A look inside Music at FPD

A look inside Music at FPD

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Costume Info!


The Elementary Christmas program, “Christmas in Central Park” is only a few weeks away! Performances are Thursday, December 10th at 1 and 7pm. All students in 1st – 5th grade will be involved. Also, check out the FPD Music Room blog at www.fpdmusic.com where all song lyrics are under the “Special Programs and Events” tab.

Costume Information
All students 1st-5th grade: Students should wear blue jeans or black pants, a long-sleeve top in red, green, or white (small print is fine, but no logos, please), and a winter scarf (any color is fine.) They are going to be dressed as neighborhood kids at an outdoor Christmas party. Please wear this to school on Thursday, December 10th.

§      Shoes: Everyday school shoes (tennis shoes) are fine.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Christmas Program Preview

In 3 short weeks, the FPD Elementary students will present their annual Christmas program! This year's theme is "Christmas in Central Park."  The students are children at a neighborhood Christmas party where the snow is falling and the music is rocking!  We will present two shows on Thursday, December 10th at 1pm and 7pm.  

Below are two video previews of some of the songs the students are working on.  The 3rd graders added the Stick Stations to a traditional carol from Sussex, England.  The 4th graders have been working hard to learn "Coventry Carol" on their recorders. Enjoy these "sneak peeks," and be sure to join us on December 10th! 

Backdrop WI024 Central Park Winter 1
Preview of our "Christmas in Central Park" backdrop!

3rd Grade performing Sussex Carol

4th Grade recorders on "Coventry Carol"

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Five Smart Turkeys

In Kindergarten and PreK this week we are starting to celebrate Thanksgiving through some fun turkey songs.  We learned a song called "Five Smart Turkeys" about five turkeys who evade the cook by hiding in a tree.  We used our imaginations to act out the story of the song.  Then, we added in the instruments!  The five "turkeys" got to play on the soprano xylophones.  This was our first exposure to playing on the barred instruments!  We used the note F on the xylophones.  The students played an F on each of the rhyming words in the song--we, tree, and see.  We talked about mallet rest position (on our shoulders) and bouncing the mallet on the "belly button" of the bar for the best sound.  

Below are some pictures and videos of a Kindergarten class in action!

The practice session before the song!

Final performance

Friday, October 30, 2015

Musical, Minor, Percussive Pumpkins

Since we're in the final days of October, we used a fun pumpkin song to round out this week. We learned the song "Pumpkin Stew," which is another song in a minor key.  (Remember from a previous post, minor music has that "spooky" or "sad" sound to it--perfect for windy, dark nights).  

I tried something different this week and used the same exact song in grades PK-4th, however, we added in more complex musical ideas and components as the grades went higher.  In general, the classes learned the song "Pumpkin Stew" by listening to me perform and sing it on the Bass Xylophone.  Then, after they could sing it without me, we added in percussion instruments and formed the Pumpkin Stew Band.  

We talked about how to play the various instruments in the percussion family and how musicians work like a team.  In 4th grade, we added our recorders to the song, along with a new recorder note.  (Unfortunately, I didn't get a video of 4th grade playing!) We also used our imaginations as we became "Musician Chefs" and added ingredients to the stew pot in the lower grades.  We even used wind chimes as a sound effect for the kitchen timer!  

Below, are videos and pictures from various grade levels performing their version of the song "Pumpkin Stew."  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Stew Instrument Set-Up

Pre K



1st Grade 

2nd Grade 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Major vs. Minor Sounds

October is a great month to talk about minor music, with the dark evenings, cooler temperatures, and the falling leaves twirling about.   Major keys, just like the Major Leagues in baseball, are much more important in the musical world, but minor keys have their place! Songs in minor keys have a sound of sad, unsettled, or even a little spooky. A great example of a minor piece is Johann Sebastian Bach's "Toccata in D Minor" for organ. I've put in a video of the Toccata being played on organ.  You are probably familiar with the piece, even if you don't know the name! 

