Ashley’s Music Notes

Find the link above to your child’s grade level above to see what’s happening in the music room!

  • K/1 music has been focusing on showing me their steady beat, as well as telling the difference between gentle and strong. Our gentle has kids ice skating across the floor, and doing solos for their classmates. The strong activity is coming soon! We’re also experimenting with the different voices we can make such as a mouse voice, grandma voice, whisper voice, shouting voice, speaking voice, and more. See how many voices your student can remember, along with the chant!

    2/3 and 4/5 have both been in the midst of a unit on analyzing music. We’ve listened to the William Tell Overture, Ode to Joy, and O Fortuna so far. The kids have had a great time coming up with narratives and illustrations for the music based on its feel, style, and form. There’s been everything from a sword fight, to a king with a head that’s too big for his crown, and a moldy fridge!


    Both bands are making great progress through their music! We’ve started a rhythm of the day to improve music reading literacy and encourage the students to help each other with accuracy. The middle school band is very excited about what they’re preparing for everything this semester! There might be a movie theme in the works…

    It’s finally time for the ukulele elective to begin! Students will explore music reading through finger picking and chord strumming on the ukulele.  I hope to get them playing some popular music and possibly creating a playing video of their own. I can’t wait to see their progress!

  • January HBoN

    A huge thank you to all the families that came out to enjoy the Winter Performance! I love seeing such support for the students, and I know that they love having you there to see their hard work. I also appreciate all the compliments I received about the show and the students, I made sure to let them know how well they performed and how proud we are of all of them.

    The band students should have been working on their BANDO (band BINGO) sheets, to earn some prizes when we come back from break. Hopefully we get some blackout BANDO boards!

    Starting in January, all the students will delve into new material that we can’t wait to show you!

  • HBoN – December

    It’s concert season! Our winter performance is on December 15th at 3:30pm in the gymnasium. You should be receiving an email and flyer with all the information you’ll need, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. I could use some parent help for each grade level during the concert, don’t worry, you’ll be able to watch your children. PLEASE let me know if you’ll be willing to assist with supervising a grade level. I hope you’ll join us for the performance to support your students who have been working hard.

    All of the elementary students have prepared activities to show you what happens in a typical music class. These ‘informances’ are based around all of the information that your students are already learning, which leaves more time for meaningful instruction. There’s everything from chants and songs, to dances and body percussion. Please ask your students what they’ve been doing and help them prepare by letting them teach you the songs or dances they’re learning.

    K/1 – Little Snowflake

    2/3 – Sasha

    4/5 – Verge (Owl City)


    The middle school bands and choir and busy mastering their concert music. With all of the technical challenges and new information, they’re sounding great! I can’t wait to share what they’ve been working on.

  • November – HBoN


    In K/1 we’ve been exploring the colors we’re wearing with the color song inserted below. The song is to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” so you can learn it and practice it with your kids. See if you can come up with some additional voices with some missing colors!



    The middle elementary students have been experimenting with shaker instruments and keeping a steady beat during the chant “Sick Cookie”. We’ve talked about how shaker instruments use seeds, nuts, grains, beads, and many other things to make sound. See if your student remembers the chant and can demonstrate their steady beat for you. If you’d like to participate, they can show you how to split up the chant into 2-4 groups and the whole family can practice!


    We’ve taken on the challenge of learning the Star Spangled Banner in 4/5! We’re very excited to present it to you at the winter concert. They’re doing a great job of learning the history of the banner, where it’s sung/played, decoding the lyrics, and connecting to the meaning. Have a talk with your student about the meaning of the banner and places you’ve heard it before!

    5th Grade Band 

    The beginners have learned their first 3 notes, and how to read whole notes/whole rests. Just recently we’ve learned how to read half notes and rests, which are each 2 beats. They sound more like a band every day, with each and every student steadily improving! Encourage your students to tap their toe to the music they listen to in the car or at home. This helps establish steady beat and teaches their brain to multitask while listening!

    Middle School Band

    We’re making huge improvements on both of our concert pieces! Furioso is challenging us to focus on listening to the entire ensemble and adjusting your playing to fit the style. The students are also continuing to learn warm-ups by memory, including our newest addition, Fred. Fred is a challenging counting and articulation exercise to practice subdividing and staccato articulations. As always, thank you for monitoring your child’s practice and singing their practice sheets weekly. Ask them to play part of their favorite exercise or piece for you!


    In choir, we’re learning to tackle solfeg in warm-ups and their concert pieces. They’re learning to become fluent in the vowels and hand symbols. One song we’ve chosen is partly in Slovakian, and we’ve had fun trudging our way through the foreign language in addition to the challenging vocal parts. Please encourage your choir student to log-on to google classroom to listen to recordings their part broken down as well as complete recordings of the pieces.

  • October – HBoN

    Happy Fall Honey Creek Families! I’ve had a wonderful time over the last month getting to know everyone through general music, band, and choir. I look forward to meeting more families in the coming months, so please feel free to come introduce yourself before or after school. You’re always welcome!


    We’ve been working on exploring our voices by pretending we’re exploding firecrackers, using streamers and following vocal lines. Ask your child to demonstrate the ‘roller coaster’ or the ‘down coaster’!


    The middle elementary students have been doing a variety of activities with a piece of music by Peer Gynt, learning the ‘Hand Jive’, following the theme through all 18 repetitions, and learning what a coda is. See if your student remembers the name of the piece (hint, it sounds like something from Lord of the Rings)!


    The 4/5 students are learning a valuable lesson about respecting one of our nation’s most important songs, The Star Spangled Banner. We’ve watched successful and unsuccessful performances, talked about how we should act during the playing of the anthem, and shared where they’ve heard it before. Ask your child why Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the anthem that we know so well today!


