Friday, October 24, 2008

The last couple of weeks... and school song audio!

Oops, so much for my resolution to blog at least once a week! It's been a great month for technology at CFS, as we had our tech-focused staff development day Oct. 9 and now many of the staff are maintaining blogs, wikis, and all sorts of other fabulous technological goodies. I had a blast leading a YouTube/TeacherTube class followed by a blogs and wikis workshop. As a parent, I especially appreciate the many ways to keep track of what my daughter is and will be doing at CFS.

Many parents have asked me for the tune of the song based on the school's philosophy, so I recorded each LS class singing a verse last week. The day after I finished this, I received my spiffy new USB microphone, so I'm afraid this is recorded at very low quality through my laptop's built-in mic. Stay tuned for gorgeous hi-fi recordings! Click here to go to the song. Here is the order of verses, all pasted together with GarageBand:

Chorus: River 1
"Silence": Sky 1
"Spirituality of Life": Mountain 1
Chorus: Sky 2
"Peace": Forest 1
"Simplicity": Mountain 2
Chorus: Mountain 2
"Uniqueness": River 2
"Truth Continually Revealing Itself": Forest 2
Chorus: Forest 1

Forest and Mountain were very excited to pick out their new recorder colors last week. Unfortunately, the recorders are on backorder and may not arrive for another week or two. You wouldn't believe the hard time the kids are giving me about this. :-)

In the Middle School, the first trimester is nearly over! Our World Music wiki is really shaping up. We will be adding our last information and polishing it up during the next two weeks.

The Chamber Choir sounds incredible, singing in 4-part harmony (with only 8 singers). We tested out my new microphone, but I promised the choir not to post a recording to the blog until they are performance-ready. That will be soon, as we're performing at Toni's Dessert Theater show November 6.

First-year music rotation is rounding out the Melody unit by composing pieces for xylophone and assorted instruments/voices. I recorded and videotaped some truly inspired performances, to appear later. A class of talented musicians... and comedians! Next week we will be starting 3-ball juggling (we've all gotten very good at two balls). I will be sure to provide that promised post about why we're juggling in music class before the trimester ends.

The Middle School is buzzing with excitement over the upcoming musical, The Music Man! I am delighted to be musically directing my first show at CFS, and look forward to working with Henry and Toni. Auditions coming soon!

Finally, I just found out that the newest issue of Health & Healing in the Triangle has hit the stands, with an article I wrote on practicing mindfulness with children. Health & Healing is free at many health care locations as well as some restaurants and other places you find free periodicals.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More singing and playing

The first week of music, I promised Forest and Mountain classes that they would be singing some songs in at least 3-part harmony by the end of the year. Well, here is half of Mountain class singing a 3-part round plus vocal ostinato. And it's barely October!

Mountain class sings!

I love this song. It's called "Dance For the Nations," and here are the lyrics:

Round and round we turn, we hold each others' hands and
Weave ourselves in a circle.
The time is gone, the dance goes on.
The first three weeks of Middle School First-Year Rotation were devoted primarily to rhythm. Now we're focusing on melody and harmony. Right now we're working on our technique on the xylophones, learning to play some melodies, and figuring out harmonies to familiar songs. Here they are working on cross-hand technique. To keep track of the rhythm, they're thinking "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers."
First-years play "Peter Piper"