Friday, November 22, 2013

First Graders Show Understanding of Musical Opposites

The first graders have been learning about musical opposites, and their Italian terms (when applicable).
They have enjoyed songs that focus on opposites, and are growing in their knowledge using the Groovy Jungle software in class as well.
I assessed them by observing how they showed their understanding of the concepts with their bodies and voices in these songs:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Solfege for Kindergarten Kids

The Kindergarten Kids have been learning about solfege singing with the hand signs on the wall, viewing clips of "The Sound of Music", and "Whacky Do Re Mi" video from Plank Road Publishing. (To view select the Music Concepts videos, play all, and advance to the Whacky Do Re Mi video)
All the kids really loved "The Sound of Music" selections I showed them, and this would be a great movie to watch as a family!

This week we've added boomwhackers (pitched tubes) to the solfege experience!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2nd grade enjoys Peter and the Wolf

The second graders have begun a unit on Program Music.  No, this is not music for our upcoming program on February 4, 2014... but music that tells or helps to tell a story!  :)
Enriching their experience of orchestral instruments, Peter and the Wolf helps the students to recognize the instrument themes and relate them to the characters of the story.
Stay tuned for more on this unit!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Spartan Music Stars Sing for PBIS Assembly

We hold a Spartan Star Assembly once each quarter, and a definite highlight for me is having each grade level perform a PBIS related song for their peers. I use the songs as teaching tools that support PBIS efforts, and the students take great pride in their performances.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October in the MPS Music Classroom

First Graders add instrument sound effects to two of our October songs!
"Something Went Bump" and "Did You Hear That Sound?" both by Teresa Jennings.
Everyone had the chance to play!

Second Graders had fun with the sound story by Cristi Cary Miller "A Night To Remember"!
While I read the story to them, specific words were played on different instruments by the students.
It was a fun story, made even better in their opinion, with the instrument sounds!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


THANK YOU to the second grade parents who visited music class and shared their musical instruments with us!
 John and Sofia Hamner shared a fun piano duet!

 Laura Sercombe shared her Alto Saxophone.

 Amy McCullough shared her Violin.

 Jamie Sercombe shared his Trumpet.

Kelly Wroblewski shared her French Horn.

I was extremely pleased with the parent presentations, and thrilled for the students to experience that music is for LIFE!  :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Second Graders having fun with "Zombie Style" by Teresa Jennings

This song by Teresa Jennings (Plank Road Publishing) is a HUGE hit with the 2nd Graders!
Interesting how many of them know the moves....  :)

Most of the songs I use in class come from K8 Music-Plank Road Publishing.  
They have a KidTunes (like iTunes)
You can purchase and download the songs of your choice for $0.99 each at

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Kindergarten Music Kids love the Smart Board!

My kindergarten friends are totally engaged in learning on the Smart Board! We are using Sibelius' Groovy Music Shapes software. I especially like that this is a great overview of musical concepts, as well as an opportunity for composition. The Smart Board and software give the students opportunities to learn using three senses: sight, hearing, and touch.  In the past few years I've found this to be a very valuable teaching tool!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

First Graders Love Melody Street

Melody Street is a big hit with the first grade music students!
There are a variety of activities on the website for students to engage in.
Have fun learning about music and instrument families!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Second Graders Explore the "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" website

Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra Instrument Safari

In second grade music classes we are learning about the instrument families of the orchestra. This website presents the concept in an engaging and fun way.  Students are welcome to explore this at home, as well, and can register for a free account.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Music Room Rules and Procedures Videos for Primary and Kindergarten

Dear Parents:
During your child's first music class they will be shown the following grade appropriate video, detailing my expectations for behavior in music class. I've found this to be very effective, as all classes receive the same information. After viewing, we engage in a class discussion to make sure every student is aware of the expectations from the start of the year.  :)

McFarland Primary School Music Procedures video

CEELC Music Procedures Video

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Spartan Music Stars...Can you find your name?

 1st and 2nd graders  2013-14

Kindergarten  2013-14

So excited to see the faces that go with these names!!  :)

(Name clouds created on

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Excited for the new school year!

The new school year is just around the corner and I couldn't be more excited! It's been a great summer, but I've missed interacting with my K-2 friends!
I'm looking forward to seeing my MPS 1st and 2nd grade students, reconnecting, and taking their music education experiences to a new level!

At CEELC, everything will be a new experience.  New room, new kindergarten friends, new songs and music activities to engage in!

I can't wait!  :)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy Summer!

Hello Spartan Music Stars and families!
I hope that you are having a wonderful summer!

