Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I can hardly believe it's almost 2009, and I haven't updated my blog since November! Each time I start to update, the list of things to write about has grown even more overwhelming. So for now, I'll just talk about the holidays.

The LS just loves holiday music! We brought out the newly updated holiday songbooks right after Thanksgiving, and hardly a music class went by without some sing-along requests. We learned some Orff xylophone accompaniments to Christmas songs, made take-home jingle bell instruments, and had a Hanukkah celebration with a menorah, stories, songs, and dreidel. Forest and Mountain students learned "Jingle Bells" on their recorders, and some even moved on to "Silent Night," learning 4 new notes! A large number of students and their families showed up each morning for our before-school sing-alongs the week before break. I can't wait to unveil my big surprise for all LS music classes in mid-January... stay tuned!

"Music Man" is underway in the MS and I am having a blast musically directing my first CFS production. What a talented cast! Though I have to say I was a bit alarmed to find that we only have 5 weeks of rehearsal left before opening night...

Now, time to say a big THANK YOU for the generous gift certificates from LS and MS parents! Not only was I able to finish my holiday shopping in style, I purchased a tiny little camera that fits in my pocket, takes great pictures, and shoots HD video. I can't wait to use it in class! Here is my family playing their new ornament ocarinas:



I got an exciting musical gift from my family--Logic Studio, which is a full-featured music production studio for the Mac. Think GarageBand times about 10,000. Just a few years ago, it would have cost thousands of dollars to get anything close to this package. I wanted to use it right away, so on Christmas day I sequestered myself in the studio for a while to create this project. My sister-in-law commented that she had no idea her brother was married to Mannheim Steamroller. Me neither!

My dad played me an NPR podcast about one of Yo-Yo Ma's current projects, which can be found here. It's a contest to create a musical mix using Ma's cello performance of "Dona Nobis Pacem." I wish I had found out about this sooner, because I will be visiting family until after the deadline. To enter, I have 48 hours to pull a musical MacGyver--I have a laptop, a tiny MIDI entry keyboard, my orchestral flute, an iPod microphone, Christmas ornament ocarinas, and an assortment of preschool instruments to create a composition worthy of Yo-Yo Ma. If I make it, I'll be sure to post it here! At any rate, Indaba Music is a GREAT find--I can't wait to explore it some more.

I hope you are all having a safe and happy holiday and look forward to seeing you in 2009!
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