here we used scarves to show the different parts in the song (seaweed or fish?)


In term 1, the Grade 4/5 classes settled into the music room routines quickly.  We explored reading music and playing in an ensemble on non-pitched instruments.  We did warm-up songs and voice techniques in choir as well as learning to read 2 parts music score in "If You're Out There."  On the barred instruments, we practiced various bordun patterns on the barred instruments while singing a song.

During music star free time, we like to bust the groove on Just Dance Videos.

Dancing and singing!

Welcome chant and Grade 4/5 instrument parts

"If You're Out There" - Grade 4/5 choir
Congratulations on the 2 part singing!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Choir Performances - Let Us Remember

Congratulations to the K-1 students on your hard-work to perform your songs.  Please see links below for your songs.

What are your thoughts about our Remembrance Day performances?

Danielle - I felt proud.  I felt happy when everyone else sang.
Jayden - I felt peaceful.  I was happy that I got to sing up front with Mitchell.
Samir - I felt happy because I enjoyed singing.
Breanna - I felt nervous to perform infront of all the people.  I felt proud of my singing.
Landon - I was excited to sing.
Hannah - I started to kind of cry when I thought about some the soliders dying.  Happy tears went down my face when the Grade 4/5 choir sang because it was peaceful for me.
Jimmy - I felt shy singing infront of everyone.
Christmas - I felt happy when everyone sang because it sounded beautiful.
Sam - I felt proud singing infront of the school and having my dad come to visit.
Beau - I liked singing our song, Light a Candle for Peace.  When I sang O Canada, I felt sad because I remembered the soliders who died.
Bailey - I liked when the 4/5s sang because it sounded beautiful.  I liked when the solider shared some words.
Gavin - I liked singing our song because it sounded beautiful.
Sierra - I liked it when the Grade 4/5s and Kinders/1s sang.  It was graceful.  I liked it when Sam's dad shared about his medals.
Glendy - When the Kinders and Grade 1s sang, they were brave.
Karter - I felt happy singing "Light a Candle for Peace."
Josh - I liked how the others groups and our choir sang.
Terrance - The songs made me feel sad.
Tyson - I liked how all the other groups sounded perfect.
Marlen - I enjoyed hearing the other groups sing.
Marissa - I thought that everyone had good posture.  Everyone sang beautifully.  I was surprised when no one sang during the second 'now' part.
Rose - Everyone was showing what an excellent singers looks like and sounds like.
Remil - I felt very proud that we sang very nice.
Ally - Everyone was smiling.
Callie - I saw everyone singing correctly.