October Music Notes

September Music Notes


My name is Karen Ann Crane and I currently teach music at four schools in MHUSD.  I have been teaching forty years and hold a California State Teaching Credential.  I have been the Chairperson of Freedom Fest’s Patriotic Sing for the past thirty years.  
I am active in Freedom Fest, Girl Scouting, and the Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church. My husband is a retired rocket scientist (for real!), my daughter is a 7th grade teacher in Placerville, and my son is a design engineer living in San Jose. I LOVE being able to be with my two favorites – children and music – each day!
The students at Los Paseos receive 30 minutes of music instruction weekly.  Music will begin in September, I like to give our amazing teachers time to establish their classroom routines. During the year, students also have the opportunity to present classroom/grade level performances.  Be looking for my monthly “Music Note” which will keep you advised on our classroom activities. My music curriculum includes:

Our students, from Pre-Kindergartners to 5th graders, are taught the songs of our culture and our country.  It will be up to them to pass down such songs as “God Bless America”, “Oh, Susanna” and so many more.  One of the goals of Music Educators is to teach youngsters fifty songs we need to preserve.  Our students will help to achieve this goal!  Songs of our country, “Grand Old Flag”, “This is My Country”, and “America, the Beautiful” top the list of our favorites.  We also learn songs from other cultures, “De Colores”, “Cielito Lindo”, “Cockles and Mussels” and more.

We learn about composers, from Classical to contemporary.  We compare and contrast their musical styles and explore their circumstances and the world around them.  The fact that Chopin was writing his music as gold was being discovered in California leads to interesting discussion! Fourth graders will learn the songs of the California Gold Rush.  Of course, we will examine the influence of various cultures on music in early United States history.  We will learn how the songs of the Irish sailors and the music of the slaves enabled these people to endure difficult situations – from challenging days at sea to endless days of work.

The students learn basic music theory.  We study dynamics, musical notation, rhythms, and note values.  Our fifth graders will learn to read music and play recorders. Recorders will be handed out the middle of October after the students have learned basic note values, dynamics and music symbols. Many of our fifth graders choose to participate in band in middle school. I love going to their concerts and remembering their start when they learned to play the recorder.  

Listening to symphonies helps us identify the instruments of the orchestra and their sounds.  The students will listen to various musical genres from Classical to reggae.