A look inside Music at FPD

A look inside Music at FPD

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What is Orff-Schulwerk?

I know many of you have heard that I teach from an "Orff-based approach."  German composer, Carl Orff developed this approach to music education.  I like to think of it as a whole mind and whole body way to learn music.  The American Orff Schuwelrk Association (AOSA) recently produced some videos that are glimpses into the Orff process.  The first video is about 2 minutes long, and is a final performance of an Orff creation.  The second video is a 7 minute look at the classroom instruction behind the performance, as well as teacher commentary.  I think these are very well done, and a great visual of what we "DO" as Orff teachers.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Any Turkey Can Tango

The bird is the word!  Turkey, that is.  We have been singing songs and doing activities in the PK-K world about Thanksgiving and turkeys!  Ask your PreK students about "Super Turkey."  Or, have your Kindergartener show their "serious face," which is required in a Tango, of course!  Here is a short video of some Kindergarteners dancing to the Tango.  

I'm so very thankful to be able to teach music to your children at this wonderful school!
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Mrs K :)

Lyrics Now Posted

Lyrics for all the songs in the Elementary Christmas Program are NOW POSTED under the tab "Special Programs and Events."  This is only for students in grades 1-5.  Have your child entertain the family at Thanksgiving this year AND practice their songs at the same time! :) 

It's Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Christmas!

If you were to step into a music class at FPD, you’d find students hard at work learning the songs, recorder parts, xylophone parts, dance movements, and speaking parts to our annual Christmas program.  I am encouraged by their enthusiasm and proud of their efforts!

The 2013 FPD Elementary Christmas program is Christmas Eve at the Cabin. The story is about a group of children who are gathered at a snowy mountain cabin for a family reunion.  We join them in their festivities on Christmas Eve, right before going to sleep.  Songs will include some Christmas favorites like "Jingle Bells" and  "Away in a Manger, " as well as some newer, soon-to-become favorites. 

The FPD Elementary Christmas Program will be at 1pm and 7pm on Thursday, December 12th in the Clarke Fine Arts Center Auditorium.  The program involves all children in grades 1st-5th.  Please invite your family, neighbors, and friends!  It will be sure to be a bright spot in your Christmas Season!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Majoring on the Minor

Cool days, dark nights, leaves in the air--what a perfect time of year to learn about minor tonality!  In 2nd grade we sang the song "Pass the Pumpkin."  This song has great minor sounds in it.  We talked about minor sound being "sad, eerie, and spooky."  Major sounds are "happy, bright, and joyful."  After learning the song, we played the instrument parts and the passing game.  Here is a picture and a video of one class performing the whole thing. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Chapel Songs

Check out the "Elementary Chapel" tab for links to the songs for our next chapel on Monday, October 21st!

Christmas Time's a' Coming!

I know, I know.  It seems WAY too early to be talking about the Christmas program!  However, we have started working on the music for the program in classes this week.  The title of this year's program is "Christmas Eve at the Cabin."  The story is about a group of children who are gathered at a snowy mountain cabin for a family reunion.  We join them in their festivities on Christmas Eve, right before going to sleep.  Songs will include some Christmas favorites like "Jingle Bells" and  "Away in a Manger, " as well as some newer, soon-to-become favorites.  

For the costume, this year all children will wear pajamas (or pajama-like outfits, such as sweatpants and a t-shirt.)  There is no need to purchase pajamas for the program--they do not have to be Christmas themed or anything special.  Christmas-themed is ok, but NOT required.  I will send out more info in the following weeks regarding the pajamas, but I just wanted to give parents a heads-up, as your kids will probably come home talking about them soon! 

The FPD Elementary Christmas Program will be at 1pm and 7pm on Thursday, December 12th in the auditorium.  This program involves all children in grades 1st-5th.  Please invite your family, neighbors, and friends!  It will be sure to be a bright spot in your Christmas Season!

Questions?  Please contact Mrs. Krejci!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Kitties, Pumpkins, and Scarecrows--Oh My!

October kicks off my favorite time of year to teach music.  The changes in the weather, the rich smells, and the excitement of fall activities all find their place in the music room.  It is also so easy to tap into our imaginations this time of year.  With the younger Vikings (3K-K), we've been singing songs, playing instruments, and using movement to explore some of these fall themes. 