Second grade this week learned a minor song called "Pass the Pumpkin."  Since it's a minor song, the "spooky" sound is from the musical tonalities.  We played a passing game and added lots of instruments.  Below are a video and some pictures of a 2nd grad class playing and singing! It was a lot of fun to talk about how music can convey different emotions or feelings just with sound! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Apple Tree, Apple Tree

Fall is in the air, and that means songs about apples, pumpkins, and leaves.  It also means a new pitch on Music Street for 2nd graders!  We've been learning about "Do" in 2nd grade the last few weeks.  Do lives at the bottom of the Music Street.  You might think of it as the first note of a musical scale, or "Do, a deer, a female deer" if you are a Sound of Music  fan. We often find Do at the beginning and end of a song.  In "Apple Tree," we go the entire song on Sol, Mi, and La, and Do sneaks in at the very end.  The students decoded the solfege and rhythms in this song, then we added back in the words.  After we had learned the song, we added a bass xylophone ostinato (a repeated pattern) and the game.  See if you can figure out how the game is played from the videos of 2nd graders below! There are also some photos of the game, song, and instruments in action.  

Hot Cross Buns

We have added a new pitch to Music Street in 3rd grade--Re.  We decoded the pitches and rhythms of the folk song "Hot Cross Buns."  The only three pitches used in "Hot Cross Buns" are Mi, Re, and Do.  First, we practiced singing our new pitch with our solfege hand signs.  Then, we decoded the pitches of the song, "Hot Cross Buns."  Next, we figured out the rhythm patterns of the song.  After that, we added back in the words to the song and headed to the instruments.  We set up our instruments in G Pentatonic (means "five tones") and I set the students free to figure out how to play the song on their instruments.  And, they did it!  Using their aural skills, each student tested out their instrument.  We collaborated as a group to fine tune the patterns.  Finally, we added in the solfege and the words.  In the video below, you'll see our final result!  And remember, all this took place in our 40 minutes class period--these 3rd graders are amazing! :) 


The song name "Hot Cross Buns" usually elicits some giggles from students.  Our American brains don't immediately make the connection to the tasty baked good this song is about.  This is a folk song from England about a bun eaten on Good Friday. It is a spiced sweet bun filled with currants or raisins, and there is an icing cross place on top.    In previous years, I've spotted hot cross buns for sale at Panera Bread around Easter time! 

Hot Cross Buns ready to eat!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Doggies, Bears, and Beat Buddies--Oh My!

We use our imaginations in the music room all the time!  This week, 1st grade and PreK/Kindergarten have been pretending to be animals in two fun music games.  We use games in the music room to practice the musical concepts we've been learning about.  Play is such an integral part of childhood that it helps children grasp and remember ideas.  

1st Grade

We are learning about high and low sounds in 1st grade.  Last week, we met two friends on Music Street named Sol and Mi.  This week, a new friend, La, moved in.  La lives higher up the street, so he has a higher sound.  

The song "Doggie, Doggie, Where's Your Bone?"  has our new friend La in it.  We learned the song, found where Sol, La, and Mi are in the song, and then we played the game.  This song also has a chance for everyone to sing a solo!  When the children solo sing, I'm able to assess their ability to match pitch.  Watch the video below and see if you can figure out how the game works: 


With the youngest Vikings, we just finished up talking about four different ways to use our voices.  Ask your child if he or she remembers all four!  (They are whisper, talk, shout, and sing.) This led us into our exploration of musical opposites.  This week, we explored the opposites of loud and soft.  We learned a song called "Grizzly Bear."  The grizzly bear starts out asleep (soft voice) and then wakes up at the end (loud voice).  There's a great game that goes with this song.  We used our Beat Buddies to fill in for the grizzly bear and to show the difference between the loud and soft parts of the song.  Here are two videos of Kindergartners playing and singing: 

And, just because they did such a good job with the Beat Buddies and showing opposites, here are a few pictures of the class in action!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Engine, Engine

We spend most of 1st grade covering essential musical concepts that build a foundation for all musicians.  The things we learn in 1st grade are STILL important in 2nd grade, 5th grade, high school, and for professional musicians!  Two concepts we work hard on are pitch and rhythm.  For our pitches, we are beginning with high and low sounds, specifically Sol and Mi.  Our rhythmic building blocks are the rhythms ta and ti-ti (you might know them better as quarter notes and eighth notes.)  

