Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another Long Overdue Update!

Hello world! When things get busy, my blog gets neglected. Now I have way too much for one blog post, but here are a few highlights from the past two months:

  • Since Winter Break, Lower School students have enjoyed playing the Boomwhackers and ukuleles, exploring musical instrument apps on the iPads (especially Isle of Tune, which is also available as an interactive website), using the interactive whiteboard to drag-and-drop notes and to play with Sibelius Groovy Music, and learning several new songs, including "What a Wonderful World," "What Can One Little Person Do," and "You Gotta Sing!"
  • An enthusiastic group of Lower Schoolers sang a 3-part version of "This Little Light of Mine" at our annual Martin Luther King Day celebration.
  • Each Forest and Mountain music class (3rd and 4th grade) has created a collaborative song in GarageBand. Each student came up with a melody "snippet" on their recorder or ukulele, then we combined the snippets into longer melodies, recorded them on virtual instruments, and added accompaniment. We're now adding our own recorders and ukes to the mix, but in the meantime you can have a listen:
  • Lower School challenge: While creating these collaborative songs, a group of 3rd-years tried to convince me that repetition makes music boring. I have challenged them to find me a song that does not repeat ANY melody. It needs to be in a genre they might hear on the radio (not counting contemporary music hour on the classical station). They aren't allowed to write the song themselves, and it has to be a full-length song (i.e., no commercial jingles). If there's a winner, there will be a big prize!
  • Middle School is nearing the end of the 2nd trimester--wow! This week is the MS play, "Inherit the Wind," which will include a performance of 4 songs by my MS Gospel Choir. It's a small group (10), but they sound awesome singing in 2 and 3-part harmony. We even have a guest fiddler! If you're local, come enjoy the show Friday or Saturday night at 7:30, or the open dress rehearsal on Wednesday.
  • I can't believe I haven't already posted this, but my first Middle School Service Day with my advisee group was a blast. We made dog and cat toys and collected treats and delivered them to the fabulous Orange County Animal Shelter. Much to my advisees' delight, I (accidentally?) adopted a dog. Here is Jilly:

How could I resist that face??? 3 dogs is barely more trouble than 2...
  • Last week we had a Staff Development Half-Day on the topic of technology. I led two iPad workshops focused on apps for teachers to use for themselves or in teaching, but not necessarily for students. What a blast! As always, I learned as much from the workshop participants as they learned from me. If you have an interest in iPads, check out my Prezi here, or my iPad Mega List.
I'll post some more specific updates soon, and in the meantime, have a lovely week!