This week I went to visit our wonderful Downtown FPD campus.  I get to teach music to them twice a month, and it is such a treat for me!  This week, we moved like scarecrows swaying in the wind, we picked up heavy pumpkins, and we got to scold a disobedient kitty--all through song, of course!  Here are a few pictures of music with Downtown this week.  We meet in the beautiful children's music room of First Presbyterian Church.  

We used the drums and our voices to tell our naughty  kitty to "scat" after he got in the butter!

Showing off our very heavy pumpkins that we "picked off the vine"

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chapel Begins!

Note: This information is also posted on the "Elementary Chapel" tab

We had an awesome first chapel at the Lower School last Monday.  We sang "Every Move I Make" and "Never Give Up."  Dr. Chase spoke to us about how to follow Jesus and stick close to Him.  Then, we had a special visit from AC Pup and learned that we can show kindness to animals. 

Our next chapel is MONDAY, OCTOBER 7th at 8:30am.  We have some high school friends who will be sharing the message with us that day.  Also, the 5th grade chorus members are hard at work on a brand new worship song.  Below, are the links to the 3 songs we will sing in worship at our next chapel.  (Note: the links are to Youtube videos.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Changes to the Blog

Just a quick note that I've "rearranged" the blog a bit.  On the top of the home page, the tabs are now a bit different.  

4th Graders will have particular interest in the "Recorder Resources" tab.  There they will find the links to joytunes.com, fingering charts, and music for their different bead levels.  

The "Elementary Chapel" tab will have information concerning upcoming chapel dates or assemblies.  Check here to find the video links for the upcoming week's chapel. 

The tab named "Special Programs and Events" will have information concerning performances, like the Christmas and Grandparents' Day programs, or events, like the Christmas Sing-a-Long.  

And finally, the "Etc" tab has various thing such as instructions on how to make a Yarn Ball, info about Mrs. Krejci, and my contact info.  

I'm really trying to make this blog the "hub" of FPD Elementary Music!  You are always welcome to come out and visit a class or two :)

Mrs. K

Third Grade "Listens" to the Instruments

In 3rd grade, we have been focusing on instrument technique, rhythms, and Rondo form.  We hit upon all three of these topics with our song "Listen."  Each instrument section was featured--rhythm instruments, glockenspiels, xylophones,metallophones, and voice.  Each student got to play 5 different instruments in one day--something that makes them, AND their teacher, very happy!!  It was so great for me to be able to set up enough instruments for everyone to get to play, and it is a huge blessing to have to space to do it.  This set-up and lesson is an Orff-based music teacher's dream!  Thank you for letting me get to sing, play, and create with your students!  

The Wee Vikings come to Sing and Play

The Wee Vikings, our 3Ks at FPD, are so excited to come to music.  This week, we played some xylophones and explored high sounds and low sounds.  We got to play with a song called "All the Leaves are Falling Down."  It is so fun to teach these little ones and be with them for some of their very first musical experiences!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Engine, Engine Number 9

In Kindergarten last week we learned a new song called "Engine, Engine Number 9."  We learned about moving our bodies to the steady beat while pretending to be a train.  We also added some instruments.  We used our "Big Daddy" C Contra Bass Bar and an Alto Xylophone.  All the kids got a chance to play the instruments and practice the correct techniques.  It was quite an adventure!  Here are some pictures of instrument players and singers.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Solo Singing in 2nd Grade

I tricked the kids this week.  Please don't give away my secret!  We learned a new song I call "Viking, Viking."  It's a greeting song, in which someone asks a person a question.  The person answers back in song--all on his or her own!  I know solo singing can be scary for some of us, so my trick was to use my supply of animal puppets.  Each student picked an animal and used his or her own singing voice to "be" the animal's voice.  They got to pretend and I got to assess singing abilities.  We also were able to add in some mallet parts.  It was such a sweet lesson to teach and observe.  It was fun to see the kids use their imaginations and to sing without fear.

Here are some photos  and a video from one class this week.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

4th Grade Recorders

The 4th graders received their recorders this week.  We learned to play our very first note in class together!  We learned that good recorder playing requires two things: 1)Steamy Air and 2) Holey Fingers.  Ask a 4th grader about birthday candle air versus fogging up a window air.  

There is a free website that I showed to the kids in class they can use at home to practice recorder.  It makes practice into a game!  All you need is a computer with internet connection, a microphone, and a recorder.  It's called "Recorder Master" and is available at Joytunes.com You can click the "play for free" button here and play on the website.  You can play as a guest without making an account, but your progress is not saved.  There is also an app version of the game for the iPad, however, it does cost $1.99. 

