Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Stand in the Light

Our students have started listening today to our upcoming Music Monday 2017 song.  We will be performing it as a school on Monday, May 1st at our Music Monday assembly and our Celebration of the Arts evening on Wednesday, May 17.

This powerful song has a very important message to us.  Take a listen.  Grade 4/5 students are invited to come audition for the open verse 1, verse 2, and bridge solos on Monday, April 3 at lunch.

Stand in the Light background track

Stand in the Light by Jordan Smith

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

GW Showband

Thanks Mr. Johnson and his Grade 6 George Waters Showband for coming over and sharing with us your music and amazing playing on the woodwinds and brass instruments today.  We were very impressed.  To learn more about the band program at George Waters, check out Mr. Johnson's  band website.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Songwriting Collaboration

Mrs. Lowe and Mrs. Atcheson were working on developing a wacky idea to write a song about Winnipeg with Room 9 in their study of Winnipeg.  Mrs. Lowe and her students developed lists of ideas and facts and grouped them.

 Mrs. Lowe asked if we could somehow take these ideas and make them into a song. As we were thinking about the music and ideas, Mrs. Lowe remembered a song she liked by the band, The Weakerthans, called I Hate Winnipeg.  She played it for me and right away I thought, "Let's write verses for how we LOVE Winnipeg."  Almost immediately I started to pull phrases from the student ideas and wrote several verses.  I figured out the chords and developed a rough track on Garageband.  The next week I brought the song to the kids and they got excited and we started to develop their own verse.  After several attempts to make words fit, we felt it was good and then started to rehearse it to learn all the words.  We also want to add some body percussion and rhythm to the song and we are working on that as well.  Mrs. Lowe and her class also plan to make a video.

Just the other day I pulled a few kids to record a rough copy of the song with their voices.  There were a lot of giggles as they learned about the process of recording.  We have to wear the headphones to hear the music and we can also hear our voices when we speak into the microphone.  We also had to practice not singing too loud or it can distort the sound and make it fuzzy.  Some other things we have to work on are matching our voices, hitting the right notes, and singing in the beat.   We look forward to singing our song live during music listening in May.

We hope you enjoy our song about Winnipeg!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Instrument Petting Zoo

Come on down to the music room during our Student-Led Conferences this Thursday, March 16th and check out our Instrument Petting Zoo from 4:30-7:00.

Parent-Teacher meetings are on Friday, March 17th (between 9:00-11:30) and by appointment only so please call the school to schedule a 10 minute conference if you need to see Ms. Rempel.

Muted Trumpet

As we were listening to the opening of White in the Moon the Long Road Lies by the amazing Sri Lankan/Canadian composer, Dinuk Wijeratne, we were wondering what instrument was playing during the introduction.

We discovered it was a mute or plunger or stopper that is placed in the bell of a trumpet that created that buzzy, hazy sound.

We have been learning about East Indian music and the tabla drums in White in the Moon the Long Road Lies.  Several students have a connection with these drums in their culture and we are going to attempt to learn a 14 beat rhythmic cycle called Deepchandi and see if we can incorporate some of the drumming techniques (which are VERY difficult!).

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Melody Makers

It says Kindergarten but this is our Grade 2/3 choir.  Saturday, March 4, 2017 - Winnipeg Free Press
Great job on the gold Grade 4/5 choir!

Grade 4/5 choir singing at Winnipeg Music Festival on March 8, 2017

Congrats Grade 2/3 choir on your silver!

Grade 2/3 at the Winnipeg Music Festival on Friday, March 3, 2017

Monday, 6 March 2017

Robert Munsch

The Grade 1s have been working really hard to learn instrument parts for the song "Clang Clang" from the famous Robert Munsch story, Mortimer.

Check out Robert Munsch telling the story!

Our Song

The Grade 4/5's are learning about the true stories behind our national anthem, "O Canada."  They were shocked!

