September and October

Confucius once said, “If you want to know about a culture, listen to its music.”.

We are off to a great start to our musical year! I am so happy to be back at school and reunited with our eager singers! I am quite impressed with their ability to remember the songs we have learned in the past, as well as musical terms we have studied.

Our younger students spent time learning about the instruments in the keyboard family, in particular, the piano. We listened to the piano to discover music can be high and low, fast and slow, happy and sad. We learned the terms “a cappella” and “staccato”. And also learned how using the pedals results in a change of sounds. We will continue on and learn about sharps, flats, major and minor key, and the meaning of the term “legato”.

In October, we will discuss the importance of music as it relates to the world around us. We will sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and “Centerfield”, in honor of the World Series. We will discuss the life of Jackie Robinson and his contribution to the world of baseball. We will also learn “We Are the Champions” and discuss how each of us has a seat in the stadium of life.

Older students sang many of our favorites: “Do Re Mi”, “This Land is Your Land”, “What a Wonderful World” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” All songs were sung without songsheets or charts, demonstrating these songs have become a part of our students’ “oral tradition” – songs they know and can sing by memory. Hooray! We need to pass our songs down to the next generation. Failing in that, these songs will be forgotten.

Our 4th graders began to integrate their social studies topics into music as they learned the California State Song, “I Love You, California.” We also sang “Poppies, Golden Poppies” and discussed the various emblems of California – from our state bird to our state mammal!

Most of our 5th graders have been in music with me since Kindergarten. We have danced, performed, sang, and learned so many songs. Now, it’s time to read music! This week we studied note values, measures, and rests. We are learning the music symbols necessary to play recorders. Beginning the week of October 15, students will receive their recorders. There is no charge for the first instrument, however, if your child loses that instrument, he/she will have to pay to replace it. I will be sending along more information on both recorders.

Thank you for the privilege of working with these amazing youngsters.

With a song in my heart,

Karen Ann Crane