    The choir this semester is a strong group of 13 wonderful voices. Our warm-ups are focusing on learning to sing in harmony, perform in rounds, and develop our vowels. After listening to a variety of pieces, they’ve chosen one popular tune and a lullaby in Slovokian. Learning to sing a new language poses many unique challenges, but I’m sure that these students can handle it!

    Beginning Band

    Amidst the excitement of getting their hands on brand new instruments, we’ve learned tons of new skills! Putting the instrument together, making our first sounds, reading whole notes & quarter notes, and learning our first 3 notes are just the first steps. I’m very proud of how everyone is diving right in, and there are even some students who’ve gone above and beyond, practicing more than their required hour a week!

    Middle School Band

    The students are taking on the challenge of extending their skills and memorizing most of their warm-ups, which I know is very tough. We’re also working on reading music more accurately, no more writing in note names. In addition, the students have received two pieces to present to you a the concert this December. The first is fiery and dynamic, and the second is peaceful and lilting. You’ll have to wait until the performance to hear it all come together!

  • May HBoN

    Please join us on May 17th at 3:30pm as Honey Creek Community School Presents: “Rock and Roll Forever: How it all Began” We will be singing songs from rock and roll legends, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, The Beatles, The Beach Boys and more! We hope to see you there!


    If you would like to practice the songs at home with your child please follow this link:

    and click on your child’s grade level page. There you will find the lyrics and music for the songs we are singing.


    Concert Attire:

    K-5 students have the option of dressing in the 1950’s/1960’s style (think “Grease”). The other option is to dress in nice clothes.

    Band/Choir: Band and choir students please wear black and white.

  • February HBoN


    K-1 Music

    K-1 Students have enjoyed learning about ta’s and ti-ti’s this past month. They did so well that I was also able to introduce sh (quarter rest) and whole note. This week I will show them how ta turns into a quarter note, but still gets one count, and ti-ti’s are eighth notes, but still are quick. We will be playing some games and doing a few worksheets in order to reinforce these new notes.


    2-3 Music

    2-3 students have started working on recorders, and have already learned three notes (B-A-G) We will continue working on these first three notes for a few weeks to make sure everyone recognizes them and can play them. Next week we are hoping to learn everyone’s favorite song, “Hot Cross Buns”.


    4-5 Music

    4-5 students have started bucket drumming and love it! Our buckets smell like pickles since they came from Zingerman’s, but the kids seem to enjoy this aspect as well. I caught one student with their head inside the bucket this week saying, “I LOVE pickles”. We have learned about how to hold the sticks correctly and proper drumming techniques. We are working on some beginning drum rudiments using quarter notes and rests and will begin introducing eighth notes next week.


    5th Grade Band

    We seem to be sailing through the lesson book now and the students seem to be absorbing the material like little sponges. They can’t wait to see what we will learn next. This week we learned a new note on each instrument and had a quiz on Bingo. They really enjoy playing the songs they recognize.


    Middle School Band

    We continue to work through our blue book, but also fit in some sheet music as well. Last week I passed out a new piece called Around the World in 80 Measures. It’s a fun little piece that plays a theme for 18 different countries. You can listen to it here:


    Middle School Choir

    We just started a new semester in choir and have only had two classes so far. The first class was spent with voice placements where they sing a short song for me and I decide if they are a Soprano (High female voice), Alto (Low female voice), or Tenor (High male voice). Then, this week we reviewed how to read music and learned about Curwen hand signs. Looking ahead I hope to hand out some sheet music soon that we will learn for our concert and graduation.

  • January HBoN

    Happy New Year Everyone!

    Thank you to everyone who attended our concert back in December. All of the performers did a wonderful job and I’m very proud of all their hard work. I have added a few pictures to this page taken by our very own Joe Griffith. He did a great job capturing the concert and I appreciate the opportunity to share them with you.

    As we look ahead to the new year in music class we will be turning our focus to new units in each grade level. The K-1’s will be learning about rhythms and how to create rhythms. In K-1 we start by looking at Ta’s (the beginning of a quarter note) and Ti-Ti’s (the beginning of eighth notes). They will even get the opportunity to compose their own rhythms using popsicle sticks.

    2-3 students will begin learning the recorder. We will be using the, “Baroque Recorder Method” by Ed Suete. And learning the basics of playing the recorder in a group. This unit will last until March. It may sound like a long time, but since I only see the classes once a week it will be about 8 music classes.

    4-5 students get to be a bit of guinea pigs for me this year as I introduce a new unit on bucket drumming. This is exactly as it sounds, we will drum on buckets. Thanks to Erin Reed and Vanessa Mayesky we have 60 – 5-gallon buckets to use for this unit. We will learn the basics of reading rhythms and how that translates to drumming. Then, creating an ensemble of buckets and learning how to play together. If all goes as planned we might be playing a bucket song at our spring concert.

    5th grade band students will continue working in the red, “Standard of Excellence” book. During this time they have many more notes and rhythms to learn before I can introduce more challenging music for our spring concert. Our goal is to be able to play at least two pieces of sheet music at the concert. This means we will not play in unison, but each section will have a different part of melody, countermelody, harmony, or rhythm.

    Middle school band students will also return to our blue, “Standard of Excellence” book. We will focus some in the book and some on sheet music. We will also have our third playing quiz on January 14th.

    The middle school choir did a lovely job at the concert. Although it was a small group this semester I think it had many strong singers and we were able to produce a wonderful sound. Middle school students will switch electives soon which means a whole new group of singers. Since it is an elective it’s difficult to know how many students and different voice parts I will have in the choir. Once I know the voices I have in choir then I can order appropriate music for the group. I will give you more information on this group as it becomes available.

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