The thrill of novelty

Last week I dragged some of the band and string instruments into my room and taught the orchestra instrument families. It was very fun brainstorming with Ks how to produce sound on the trumpet-I tried all of their many suggestions and finally had to explain buzzing. Students got to look inside the piano to see why it’s a percussion instrument; Their looks of excitement and amazement really made love my job!!

Summertime/Schooltime

IRC’s Guitar Club is huge this year! This is our first gig, accompanying a September school singalong of “Summertime/ Schooltime” (together we all wrote two new verses for this jazz classic). And for our 2nd gig, the Guitar Club will accompany Junior Choir performing “O Canada” at a Ram’s Basketball game!

The Secret Lives of Toads

Introducing…the cast of “The Secret Lives of Toads.” I’ve been wanting to feature these Grade 5/6s actors ever since I met them, five years ago. Thank you to Ms Silva, Rob, and Ms Lock for all of your help!!!! Our performances are Dec. 4th at 1:30 and 6:30. Our crew, of state managers, set designers, et al, is as mighty and talented.

Sharing 4’33

For years I’ve organized “Sharing Music from Home” lessons. Students are invited to perform practised pieces for their peers. Voluntary “show-and-tell” in Music class. This year I’m focusing on the silence between notes; I was inspired by Katrina Goldsaito’s kid book, “The Sound of Silence.” I shared this book and taught my students about Cage’s “4’33.” Our influence is incredible. After these lessons, Sharing music from Home has a new feel around here. I had students create and notate their own compositions (straw pan flute, mallets on water bottles), one student sampled his voice into our keyboard, a shy student actually performing “4’33,” but the one that floored me was a grade 3 who set up GarageBand on a computer to record himself calling his home phone with a cell phone. 7 mins of amazing sounds and feedback. The sound vs music debate rages on. Minds and ears are open.

September ease

I only had to learn 49 new names (JKs) this year – maybe my easiest September yet (I’ve taught in four different provinces. Lots of kids!!). IRC is definitely one of my favourite schools ever – amazing students, community, and staff!

Here are the Grade 2/3s on a very hot day listening to Yo yo Ma play Bach and some juniors showing their genuine excitement about clapping sixteenth notes in rhythms cards.

Music by the Lake

Music kids in grade 6-8, please come to Music By The Lake! This was my third year and I loved making incredible music with colleagues and my student orchestra. And the sunsets!!

Concert Success

Our spring concert was beyond amazing and I thank all of my colleagues and students for making it so. Some lyrics were made even more beautiful as we all mourned an IRC student’s passing- “It was, for awhile, a perfect life.”