Music Notes October 2017

It has been just the blink of an eye since the picnic until now closing our third full week of school. Honey Creek is like nowhere I have ever worked before, the vast majority of those experiences being in traditional public school districts.

Thank you to all the students, families, faculty, and administration for making me feel so welcome! Its been a learning and teaching pleasure getting started at Honey Creek!

In music we are exploring steady beats, that music is made up of sound AND silence, and learning about the instruments of the orchestra with books like “Zin, Zin, Zin, A Violin”, and “The Remarkable Farkle McBride”. Links to both YouTube videos are on the K-1 tab if you would like to hear them. In October, we are going to continue learning the instrument families, steady pulse, but are going to add different note values, and eventually playing our own rhythms on the classroom instruments.  We have some un seasonal dances planned as well, “The Monster Mash” will be coming up toward the end of the month, and it wouldn’t be fall without a barn square dance!2-3
After getting to know the students a little better over the first few weeks, I felt confident that I would be able to teach this group of 2-3 students how to make some music using some basic rhythms, easy parts, and musical instruments. Starting with a quarter note, quarter rest, half note, half rest, and eighth note pair, we ended with making and singing in parts using the rhythms from the chant “Fuzzy Wuzzy”. This will be a lead into sing and playing two part songs.

In Class we are getting our groove on by learning bucket drumming. We review the notes and rests, learned the proper way to hold sticks, and learned our first rudiment, the Paradiddle, Rudiments are sticking patterns that percussionists use to make things easier to play and communicate to other percussionists about rhythms. This month we will be starting to get ready for the December performance by starting to learn our concert piece as well as writing some percussion ensembles of our own!

Middle School Music Lab
I’ve changed the name of this class because we are going to do so much more in there then just Choir.  Last month we started learning or relearning the ukulele. The performance at the concert will focus on that, but also on the delivery of the performance. Next month, along with the ukulele’s, we will be focusing on singing. I’m ordering a two part choral arrangement of one of the pieces we are playing for the winter performance.

Firebird Band (5th Grade)
Now that we have gotten through the flurry of activity that is the first few weeks of school and most everyone has their instruments, it’s time to start band class! For September we met in separate instrument groups, so I could help individuals with getting started on their perspective instruments. This month we begin with meeting as a full band!!

Band meets Monday – Wednesday which makes a lot of great continuity through the beginning of the week. However that leaves a long stretch from Thursday – Sunday potentially without practice. I am requiring that student practice 40-60 minutes from Thursday – Sunday. I have emailed a Google Form in order for parents to help keep track of how much practicing is going on at home. Please take a look at it, fill it out and submit it. Parents will get this form on Sunday night to record the previous weeks practice minutes. While it won’t directly have an impact on the grade in class, your practice time will be reflected in your playing.

First up Monday – Playing Test #7 in Standard of Excellence!!!!

Phoenix Fire Band
We are just getting started with Phoenix Fire Band since we have been at camp and the zoo. I’ve been spending most of the last few weeks getting to know the kids and their playing strengths. There are some really great fundamental sounds coming from this group and the diversity of instrumentation is perfect. Some of the most exciting developments are we are working on getting a student to switch to tuba to help fill out the ensemble sound. Also because we have so many amazing percussionists, we are going to spend some time letting them develop some percussion ensembles.  Currently we are working on tuning, blending, and playing out with our full breath. We have a few pieces in the folder now that we will be bringing to you on the Winter Concert.

Garry K. Klink
Honey Creek Community School
Music Teacher

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