Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A New Beginning

"It's a new beginning, a brand new year. It's a new beginning, be of good cheer." Those are the opening lines of a new song I will be teaching 3rd-5th graders this week. I have so many fun, new things planned for this school year. I hope the students are as excited as I am.

Last spring I submitted a grant to Target called "Sing and Play a Story." A couple of weeks ago, I received the exciting news that they are funding my project. The money will allow me to replace a few of our instruments that are in very sad shape as well as purchasing a few new ones and a lot of picture books. I hope to use a lot of picture books and poetry in our music classes this year. Stay tuned for more information about our new instruments as they arrive and we begin to use them.

Last spring I also received a DonorsChoose.org grant for a half classroom set of ukuleles. I received a confirmation email that the ukes were ordered today. About five minutes later I received an email saying the ukuleles are back ordered. Boo! I have no idea when we will get them, but I hope it is soon. As soon as they get here, fifth graders will be Strummin' Up Some Fun.

Don't forget that you can subscribe to this blog so that you get an email each time I make a new post. Just enter your email in the upper right hand corner of this page. I look forward to keeping you updated on the exciting things happening in the music room this year.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jump Bands

Some music teacher friends of mine are curious about an activity we are doing in class these last days of school. Fourth and Fifth graders are using jump bands and having a ball. I got this idea from my friend, Kristin Lukow, who teaches music in Nebraska. Her students have been using jump bands for years and are very good at it. If you search for her on YouTube, you will see videos of her students.

Jump bands are long elastic bands. Two students put the bands on their ankles and jump to a steady beat, feet together two times, then feet apart two times. Other students do a jumping pattern that coordinates with the pattern of the bands.

We recorded this video quickly today in fourth grade music. This is their very first time using jump bands, so they are still figuring out how it works. We'll do it again next year and the progress they make in that time is amazing.

Here's a picture of our principal, Mrs. Kennedy, jumping with us today.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Ukes are Coming! The Ukes are Coming!

Woo hoo! I learned late last week that our DonorsChoose.org project for ukuleles has been fully funded! We had one large donation from a local family and then the remainder of the project was funded by the Horace Mann Insurance Company. I am very grateful for the support of those two donors. I really didn't expect the project to be funded this year, but it looks like we'll get to use them yet this spring. The ukuleles were ordered on April 20! I can hardly wait until they get here. I haven't told the students yet, so we'll see if the news leaks out to them this way.

My plan is for 5th Graders to get to learn to play the ukuleles. It will be a couple of weeks before we are able to start. First of all, the ukuleles need to get here. Secondly, we are finishing a unit on band/orchestra instruments and then I have the iPad lab reserved for a GarageBand project. Then we will start with the ukuleles. We sure have a lot to fit into these last few weeks of school.

The timing of this news is perfect since I just started teaching the song Count On Me by Bruno Mars to the 5th graders. We were just discussing the ukulele because he plays it in the video.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Great News - Matching Donations

Great news! Between now and the end of April, any donations to our DonorsChoose project (even $1) up to $100 will be matched by Maclife.com. All you have to do is enter the code MACLIFE at checkout. You can see all the details of the MacLife DonorsChoose Challenge here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2nd Grade Class Compositions

Each second grade class wrote a song using the pitches Do, Re, and Mi. After writing the song, the students learned to play it on the mallet instruments. We recorded Mrs. Jessen's class today. We attempted to squeeze everyone together so they could all be seen in the video, but I still managed to block the view of a couple of students while playing the drum. I thought I was out of the shot. :( I'll add the other class recordings as we make them.

Mrs. Jessen's Class
Tarzan Swing

5th Grade Concert Selections

Here are some of the 5th grade spring concert selections.

Dance #31

Humpty Dumpty

Colonel Bogey's Grand Old Flag

't Smidje

4th Grade Concert Selections

The 4th-5th Grade Spring Concert was held on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Here are some of the selections for the 4th grade portion of the concert.

Entrance of the Dragon Riders

“Entrance Of The Dragon Riders” by Paul Jennings (ASCAP) © 2008 Plank Road Publishing, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Used by permission

Fifty Nifty United States

Polly Wolly Doodle

Rockin' Frere Jacques

3rd Grade Concert Selections

Here are some of the third grade spring concert selections:

America the Beautiful

“America The Beautiful” by Samuel A. Ward/Katherine Lee Bates/arr. by Paul Jennings (ASCAP) © 1993 Plank Road Publishing, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Used by permission
Rocky Mountain

Skip, Skip, Shoo Fly Shoo

Follow the Rainbow

“Follow The Rainbow” by Teresa Jennings (ASCAP) © 2005 Plank Road Publishing, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Used by permission
See You later

“See You Later” by Teresa Jennings & John Riggio (ASCAP) © 2003 Plank Road Publishing, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Used by permission

2nd Grade Concert Selections

Here are some of the second grade selections from the spring concert.