Here are some pictures of 4th graders putting their recorders together for the very first time.  It was sort of like Christmas morning in the music room :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Are You Going to Do with All that Space??

I get asked this question frequently when people walk into my room for the first time.  My response is usually we are going to move!!  A big part of the Orff-Schulwerk Method is movement.  Movement can be anything from square dances to abstract interpretations of a piece of music to using our body to "feel" musical concepts.  In all grades this week we are doing a bit of steady beat review.  Steady beat is a foundational concept for music and movement.  It's the pulse of the music; sort of like a heartbeat.  

In 4th grade, we played a name game in which students kept the steady beat with tennis balls. They had to bounce the ball to the half note beat the whole entire time we played the game. Using the ball helped us to feel the beat and respond to it with our bodies in a new way.  And, for the most part, the tennis balls didn't get loose in the room!  

Don't you just love all that concentration??

Sing to the LORD a new song!

The exuberance of Psalm 96:1 is captured by the brand new 5th Grade Chorus.  Mrs. Ashley Childers (the Middle School and High School Chorus Teacher) and I team teach this group.  One of their responsibilities is to lead chapel.  The 5th graders in chorus will be speaking, reading, praying, and leading worship in just a few short weeks.  It was so awesome to see these kids singing praises to the Lord today, I just had to video a little of it.  Here they are, singing the end of a popular FPD chapel favorite, "Never Give Up!"  I am so excited to see how the Lord uses this team this year.  Prayer for the 5th Grade Chorus is always welcome! :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thank You!!

Mrs. Brittain's 3rd grade class helped me put together a special "thank you" video postcard for all the wonderful friends of FPD that helped make our new music room possible!  Thanks to all of you who support music and the arts at our school!  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Welcome to a New Year in the Viking Music Room

It is so wonderful to come back to school and see all the children after a fantastic summer!  I also had the opportunity to complete the final level of my Orff Schulwerk training.  I am now a certified Orff Schulwerk teacher.  I'm excited to share what I learned with the kids!

Three summers, two weeks each summer, and lots of learning!

We are starting off the year with names games and steady beat activities.  However, the biggest news is the music room itself.  We have official "moved in" to our brand new space in the Fine Arts Building addition.  The room will also be used as a rehearsal room for other performing arts, as it is the same size as the stage.  At 2,200 square feet organizing the room was no small feat!  Here are some before and after pictures of our new space.  You are all invited to come sing, dance, play, and create with us in the Viking Music Room!

The before...

More chaos...
The very first class to have music in the new room!

A view of one half of the clean, organized room.  There is a large rug on order that will bring lots more fun color!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

50 States in Rhyme!

It's been a tradition at FPD for the 2nd grade classes to sing "The 50 States that Rhyme" for the End-of-the-Year Celebration.  This song names all 50 states in alphabetical order!  Since there are so many words, I'm positing the video here for any kids that would like to practice at home.  

It's a fun song, but it will twist up your tongue :) 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

QuaverMusic.com Update


I just found out from Quaver that in a few weeks they will be changing the log in process so that only ONE person can be logged on under a username.  The "fpdmusic" username will still exist, however, if two students try to log on at the same time with it, they will be kicked out of the program.  

Again, this is a purely if your child wants to type thing.  I'm not requiring anyone to make an account. However, if your child is really into the composing aspect of the Quaver Music website, I would suggest maybe having him/her sign up for a private account.  You as the parent will receive an email that requires you to approve their sign-up.  It's very, very well monitored.  

You can read more under the FAQ section found on the Quaver homepage. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

QGrooves NEW Loops

I was so excited to see a few kids had gone on to the QGrooves site and made some songs!  This morning, I purchased about a dozen new loops for everyone to use.  They are under Latin, Funk, Electro, Pop, and a few in Hip Hop.  You might have to search for the loops I bought--I didn't get everything in every category.  I tried to go for the ones that had the highest popularity ratings.  

Happy composing!  


Friday, April 12, 2013

Quaver Music Online Composition Instructions

Today in music, we started with a program called Quaver Music.  It is a combo of short dvd clips, interactive class activities, and an online component where student can create music for FREE!  Today we started studying Baroque music, and I showed each class how to go online and use one of the programs called QGrooves today. 

The website to go to is www.quavermusic.com  You will enter the “Kid’s Area” on the front door.  You need an account linked to an email to play.  If you do not want your child to have his/her own Quaver account (using your email), I’ve set up one that any FPD student can use.  This account is linked to my school email.  Note that if your child wants to save something on this account, that’s fine, but make sure his/her name is in the title so I know who it belongs to. 

