Friday, November 14, 2014

"Music That Helps Tell A Story"

 Second Graders added instruments to the story "The Three Billy Goats Gruff"...
a sound story by Cristi Cary Miller.
It was fun to experience how adding sound effects can enhance a well known story.

"Peter and the Wolf" uses orchestral instruments that we have learned about to portray the themes of the different characters in the story. We will be comparing different versions of this story in book/audio and video formats.

Kindergarten Kids Enjoy Instruments

The "Rock and Roll Rhythm Band" was a big hit with the 5K kids!
After learning about how to properly play the instruments, take turns, and play with differing volumes, this was tons of fun!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Spartan Singers at the Assembly 10-29-14

Continuing our tradition, the grade levels performed a song at the Spartan Star Assembly on Oct. 29, 2014.  5K's song was "Watch Out" by Mike Wilson, focusing on how Spartan Stars are SAFE.
1st grade's song also focused on being SAFE: "Stranger Danger" by David and Anne Ellsworth.
2nd Grade's song, "Positive"by Teresa Jennings,  focused on how we are KIND and RESPONSIBLE when we have positive attitudes.

Thank you to Mrs. Jennejohn for video recording us!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Photos from our 2nd grade Group iPad Project

Loving the engagement of my students!!

Working together

Taking the Post-Project Survey

Solfege in 5K

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. 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!  (Usually on TV around the holidays)

 Boomwhackers are the perfect instruments to demonstrate solfege, and a LOT of fun to play!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Family Instrument Presentations

Mr. Paley's and Ms. Schmidt's classes had guest musicians (family) who shared their instruments and how music is still part of their lives. The presentations were so wonderful that I wanted to make sure others would be able to watch as well.
A HUGE THANK YOU to all our guest musicians!!

Mr. Joe Hartson

Mr. Andrew Pigott

Mrs. Ann Dever and Mr. Joe Dever

Ms. Amy Babula

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Playing and Learning: on the Smart Board and with Instruments

First Graders are having fun learning with Groovy Jungle on the Smart Board.
This is a wonderful way to teach an overview of musical concepts, and engages the students!

We are adding instruments to songs we are learning.
The excitement is tangible as students enter the music room and spot the instruments!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2nd grade Collaborative Group Project- Updated!!!

I'm always looking for ways to improve my teaching practice, and hope that this new project idea will be both engaging and meaningful for my 2nd graders!

Par for the course with a new project involving technology, adjustments have been made!
A couple of the websites I mentioned in my video do not work with iPads, so I now have two websites that the students are exploring in their group work.
Arts Alive
Dallas Symphony Kids

However, the sites mentioned in the video are well worth exploring on computer or a device that has flash capability!
San Francisco Symphony Kids
NewYork Philharmonic Kids

Monday, September 22, 2014

Request from my Kindergarten Friends....

My Kindergarten friends have been loving our Nursery Rhyme unit with different versions of familiar rhymes.  Their absolute favorite is "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" found on K8 KidTunes
It sounds like the "store" part of this website will be closing soon, so if you are interested in purchasing and downloading songs, please act quickly!  :)
Other parts of the site look like fun, so this may be a great one to bookmark!  :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

2nd Graders Explore the Instrument Families

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.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Find Your Name, Spartan Music Stars!

Word Clouds created on
5K Spartan Stars

First and Second Grade Spartan Stars

So excited to meet the new 5K students and reconnect with my first and second grade students!
I'm looking forward to lots of fun musical experiences with you all!
This is why I teach music:

I can't wait!!!    Mrs. Kellen

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy Summer Spartan Music Stars and Families!

Hope you all are enjoying the wonderful summer!
I am having fun with friends and family, 
but am always thinking of new songs, resources and activities for our music classes!

If there happens to be a rainy day, check out the Play and Learn page on this blog.
(I added something new!)

Looking forward to September and the new school year!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sound Story Fun!

Kindergarten kids had fun with the sound story "The Three Bears Go On A Picnic".
Different instruments played Papa, Mama and Baby Bear, the words walk, walked, and walking, and ANTS!

Looking forward to having all of these students with me at MPS next year!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spartan Stars Honor Our Favorite Spartan Star!

Who do we appreciate???
Mr. Mooney!!

Our 4th quarter Spartan Star assembly was a wonderful celebration!
Kindergarten shared the song "Be Alert"

First Grade shared the song "Make a Difference"

Second Grade shared that they are moving "Onward"
They are such fine examples for our younger students, and I know they will be successful as they move "onward" through McFarland Schools!

