Music Curriculum Newsletter

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January/February 2019

Kara Miscio and Carey Shinbaum '87


Enjoy reading about music classes
and see videos of classes below. 

Early Learning Center
      ELC students have been learning about dynamics (pianissimo, piano, mezzo piano, mezzo forte, forte and fortissimo).  We sang Grizzly Bear and played the game, then learned it on Orff xylophones and percussion.  Another activity the children loved featured the Ecce Gratum portion of Carl Orff’s choral masterpiece, Carmina Burana.  We used yoga poses to represent the different levels of volume found in the piece!  

       Level 1 and 2 have also been learning other fundamental symbols of music, such as the staff, line and space notes, treble clef, and musical alphabet.  We’ve had fun playing a variety of activities from Music Mind Games.  
       Finally, we have started a unit on the classic musical fairy tale, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.  This serves as an introduction to the instruments of the orchestra and how instruments are grouped into families (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, keyboards).  

Lower Primary
      In January, LP students spent a good deal of time preparing for their field trip to the Tivoli Theatre for the CSO Young People’s Concert.  In addition to familiarizing themselves with some of the classical space-themed pieces featured in the program, we also spent time in choir classes learning The Star Spangled Banner.  We discussed its meaning, as well as the importance, of singing along to our national anthem when attending events such as these.  

       Highlights included learning the various parts of the famous Strauss fanfare used to open the iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey and putting a rising movement sequence to those aural cues.
       We also explored J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, using the music room’s floor staff to represent the various solo or “concertino”parts.
       In February we tied into the school year theme by learning two new short musical blessings: “God is Great”, for mealtime, and the Irish Blessing (“May the road rise up to meet you”), the latter offering students the opportunity to practice an original chordal handbell arrangement. Other songs we’ve been working on include the Byrd’s “Armstrong Aldrin and Collins” and Tom Chapin’s “Here is a Song for You”.

Middle Primary
       In January, MP students spent a good deal of time preparing for their field trip to the Tivoli Theatre for the CSO Young People’s Concert. In addition to familiarizing themselves with some of the classical space-themed pieces featured in the program, we also spent time in choir classes learning The Star Spangled Banner.  We discussed its meaning, as well as the importance of singing along to our national anthem when attending events such as these.  
       We also resumed our study of the pentatonic scale by learning the singing game Alabama Gal and how to play it on our Orff instruments.  

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Upper Primary
       In January, UP students spent a good deal of time preparing for their field trip to the Tivoli Theatre for the CSO Young People’s Concert. In addition to familiarizing themselves with some of the classical space-themed pieces featured in the program, we also spent time in choir classes learning The Star Spangled Banner.  We discussed its meaning, as well as the importance of singing along to our national anthem when attending events such as these.  
       To kick off Black History Month, we learned to play a chord progression to accompany the spiritual Welcome Table.  

We followed that up with a study of the Duke Ellington Orchestra playing the C-Jam Blues.  We studied the 12-bar blues progression, learned about primary chords, and a little about the era of Big Band jazz.  

ST NICHOLAS SCHOOL 7525 Min Tom Drive | Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 | ph: (423).899.1999 | fax: (423).899.0109 | info@stns.org