Playin' My Kazoo

“Playin’ My Kazoo,” by Teresa Jennings (ASCAP) © 1999 Plank Road Publishing, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Used by permission

Whacky Do, Re, Mi

“Whacky Do Re Mi” by Teresa Jennings (ASCAP) © 2000 Plank Road Publishing, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Used by permission

K/1 Concert Selections

The K-3 Spring concert was held on Thursday, March 15 and I think it went quite well. Here are some of the K/1 selections.

Mr. Sun

She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain

“She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain” arr. by Paul Jennings (ASCAP) © 1996 Plank Road Publishing, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Used by permission

Music Makes Me Sing

“Music Makes Me Sing!” by Teresa Jennings (ASCAP) © 2005 Plank Road Publishing, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Used by permission.

Movement to Aquarium (from Carnival of the Animals)

Monday, March 12, 2012

DonorsChoose Donations Matched until March 19.

From now until March 19, any donations made to our DonorsChoose project will automatically be matched. Enter the word BLOOM where it says "match or gift code." $360 to go!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Love to Read Month

February is I Love to Read Month and as part of our celebrations last month, BRE had a Read-a-Thon and Pajama Day. I love staying in my slippers all day long! We used several books in the music room in February.

K/1 students used conga drums and rhythm sticks along with the book Drummer Hoff.

All students in grades K-3 were introduced to a new friend, Pete the Cat. We read Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin. The book is fun and has a good message. There is a YouTube video of Mr. Eric reading the book to a group of children. The melody he uses for Pete's song is slightly different in the video than we used in the classroom.

Third grade students also read America the Beautiful.

Fourth grade students did a rhythm activity to go along with the book Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Date Change for K-3 Concert

We needed to change the date of the K-3 Spring Concert due to a conflict with the use of the auditorium and the high school large group music contest that YME will be hosting that week. Please note this date change on your calendar. Here is the new information.

K-3 Spring Concert
Thursday, March 15, 2012
6:30 p.m.
High School Auditorium

Thanks for your flexibility! The students are working hard to prepare their selections for you.

5th Grade Folk Dancing

We do a lot of folk dancing in our classroom. In the past few weeks, we've tried out two new (well, they are new to me) folk dances. I recorded fifth graders doing the dances. These videos were done in one "take" with no warning to the students until a minute before we shot the video. Here they are:

This is Mr. Koetter's class doing "The Boston Tea Party." We love the step that is called "dip and dive." There are too many students to fit in the video at one time, so I spent a couple of minutes showing each set.

This is Mrs. Lavin's class doing "Sashay the Donut." It is super fun!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Music K-8 Kids and the Fourth Grade Recorder Piece

Quite a few fourth graders have asked me for the accompaniment music to go along with the recorder selection we are preparing for the concert. I can't legally make copies of the accompaniment track because it is copyrighted material, but I can tell you where to get it.

**Students: You will need your parents' permission and help to set this up.**

Musick8kids.com is a site where you can legally purchase and download Entrance of the Dragon Riders (the 4th Grade recorder piece) and many of the songs we sing and play in music class. Here is a link that will give you directions for getting started.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Viva Valentine!

The second graders learned the song Viva Valentine last week. We made a video recording of each class. Happy Valentine's Day!

“Viva Valentine by Teresa Jennings (ASCAP) © 2001 Plank Road Publishing, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Used by permission

Mrs. Jessen's Class

Mrs. Ims' Class

Mrs. Sannerud's Class

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

K/1 - Melodic Notation

K/1 students have been working on melodic notation. They have learned how to put the pitches sol and mi on the staff. We practiced on the SMARTboard several times and today students had their own staff cards and notes to manipulate. Here are a couple of pictures of students working.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Spring Concert Information

Our Spring Concerts will be here before you know it. Please mark your calendars with the following dates:

K-3 Spring Concert
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
6:30 p.m.
High School Auditorium

4th-5th Grade Spring Concert
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
6:30 p.m.
High School Auditorium

The children are working hard to prepare a good show for you!

Hoping for Ukuleles

I have a new project posted at DonorsChoose.org. The project for for a half classroom set of ukuleles so that 5th graders can learn to play them after our spring concert. We likely won't be able to complete the project in time for this year's 5th graders, but I'm hoping to have it in place for next year. If you know of someone who is looking for a worthy cause, you can direct them to my Donors Choose page athttp://www.donorschoose.org/mrs.jahn .

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Heel and Toe Polka

K/1 students have just learned the Heel and Toe Polka. It's a tricky dance because it's fast and the kids have to switch partners. We recorded each class on their second class period working on it. It's not perfect, but they are doing a great job.

Mrs. Jans' Class

Mrs. Kvam's Class

Mrs. Leiseth's Class

Mrs. Jensen's Class

Mrs. Blackwelder's Class