I am so proud of ALL of my students and look forward to sharing more character building songs 
in the coming years!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It Worked!

Part 1:  Second grade students writing their tempo stories using traditional and technology tools.

Part 2: Creating the tempo map that matches their story.

Part 3: Reading the story while a classmate plays the map on a drum.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tempo Story Map for Second Graders...a "flipped lesson"

How do I make sure that all eight classes get the same instructions?
How do I appeal to learners who are more visual?
For consistency and differentiated learning, I make a video detailing the project!

How will it be received by the students?
That is the question that will be answered this week!  :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Learning from my students :)

I love when I learn from my students!!  One of my second grade classes was asking me about GoAnimate (which I have used for the "I CAN" videos recently), and I commented that I wished there were other backgrounds to choose from. One of the students said "You should try Telegami, Mrs. Kellen!  You can use your own photos for backgrounds, and make your videos using that!" (They have used this app for a project in their class.) I had the app, but hadn't played with it, so because of their suggestion, this is what I came up with today!  So much fun!!!  Tempo Telegami

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Music Literacy aka Music Note-Reading on the Treble Clef Staff

Second graders CAN be proud of all they've learned about reading notes on the treble clef staff!
The game "Silly Staff" helped them to apply their knowledge in a fun way.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Seasons of Kindergarten!

So much fun to have the Kindergarten Kids in their very first school Music Program!

5:30 Performance featuring Kindergarten Kids from the following classes:
Mrs. Cook, Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Heim and Mrs. Mosso

6:30 Performance featuring Kindergarten Kids from the following classes:
Mrs. Dettlaff, Mrs. Kuehl, Mrs. Marking and Mrs. Paugel

Video recording thanks to Mr. Tom Kellen

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sneak Peek at Kindergarten Program

Thursday, April 24 is the date!  My kindergarten friends are working hard to have their program "The Seasons of Kindergarten" ready for the performance!
The 5:30 performance includes these classes:  Mrs. Cook, Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Heim, and Mrs. Mosso.
The 6:30 performance includes these classes:  Mrs. Dettlaff, Mrs. Kuehl, Mrs. Marking and Mrs. Paugel.
Both performances will be held in the McFarland Primary School Gym (the school is located directly behind CE), and students will meet up with their class in the following locations:
ART ROOM at MPS:  Gray, Mosso, (5:15)   Dettlaff, Marking (6:15)
MUSIC ROOM at MPS:  Cook, Heim  (5:15)  Kuehl, Paugel  (6:15)
Parents, please take your child's coat into the gym with you.
Each class will be visibly featured in one of the program songs (though all students sing all songs).
Dress for the occasion is at parent's discretion, keeping in mind that the student will be sitting on the carpeted gym floor during much of the program.
I am so excited that it is almost here!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Music Apps for NoteReading

A few of my favorite music note reading apps are: Note Squish, NameTheNote, Treble Cat HD, Flashnote Derby, and Tenuto.  These apps are minimal cost, available for iOS, and fun for kids (and kids at heart) to play and learn with! Treble Cat Lite and Flashnote Derby are available for Android as well.
I've found that using a variety of ways to practice a concept works best for my students!

Monday, April 7, 2014

First Graders meet Freddie the Frog and Eli the Elephant

The Freddie the Frog books by Sharon Burch are some of my favorite tools for teaching about the treble clef staff to my first graders!  The students are exposed to a very fun way of remembering the letter names of the lines and spaces... Freddie's home is the top line F,   Eli's home is the bottom line E, etc. All on Treble Clef Island!  The stories are engaging, and hopefully, the concepts stick with the students!
Check out the website!   Freddie the Frog

Enrichment Opportunities in Treble Clef NoteReading for MPS Students

The MPS students are learning about the Treble Clef Staff and building 
Music Note Reading skills.

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.
Students may want to try this for some enrichment, as we learn about the Treble Clef.
Other interactive lessons I have created include:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spartan Star Assembly 4-2-2014

The Kindergarten Kids sang "I'll Be There" by Teresa Jennings (Plank Road Publishing)

The First Graders sang "Be A Friend" by John Riggio (Plank Road Publishing)

Second Graders sang "My Personal Code" by Teresa Jennings (Plank Road Publishing)

I am so happy to have the opportunity not only for the students to get songs "performance ready" but even more importantly to perform for their peers.  The songs are carefully chosen to reflect our Spartan Star values, and provide excellent teachable moments discussing the words and how they apply.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Rhythm Unit I CAN statements

With the conclusion of our rhythm unit, these are the "I CAN" statements for the first and second graders.
The Kindergarten kids had a brief introduction to the quarter note, quarter rest, and beamed eighth notes, and learned about clapping and "saying" the rhythms (ta, shh, ti-ti)  They also were "composers of rhythm".
While many of the same music concepts are taught each year, I use some different activities to deepen the students' knowledge, understanding and application as they progress through CE/MPS.