Here’s the info:
Username: fpdmusic
Password: govikings

To get to the QGrooves program we used today, enter the Kid’s Area.  From the Music Shop, click on the door marked “Studio.”  Once inside, click on the icon that says “QGrooves.”  Happy composing!

It seems in some sections there are options that require a few, however, everything we did today in class was free.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  This company is very reputable in the music ed world—in fact, I met Quaver himself at a music teacher conference I was at in January!  They also just released an iPad app last week, but that does cost $1.99, I believe. Note that the website itself does require Flash, so will not work on an iPad. 

If you would like more in-depth information about Quaver Music, here is the link to the parent/teacher info page.  http://www.quavermusic.com/ParentTeacher/

You can contact me at my school email any time of day!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Grandparents' Day Celebration

The FPD Elementary students presented the musical performance “The Vikings of the Caribbean” for our Grandparents’ Day Celebration last month.  The students were elated to perform for a packed house full of their grandparents.  Our theme was Caribbean music.  We had lots of drumming, Orff ensembles, dancing, the Limbo, and even a steel drum!  The children started working on the music and instrument parts at the very end of January.  It was a fun celebration indeed!  I am so blessed to work with the wonderful students (and families!) here at FPD. 

Here are a few pictures of the children in action: 

Singing and Dancing

Playing instruments

Doing the Limbo

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sunshine Days

While we may be experiencing strange winter weather, in the FPD Music Room we are soakin' up the sun and fun of the Caribbean.  We are studying Calypso and Caribbean music for this year's Grandparents' Day programs.  The students are learning that the syncopated rhythms of this music give it a life and groove unlike anything else.  We are adding in lots of percussion to help get that island beat.  Here are a few photos of some classes learning the music. 

Come out to FPD on Friday, March 22nd for our Grandparents' Day Program called "The Vikings of the Caribbean."  It will warm your soul! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Quaver's Marvelous World of Music

Last week, I was privileged to attend the annual In-service Conference of the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA).  I love going to this event every year and learning how to be a better music educator.  I am already using ideas from the various clinicians I heard.  (If you know any 3K-K students ask them about Mrs. Krejci's "poor hand" that won't stop shaking! :) )  

I also was able to attend quite a few session son technology in the music room.  One session in particular was the presentation of a music program I've had my eye on for quite a while.  The program is called Quaver's Marvelous World of Music.  Quaver is a musician who leads kids through all kinds of musical adventures and experiences.  There is a class set of DVDs, which star Quaver.  It is like watching a musical version of Doctor Who, Monty Python, and Bill Nye the Science Guy all rolled into one.  And, they are quality productions.  These DVDs are quick 10-15 minute episodes on music theory, composers, history, instruments, and so forth.  They are meant to come along side what is already happening in my music room. 

However, what really stands out to me about Quaver Music is the interactive components.  Each lesson has a whole host of interactive white board activities, online games, supplemental information, and so forth.  This is truly a great way to bring technology into the elementary music room.  Those elements come with a subscription to Quaver Music.  HOWEVER, there is an amazingly well-done online component that is FREE for kids to use ALL THE TIME!!  Even without a subscription, I can point you to this website for your kids to use to explore music composition, history, note reading, and on and on.  Each child is required to set up a username and password for the site.  An email is required only if your child would like to be emailed an mP3 version of their musical creations.  

Click here to visit the website.  Simply click on the door labeled "Kid's Area" to get started.  Once inside Quaver's studio, there are a variety of activities that kids can choose from
The Quaver Music homepage

And, parents, if you are interested in learning more about Quaver, and viewing some clips from the DVDs, click on the "Parents and Teachers" door.  

And, no, I do not get a dime for promoting Quaver :)  I have just been very impressed with the quality of this company's productions--from an educational standpoint, as well as from a technological integration standpoint.  Again, the Kid's Area is free, educational, and FUN!  What more could a parent or teacher want??  

Mrs. Krejci

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bow Wow Wow

In first grade this month we are starting to accompany ourselves on the Orff instruments.  Students first learn a song, then learn the instrument parts that go with the song.  Each student gets a turn to play every instrument and every part.  In the song, "Bow Wow Wow," students got to play the xylophone, the glockenspiel, and the vibraslap.  Plus, we played a game on top of the music!  Here is a first grade class in action.