We learn these concepts through experience of the music--with our voices, with our bodies, with instruments, and with play.  This week, we are experiencing pitch and rhythm with the fun song "Engine, Engine, Number Nine."   After we learned the Sol-Mi patterns for the song, we learned the words and the rhythm, learned the instrument part, and played the game.  All of this was accomplished in 40 minutes! :)  Below is a video of a 1st grade class combining all these elements.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Have You Ever Heard Such a Sound?

This week is a BIG DEAL in 4th grade music class.  The student received their recorders!!  Our first lesson includes how to put the instrument together, how to use steamy air and hole-ly fingers to produce a great recorder sound, and how to start our air with a "too" sound.  The students have done an amazing job!  A lot of patience is required for this very first lesson, and the 4th grade classes have made me so proud!  

So, what does a brand new recorder player sound like???  Watch the video below for a 4th grade class making some of their very first sounds on their recorders.  I think they sound great!  

And, 4th graders, remember to click on the "Recorder Resources" tab at the top of the page for your very own section to this website!  

Added Bonus:  Here's the link to the Recorder Master Game! 

Lost Pockets, Howling Wolves, and Review Galore!

2nd Grade

In 2nd grade last week, we reviewed three pitches from Music Street--Sol, La, and Mi.  These three pitches (or musical sounds) make up a bunch of songs.  We learned the song "Lucy Lockett Lost Her Pocket," which has a fun guessing game that we play while we sing the song.  We also added in a simple instrument part on the bass Orff instruments to review our technique.  Singing games like "Lucy Lockett"  really help to reinforce the concepts we're learning.  Plus, they are fun! 

Here is a video of a 2nd grade class in action:

Waiting to start the pocket-passing!

All set to play the bass Orff instruments while the class sings

3rd Grade

We also reviewed the pitches Sol, La, and MI in 3rd grade last week.  Plus, we reviewed basic quarter note and eighth note rhythms.  We learned the song "We Are Dancing in the Forest" and the students figured out ALL the rhythms and pitches in the song.  Then, we added some Orff instrument parts for review.  On the Orff instruments, we use the 3 B--Bicycles, Bounce, and Belly Buttons.  We hold the mallets like we're holding bicycle handle bars and we bounce off the middle, or "belly button," of the bar. We also used the the big low drum to help get in the feel of a wolf prowling around.

The song "We Are Dancing" has the children playing in the forest, wondering whether or not the wolf is around.  At the end of their singing, they ask "Wolf, are you there?"  Then, the wolf (in the center of the circle) gets to either howl as yes or give a creative reason why he or she is not there.  It was quite a lot of fun!  I will say, some classes were more eager to howl than others :)  

Here are videos of two classes with instrument part, the singing, and the game in progress. 

And here are some candid shots of the 3rd grade classes! 

Beat Buddies

We have some new friends in PK and Kindergarten music class--the Beat Buddies! Everyone gets to have a buddy to help them show the beat.  The students have loved using the buddies!  The video below shows the students using their buddies to show whether the beat of the music is FAST or SLOW.  

More pictures of the students with their buddies!

My parents graciously dug out our old Beanie Babies from the attic so the students could use them.  If you have old Beanie Babies lying around you'd like to donate to the music room, let me know! :) 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

We're Off!

The year is off to a great start in elementary music!  The first week or so we focus on steady beat in all grade levels.  Steady beat is the “heartbeat” of music.  All grades have used instruments to experience the beat of music.  PK-K used our egg shakers to the “Hip-Hop Body Rock,” 1st-2nd used the Stick Stations to copy steady beat patterns, and 3rd-4th used the African drums to experience a call and response game called “What’s Your Name?”  It has been loads of fun to see the students after the summer and get to make music with them again!  In the coming weeks, we’ll learn more about the instruments in our classroom, we’ll practice finding our singing voice, we’ll do movement activities, and the 4th graders will start recorder.  Come by anytime and experience music-making with us!