I am enjoying time with my family and having fun exploring new websites to add to the Play and Learn page of this blog!  Be sure to check them out!  :)

iPad apps I've found to be fun: (some are free, and some have a small charge)
Music Lab
Music Intervals
Flashnote Derby
Treble Cat HD
Rhythm Cat
Note Squish
Freddie the Frog
Melody Street
MyMusicalFriends HD
Mozart Interactive

For Parents:
Most of the songs I use in class come from K8 Music-Plank Road Publishing.  
They have a KidTunes (like iTunes)
You can purchase and download the songs of your choice for $0.99 each at

This past spring, I used the software program "Music Ace" with the first and second graders.
It was very popular, and many students asked how they could play this at home.
Unfortunately it is not a website you can access, but it IS a software program you could purchase.
The best price I've found is at

I'm very excited to return to CEELC/MPS for the 2013-2014 school year!
Summer is great, but I love teaching kids music!  :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Music Reward Day Exceeded Expectations!

I looked at it as an experiment...see how it goes...this "reward day" for the classes who won the Note Trainer Class competition.
I prepared the music room for multiple "station" activities that the kids had really liked.  "King/Queen of the Mountain" Rhythm game, "Silly Staff" Note-Reading game, music apps on the iPad, coloring sheets, and on the laptop.

When the students came in I explained each station, and the number of participants I expected at each. I let them know that voice level needed to be no higher than a 3.  And it began...

What I observed were students engaged in the activities, leading the games, helping each other, empowered, and having fun!  Safe, Kind, and Responsible!  Truly Spartan Music Stars!!
They exceeded my expectations in EVERY way!  :)  So very proud!!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

4th Quarter Spartan Star Assembly Performances

Each grade level performed a song by Teresa Jennings portraying Spartan Star characteristics.  Kindergarten shared "Be Alert".   First Grade shared "Make A Difference". Second Grade shared "Onward!".  All our music comes from K8 Music at Plank Road Publishing Co.
It's been really fun to see the growth of these grade level performances!  I will truly miss the Second Graders as they move "onward" to WIS!

"Be Alert!"

"Make a Difference"


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Celebrating the Kindergarten Program "Seasons of Kindergarten"

5:30 Kindergarten Program 

6:30 Kindergarten Program

It was a wonderful celebration of the seasons of this past year for our Kindergarten kids!
The music we shared was composed by Mark Burrows, Teresa Jennings, David and Anne Ellsworth, and Karl Heitzemann.
Special thanks to Steve Pennekamp for his videography talents!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Links for Treble Clef Note Reading practice

Note Trainer is an excellent practice tool for treble clef note reading!
The second grade classes are engaged in a class competition using Note Trainer.

This is an interactive lesson called "Silly Staff" which I created in my masters program a few years ago.
Second graders are working through it in class, but some may want to try it at home.
Other interactive lessons I have created include:

Monday, April 15, 2013

iOS Apps for General Music

On my personal iPad, I have a variety of General Music Education apps that I have researched.
I know that many of my students have access to iOS devices, so wanted to put some suggestions here.

Note Squish is particularly fun!

Treble Cat is another of my favorites!

Mrs. Kellen's list:
Note Squish
Treble Cat HD 1
Flash Note Derby
Rhythm Cat
Music Theory for Beginners
Melody Street
Finger Stomp
Rhythm Repeat
Isle of Tune

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Freddie the Frog helps teach about the Treble Clef Staff

The Freddie the Frog books by Sharon Burch are wonderful teaching tools!
The stories are especially engaging for the Primary level!
I also recommend the website for games and coloring sheet activities.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

2nd graders compose rhyming lyrics

The 2nd graders enjoyed singing "Green, Green, Green"by Teresa Jennings in March.  Several classes had the opportunity to compose their own lyrics as a class for different colors. They had to use critical thinking skills to find appropriate phrases that rhymed to fit with the music model.  We hope you enjoy "Red, Red, Red", "Blue, Blue, Blue", "Pink, Pink, Pink", and "Black, Black, Black"!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Celebrating the First Grade Program!!

Thanks to Steve Pennekamp and the McFarland School District AV Department, here are the videos of the 5:30 and 6:30 performances of "We're Making Music". All songs are from K8 Music, Plank Road Publishing.
Enjoy viewing the first grade programs!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Kindergarten: Lots of Movement in March!

Mrs. Heim's class demonstrates
"Stand Up" by Teresa Jennings

If you would happen to pass by a kindergarten music class any afternoon,
you would see activities like this one!
We are marching to a song called "March" and leaping like leprechauns.
I feel the movement and singing helps students to be ready to focus on our Smart Board lessons. :)

Rhythm is Math!

The song "Rhythm is Math" by Teresa Jennings
has been the second grade 'theme song'
while we have been concentrating on rhythm.
We will be wrapping up this unit before Spring Break with the creation of five 4-beat rhythm flash cards, and some more rhythm games.
Don't forget....Rhythm Trainer
Small prizes will be awarded for winners of the drawing by March 22!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Check out the NEW Play and Learn Tab!

Check out the new page on our blog!
Play and Learn has been added to simplify the process of finding websites to explore at home.  :)