Here's a sneak peek at our next concept... Note Reading on the Treble Clef Staff!

I've found that Go Animate is a great tool for creating engaging content delivery!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

reVoiced entertained the Elementary Campus

reVoiced delighted our K-2 audience!
Here are the details from Anne Nichols for their upcoming performance on Saturday, March 15!

 Saturday, March 15 at 7:00 PM the McFarland Music Department
welcomes reVoiced! the latest and greatest a cappella sensation! These 5
gentlemen have been members of numerous a cappella ensembles, including
The Cat's Pajamas and Rockapella!  
For ticket purchases, go to [ ] and
look for reVoiced!  Tickets are on sale beginning February 1 through March
15 at noon.  Tickets will also be available at the door, beginning at 6:00
PM on March 15.  Price: $12.00 for adults and $8.00 for Students and
Seniors (60 and over)  A portion of the tickets sales benefit the
McFarland K-12 Music Department.  

Friday, February 28, 2014

Rhythm Trainer for 2nd graders

As an extension learning opportunity for our rhythm unit, second graders are encouraged to work on Rhythm Trainer  and email me results of at least 50 rhythms completed.  My school email is
This is fun, and FREE!  :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

So Proud of First Graders!!

Defying flooding in the stairwell from our unpredictable winter weather, the first graders rose to the occasion and gave an amazing performance!!
5:30 Performance
Brezenski, Knapp, Olson, Rotunno

6:30 Performance
Froden, Juszczyk, Mandli, Schimanski

Monday, February 10, 2014

First Grade Music Program Thursday, February 20th!!

Doors to the Primary School will open no earlier than 5:15 pm
At 5:30, classes include Mrs. Brezenski’s , Mrs. Knapp’s, Mrs.Rotunno’s, and Mrs. Olson’s.

At 6:30, classes include Mrs. Froden’s, Mrs. Juszczyk’s’s, Mrs. Mandli’s, and Mrs. Schimanski’s.
This is an informal performance, giving families a taste of what we do in music class!  Each class will be featured on stage in one song, and sing as backup, sitting on the carpeted floor of the gym for the rest of the songs. Students may dress up for the program, but will want to wear something comfortable for movement. Please take your child’s coat with you to your seat

Songs include:  "We Are Making Music" "One Zero Zero"  "Footprints in the Snow"  "If You Build It"  "Winter Fun" "Forever Friends"
If you are interested in purchasing the songs for extra practice for your child, click on this link.  K8 KidTunes

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Second Grade Program (non-professional) Videos

 5:30 Performance
Kramper, Schmidt, Huber-Drake, Bailey

6:30 Performance
Paley, Wisniewski, Garvoille/Beckwith, Adams

Huge thanks to Tom Kellen for video recording!
Simply couldn't be prouder of these 2nd graders!!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

2nd Grade Program Tuesday, February 4, 2014!

Our Music Program is fast approaching!  The date is Tuesday, February 4, 2014.  The informal performance will be held in the Gymnasium at McFarland Primary School.  Doors will open at 5:15 PM.
The 5:30 performance will include the following classes:
Mrs. Huber-Drake, Ms. Bailey, Ms. Schmidt, Mrs. Kramper
The 6:30 performance will include the following classes:
Mrs. Adams, Mr. Paley,  Mrs. Wisniewski,  Ms. Beckwith
We are looking forward to an evening of sharing songs and a sound poem with you!
Students have copies of our poem "Winter Days Are Here", and practicing at home is encouraged!  :)

If you are interested in purchasing the songs for your child on K8 KidTunes, click on this link.
The songs are Winter Again, Where's My Shadow, We've Got Heart, From the Inside Out, and Responsible.

Kathy Kellen

MPS Music Teacher   608-838-4500 ext. 4935

Monday, January 6, 2014

Catching Up... Highlights of Music Sharing Week in December 2013

Music Sharing week is always interesting! I especially enjoyed the created instruments as well as the performances on a variety of instruments including voice, piano, harmonica, ukelele, dulcimer, rain stick, drum set and guitar!