Let’s talk DYNAMICS!

Happy Vernal Equinox everybody! Did you know that today is the earliest spring in 124 years? The equinox means we have a more equal balance of daylight and darkness today (although, not always exactly 12 hours each, but a nice long day of sunshine anyway).

Now that you know all about it, why not sing about it? This song will also be part of our VPI/Kindergarten program, so you’ll also find it on the song lyrics page!

Today, let’s focus our music time on dynamics. For VPI and Kindergarten, check out this playlist of loud and soft videos. For 1st and 2nd, watch this little song to get started.

Then, of course we’ve gotta get moving to some music! When you hear loud or forte music, march around the room. When you hear piano or soft sounding music, tiptoe around the room. Here’s a favorite to practice those listening skills which the 1st graders have already used in class called Radetzky March.

Next, talk to your little ones about Haydn (pronounced like Hide-in) the composer of this next piece. As they listen, tell them to pretend to fall asleep during the quiet music, but be ready to wake up when they hear loud music. Play them the first minute of the Surprise Symphony. Then start it over and they can tiptoe during the quiet parts and do a big jump on the loud parts!

For 3rd-5th graders, start with this introduction video. They also can take a peek at this one about crescendo and decrescendo. Then grab whatever instruments you have around, whether a recorder or again just a turned over pot and a wooden spoon to play along with the loud and soft songs I linked above. Then, take turns being the musician and the conductor. The conductor will raise their arms up for loud and move them down for soft and the musician will play whatever they want with the correct dynamic volume!

Let’s READ Music!

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today, why not start off your music time with an episode of The Music Show! We watch these videos in class all the time to introduce and reinforce concepts. For VPI/Kindergarten, watch episode 1 about beat or episode 4 about high, low, and the middle. For 1st grade, watch episode 2 all about rhythm. For 2nd grade, episode 5 is all about tempo, or episode 6 about the lines and spaces. For 3rd-5th grades, definitely watch episode 6, 2 and 3 to reinforce our music reading skills.

VPI/Kindergarten students can listen to these celebrity Sesame Street songs and pat along with the steady beat. The big kids can get in on this one too-turn on the closed captions using the little cc in the bottom right corner of the video player and your readers can sing along! The songs have such great, positive messages, and I think all of us could use them right now. Suggest different body parts to show the steady beat-your legs, clap, tap your head, your tummy, your shoulders, your toes, march around the room etc. The Common and Colbie Caillet “Belly Breathing”song is really great for helping your little ones calm down when they are upset (or honestly, for yourself, I put it on when I need to take some belly breaths too!). You should also check out this playlist for some fun freeze dances and more ways to get moving.

Next, for 1st-5th, you could try out these fun  Rhythm Play alongs. Your body can be your instrument as you clap, pat, and snap along.

Time for a break from reading to get back to some movement. If your child loves to dance as much as I do, then let them break a sweat while listening to their favorite tunes! I love to put on playlists of songs from the Just Dance games and do the dances in my living room!

The 5th graders have been using this body percussion song as a warm-up for a few months, so have them teach it to you or a sibling. When you sing bim, you clap, for bum, you snap, and for biddy, you pat your legs. Try it out: Bim Bum

Another cool resource is the Berlin Phiharmoniker’s Digital Concert Hall. You can join for free using the code BERLINPHIL for access to 30 days of free concerts! The concerts marked under the education tab are great and accessible. I’ve been listening to the opera concerts as I’m typing this to you (currently a beautiful rendition of Porgy and Bess), so I thought I’d share a couple of pictures of me in my opera theater costumes back in college that the students might get a kick out of!


Project time! Learn the steps to this simple dance tutorial. Once you learn it, click on the Soundcloud link under the video to play the (free!) music and make your own video of your family doing the choreography! You can post your video on your ClassDojo portfolio so your teachers and I can see what you’re up to at home!

Let’s Get Started with At-Home Music Lessons!

242214CC-FFA0-406D-B1F5-BE8E6D9488C1Good morning from me and my cat Amos! Since schools will be closed for at least the next 2 weeks, I plan to share ideas for music lessons you can do at home here every week day! I’ll be sharing general things that everyone can do beginning tomorrow, but for today, here are some specifics for our Fisher fam. If you’re visiting from another school, definitely try out the links tab for some fun stuff, and read on as well for grade level specific assistance navigating this blog.

Students in band and strings can practice their instruments daily at home. If you don’t have your music or your instrument with you, try out the other music lessons I’ll be sharing so you’re prepared to pick it back up when you get back.

For my 5th grade students who will someday be attending All-City Chorus: Continue practicing the songs via the All-City Music tab. I’ll be updating it in the coming weeks to make practicing easier.

For my VPI and Kindergarten families: Students had begun preparing for a concert during school, and practice songs and videos will be under the song lyrics tab. The first song “Spring, Spring, Spring” already has choreography they can teach you! I’ll be sharing more choreography videos too in the coming weeks.

For my 3rd (and 4th grade friends who have recorders at home!): the Recorder tab is ready for you to clap, say, and play away! You also have access to our recorder book online. On the first page of their music notebooks there should be a sticky with the link and access code, plus my email address to send me any of the worksheets in the book you complete online!

I sent home Interactive Music Notebooks with grades K-2 and music/art composition notebooks for grades 3-5 on Friday. Mrs. Stone glued in daily sketchbook prompts for art, plus some great websites for you. For K-2, I tried to insert at least one cut and glue sheet for you. Cut on the dotted lines only. The put glue in your book only above the solid line and glue the flaps you cut out on top! Now students can lift the flap to review concepts. Students can color any and all of the pages they want in those books.

IMG_7227All students have cute pictures of our composers of the month-color them, ask your child the composers’ names, remind them when they lived, and there is a picture of the instrument they played and a song suggestion to check out on Youtube. For grades 3-5, look up the person in the picture and read about them. Under their picture your child can write where they were born and the name of the instrument they played. They can highlight the name of the composer’s musical time period and look that part up too. Here’s my favorite site for composer biographies and information about time periods plus listening samples! Also for 3rd-5th graders, there should be a blank “Listening Reflections” sheet on p. 8 of the notebooks (or wherever you find one, some of them are a little disorganized, but they’re in there somewhere!) to complete about Richard Wagner. Again, check the coloring page of Wagner for a song title to listen to and fill out their reflection, or just click here!  For a bit of extra fun, click here to watch the Looney Tunes “What’s Opera Doc?” episodewhich includes a ton of Wagner’s music!

That should be enough to get you through today, keep checking back daily for a lot more ideas!

Music In Our Schools Month


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Happy Music In Our Schools Month Everyone! We are celebrating all month long with music trivia questions daily on the announcements and all sorts of music-related things adorning the hallways. My favorite thing you will see in the halls here at Fisher is this display of out staff members musical identities. After you make a prediction about which teacher goes with each clue, you can lift the flap to find the answer!

We kicked off the celebration a little early this year…

Last week, the Richmond Symphony Strings came and performed for the school. They taught us about the different elements of music and accompanied the students in a “Let It Go” singalong!

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How are you celebrating music this March?