Thanks for your support!
Mindy Krejci

Here is a video of a 3rd grade class playing the “What’s Your Name?” call and response drum game:

And,here is a picture of the area of the classroom I affectionately refer to as “Instrument Zoo.”  Just like in an animal zoo, everything has a place of its own!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Making Your Own Stick Station

We had such fun playing with the Stick Stations the last two weeks of the school year!  I talked with the kids about how they can make their very own Stick Station out of items they have at home.  It would be a great summer time music project.  

Make Your Own Stick Station!

Here are some ideas that we brainstormed for each component: 

Crash Can--class set made of #10 metal food can covered in duct tape with a foam circle on the bottom.

Suggestions: plastic boxes (Rubbermaid), pots (with permission), shoebox, can, real drum


Suggestions: Jingle bells, homemade shaker (empty water bottle with beads/rice), maraca, metal object, baby toy with jingles, or order a mini tambourine from Amazon.  

Drum Sticks

Suggestions: Pencils, wooden sticks, crochet hooks or knitting needles, wooden spoons, or real drumsticks. 

Beat Board--class set uses a small, plastic cutting board from the Dollar Tree

Suggestions: plastic or wooden cutting board, an old book, piece of heavy plastic, a cookie sheet, heavy cardboard.  

Using the Stick Stations

There are lots of fun ways to use the Stick Stations.  Such as: 

  • Create patterns using long and short sounds and rests.  
  • Play a pattern and experiment with different items in the Stick Station. 
  • Experiment with musical opposites
    • Can you play loud?  Can you play soft?  Can you play high sounds? Can you play low sounds?  How about fast and slow?  
  • Turn on a favorite song and play the steady beat on different stations!
Here are some great musical selections to play the steady beat to!  (Note, the links are to Youtube videos). 

The Can Can by J. Offenbach
Washington Post March by J.P. Sousa
William Tell Overture by Rossini 
Sing, Sing, Sing featuring Benny Goodman

Monday, May 18, 2015

Recycling and Drumming

I asked the lunch room back in February to save a bunch of #10 cans for the elementary music room.  After maternity leave, I returned with a fresh supply of drumming kits called Stick Stations that feature those cans—cleaned out and taped in fluorescent duct tape!  The kids are having a blast with them! And, we got to help the environment by recycling.  

A music teacher from Orlando came up with the idea for the Stick Stations and published a book called KidStix.  We've used the Stick Stations and some of the activities from the book in every grade, 3K-4th, in the past week.  It's been a fun way to review rhythms and preview next year's music classes.  

A fun summer project would be helping your child create his or her own Stick Station at home.  You can use any type of can, container, box, pot, etc. for the Crash Can, some jingle bells would work for the tambourine, any flat, hard surface would work for the beat board, and even pencils work as drum sticks.  Be creative and see what you can create!  You are welcome to email me pictures of your homemade Stick Stations in action!  

We'll also use the Stick Stations some in my "Drumming Up Fun!" Summer Camp through the Center For Discovery.  Sign up your rising 3rd-5th grader for this fun class the last week of July! 

Sticks Stations with Crash Can, Tambourine, Beat Board, and Drum Sticks

2nd Grade playing on the Stick Stations.  The Crash Cans have a piece of foam taped to the top.


Mr. Krejci, Calder, and I are doing great!  Calder's Grandma (my mom) has been staying with us to help take care of him.  He is 14 weeks old, is just learning to hold his head up, grunts a lot, and loves to listen to music!  He is a sweet, happy baby and we are so thankful the Lord picked us to be his Mama and Daddy.  Here's a picture of him at 13 weeks :) 

Calder Elias Krejci 05.11.15

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Big News in Elementary Music!

Big News in the elementary music world!  Mrs. Mindy Krejci and her husband Kyle welcomed their first child into this world last week!  Calder Elias Krejci was born on Wednesday, February 11th.  Baby Calder, Mindy, and Kyle are overjoyed and  feel blessed by the FPD Community.  Dr. Ernie Carlton, FPD Parent, delivered little Calder.  And, now, FPD Parent Niki Mixon is at the helm of the elementary music program, filling in for Mrs. Krejci while she is out on maternity leave. 

Elementary students have been busy preparing for our annual Grandparents’ Day programs. This year’s theme is patriotic music.  Grandparents’ Day will be held at the FPD Campus on Friday, March 27th.  There will be separate shows for grades 3K-2nd and grades 3rd-5th.  Look for more information to following the coming weeks.  We hope to see you there as we celebrate America!