This is the person who wrote the melody for O Canada.  His name is Calixa Lavallee.  He was a composer but also an adventurer.  The story goes that while at his Quebec home in St. Hyacinthe to give a concert in 1880, he was resting by the Yamaska waterfall when he heard the song in the pounding water.  The melody swept throughout Canada and was played in music halls, theatres, churches, and various festivities, capturing the heart of many.

Adolphe-Basile Routhier

The French words of the song then came from Adolphe-Basile Routhier who wrote the words for a Quebec city festival in 1880.  The French lyrics have never been altered!

Robert Stanley Weir

There have been several versions of the English words altered throughout the years, but the one that has stuck the most was by a Montreal judge, Robert Stanley Weir, who wrote a poem in 1908 to commemorate the 300th year anniversary of Quebec City.  He wrote 3 additional verses and made some changes to the poem along the way.  His version of the English lyrics were sung up until 1980.

See the song sung below with words from Weir's poem.  This recording was from 1914!

In 1980, the 100th birthday of O Canada, there was yet again disagreement about the English words and they were altered yet again to what we sing today.  The song officially became Canada's anthem in 1980 through the National Anthem Act.

To read more about the history and changes, check out this link.

Throughout Canada's history, there has been various important songs of the people of the land.  Check out this compilation of the historical anthems of Canada and other countries and colonies that are now part of Canada. 

Another interesting tidbit about our anthem is that it has a very similar resemblance to the "March of the Priests" from the opera the Magic Flute, composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Check this out!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Shining Stars

Congratulations on the fantastic singing today by the Grade 2/3 choir at the 99th annual Winnipeg Music Festival.  I was so proud of these 100 kids for the effort they put in to do their best.  We received a silver medal today.

Why singing?

Singing is...
= a part of our cultural heritage
= a way of exploring the elements of music
=  a way of exploring the forms and styles of music
= a way of expressing musical ideas
= a way of sharing music with others
= providing an opportunity to use your personal instrument (voice)
= allowing students to vocally manipulate sound
= a way of making music together
= as an ensemble, creating a musical statement that could not be created by an individual
= allowing everyone to be an artist
= enabling students to gain confidence in the sound and feeling of their singing voice
= a special experience of communication between composer and the singer
= enabling students to take part in musical activities that can be enjoyed and esteemed for their own sake

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Winnipeg Music Festival

The times and dates are confirmed for our choirs to sing at the 99th Annual Winnipeg Music Festival. 

Grade 2/3 choir singing second 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 3, 2017
SONGS: Thunder and Lightning and World Without Music
Grade 2/3 choir is leaving at 9:30 a.m. sharp.

Grade 4/5 choir singing first 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 8, 2017
SONGS: J'Entends Moulin and Music Alone Shall Live
Grade 4/5 choir is leaving at 9:20 a.m. sharp.

Reminder to families - students are to wear black bottoms and a short-sleeve t-shirt.  We have choir shirts at school.

Westminster United Church 745 Westminster Avenue

NOTE TO PARENTS: General admission has increased to $5 per session, with free admission for children 12 and under. $25 season passes (admission to all Festival sessions and concerts) and $10 programs will be available at the WMF office (Click on link for office address) in mid-February as well as at all venues during the 2017 Festival.

Sing It Together

Coming soon - May 1, 2017!

Music Monday celebrates Canada 150 with a new anthem, commissioned by the Coalition for Music Education. The new anthem 'Sing It Together' is co-written by Juno-award winning songwriters Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas.   Check it out on the Music Monday website.

Focusing on the power of voices, Sing It Together asks us to sing for joy, for truth, for healing and for freedom. The recording and video feature Inuit throat singing, M├ętis fiddling, indigenous drumming, and children’s choirs in celebration of Canadian musical heritages. Creating Sing It Together was a journey of discovery and the songwriters encourage music makers to continue this discovery where music lives in their schools and communities.

The 2017 hash tags are #MMC2C2C in English and #LEMCAC in French.