Calder hopes to be a Wee Viking in 2018! :) 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Quaver Kids' Website

In music class, we watch Quaver, the quirky Music Store Owner teach us about various topics--from steady beat, to instrument families, to music styles.  There are Quaver songs and learning activities we use in the classroom.  But, there is also a whole world of Quaver games and music activities that kids can use at home!

Students can log on to our free FPD account, or they can make their own account at home. It's free to register and free to use.  It's simply for their enjoyment and learning--Mrs. Krejci does not have access to their own individual accounts.  

Go to www.quavermusic.com and enter the info below to use our shared account! (Note: it might kick you out if more than one person is trying to log on at a time--another great reason to create your own account!) 
Username: fpdmusic
Password: govikings

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Even More Bow Wow Wow

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about the song and game "Bow Wow Wow" that we've played in 1st grade this month.  At the time, I only had one class videoed.  Since then, the other two classes have gotten to make their video version.  So, posted below, are Mrs. Kross's class and Mrs. Hooper's class.  Enjoy! 

Mrs. Kross's 1st Grade Class
Mrs. Hooper's 1st Grade Class

Friday, January 23, 2015

Recorder Song for Grandparents' Day

Our 4th graders are hard at work on a brand new song for Grandparents' Day.  Our theme this year is Patriotic Music, so we are learning a jazz standard called "When the Saints Go Marching In."  Jazz is a type of music that was first developed in America--what's more patriotic than that? 

Here is a video of "When the Saints Go Marching In" played by a jazz band with Louis Armstrong on trumpet and vocals.  Louis Armstrong is one of the best known jazz musicians from America.  He is famous for playing trumpet.  Legend has it that he earned his nickname from the unique way his cheeks puffed out when he played.  Some people thought it looked like his mouth was a satchel (a bag), so they started calling him "Satchel Mouth", which was shortened to "Satchmo," a nickname he is still recognized by.  

For the link to the song,4th graders can look under the "Recorder Resources" tab on this blog.  

Here are the two new notes 4th graders are learning: 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bow, Wow, Wow

In 1st grade, we are practicing our rhythms of ta, ti-ti, and rest.  We've learned that rhythm is the "way the words go" in a song.  Here's a peak at the song we learned called "Bow, Bow, Wow" written in rhythmic notation.  The 1st graders are able to clap and read these rhythms: 

Next, they learned a partner dance game that goes with the song.  They actually switch partners while they sing the song.  Here's a video of a class playing and singing.  I told them that they do not need me to play.  As long as everyone has a partner, they can do this game on their own! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

In the Hall of the Mountain King

In 3rd grade this week we reviewed a stick passing game from back in the fall.  It's a game we play to the piece "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg.  He wrote this music to go with the Norwegian play Peer Gynt.  In this piece, Peer, a young boy (who has a hard time following directions) is trying to escape a cave full of trolls!  The music gets louder and faster.  We learned the terms crescendo (to gradually get louder) and accelerando (to gradually get faster.)  We talked about a car's accelerator helping a car get gradually faster. 

We also watched a video of an orchestra playing this piece, as we are studying instruments of the orchestra.  Here is a link to a live performance of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by the Berlin Philharmonic. 

And, here are videos of each class playing the stick passing game to the piece. 

Mrs. Brittain's Class

Mrs. Blizzard's Class

Mrs. Justice's Class

Friday, January 9, 2015

Welcome Back with Sasha, part 2

Hard to believe that we are already in January 2015!  We are getting back into the swing of things in the Viking Music Room.  The 4th graders learned the Russian folk dance "Sasha" this week.  (The 2nd graders learned it back in the fall.)  We talked about how this dance is a "mixer"--you don't keep the same partner, and often times this dance is done at the beginning of events as an ice breaker.  We talked about how important it is to mix things up. For example, if I don't mix my cake batter, the cake will taste gross! :)  Enjoy some videos of each 4th grade class doing "Sasha" this week! 

Mrs. Bryant's Class

Mrs. Rabun's Class

Mrs. Thigpin's Class