Saturday, 3 December 2016

December News

December is the time for Ho, Ho, Ho,
December is the time for love,
December is the time for lots of snow,    
December is the time for love!

Here's what's going in Music over the next couple of weeks:


  • We are continuing to work on class routines by always beginning our Music class with a greeting and a circle song like "Good Morning when it's Morning". 
  • As this is concert month, after our warm-up, we practice our angel songs which utilize actions and fun PPTs. Our songs are spirituals which mean they have a religious focus with an upbeat tempo. Please ask them to share their songs with you: Chatter with the Angels and All Night, All Day. 
  • Concert date again is December 20th at 2:30 p.m. Thanks to the many parents who are helping us get ready for this wonderful event. 
  • Every week we add another farm animal to our repertoire. We have studied chickens, cows, and ducks. Next up are pigs, horses and sheep. For each animal, we learn a poem, play an instrument that makes its sound, sing a song or 2 and watch a music video. 

Grade One:


  • Our focus in December is preparing our songs for the concert. We have 4 angel songs to learn and they can be practiced by tuning into our Touch of an Angel blog.  Our songs are: Touch of an Angel, Elijah Rock, You Won't Talk Zechariah and Born is the King. 
  • Concert date again is December 20th at 2:30 p.m. Thanks to the many parents who are helping us get ready for this wonderful event. 
  • In between our concert songs we are also focusing on the concept of high/low through playing Orff instruments and re-telling stories as we play. A favourite book was Up, up, Down, down by Robert Munsch.
  • Also, important concepts are beat (a steady pulse that stays the same) and rhythm (some sounds are short and some are longer). We are beginning to learn about ta and ta rest patterns.

Grade Two:

  • We have been spending time learning to play a steady beat pattern on the Orff instruments to the song, Charlie over the Ocean, and having fun playing the chase game as well. Mallet technique is very important and students get busted by the Orff Police if they use pointer fingers or click mallets when the teacher is speaking,
  • Please ask your child about our 5 Finger Staff rap where we learn about line and space notes. This extends to a real 5-line staff and learning where so-la and mi live.
  • Our winter musical is on February 2nd and so we are busy learning songs for it: The Big Chill, Seven Feet of Snow, Snow Day and We're on the Right Track. Please see our Big Chill blog to practice songs at home.

Grade Three:
  • We have had fun adding an Orff accompaniment to Who's That? where students also add sound effects and sing a solo line at the end. We travel around from one Orff instrument to another working on our mallet technique. This song also has us reviewing the rhythm patterns of: ta, ta rest, titi and too (or ta-a).
  • Our winter musical is on February 2nd and so we are busy learning songs for it: The Big Chill, Seven Feet of Snow, A Day at Home and We're on the Right Track. Please see our Big Chill blog to practice songs at home.
  • This past week in Music class we auditioned for parts for our winter musical by practicing reading short scripts. After, I conferenced with their homeroom teachers about who would make a good leader, who works well in a group and who would benefit from this kind of role the most. Parts will be handed out in Music class this week and shortly thereafter, Mrs Kieser will select dates to begin rehearsing the drama parts prior to Christmas.
  • If students do not get a role in the Big Chill Musical, their teachers and I will work together to see if they can have a choir reading part or a reading part at their Ash Wednesday Liturgy.

Thanks for tuning in to our Music blog!
Warm regards,
Mrs. Martin

Friday, 4 November 2016

November Music News

After Halloween and Faith Day, I feel refreshed and ready to begin new units
and concepts as this beautiful season of fall continues.
Here is a summary of what we have been learning:

  • Always important for the first few months is establishing classroom routines and expectations. Students are following the leader using different locomotive movements and responding to color cue cards (i.e. blue - jump, green - walk, red - stop, pink - skip, purple - hop)
  • Students are using their 4 voices (i.e. speaking, singing, whisper and a calling voice - no shouting please!). Finding and using a singing voice for call and response questions can be a challenge. Please encourage your child to vocalize at home by imitating sounds such as: owl hoots, wolf howls, sirens etc., (anything that lifts their voice out of the basement and into the attic!)
  • Students also have been exposed to playing several non-pitched instruments to maintain the beat and to add sound effects to our story telling (i.e. The Big Apple).
  • Beginning this month, we will start a unit on Farm animals and begin learning our songs for the K/Gr. 1 Christmas concert on December 20th. We will need to memorize lyrics, incorporate actions, follow a conductor and stand on the risers with very quiet feet.
Grade 1
  • Like Kindergarten, we have spent time establishing routines and reviewing our 4 voices. 
  • Our focus thus far has been on maintaining a steady beat on our laps and on instruments while singing or reciting poems. 
  • I have noticed that most Gr. 1 students have found their singing voice and so we are sharing our talents by singing responses to simple questions such as: What are you wearing for Halloween? 
  • Movement involving The Flight of the Bumblebee and Wind up the Apple Tree have been seasonal favorites.
  • In Hymn Sing, we have been preparing songs for our upcoming liturgy on November 10th. Please join us in the school gym at 9:15a.m. 
  • This week we are starting songs for our mini-musical "Touch of an Angel".  Student readers and soloists will be chosen in the weeks to come and parents will be notified in regards to rehearsing with their child at home.
Grade 2
  • We have been reviewing the rhythm concepts of ta, ta rest and titi. It has been accomplished through rhythm card practice and creating our own compositions using the fall colours: red (ta), yellow (titi). They rehearsed these pieces on non-pitched instruments; completing 8 different stations set-up around the music room.
  • We have also reviewed where so and mi live on a 3-line staff and tossed some bean bags on a large felt staff to name line, and space notes on a 5 line staff.
  • A more challenging skill has been to add sound effects and accompaniment on the Orff instruments to the piece, "Two Little Apples". It takes a lot of concentration and focus!
  • Students have also started to sing a few songs for their Winter Musical. In Music class, we learned about 7 feet of Snow and in choir we sang about Hot Cocoa and a Winter Hoedown.
Grade 3
  • The focus is Gr. 3 thus far has been on partner games and group work. We have completed 2 group projects: a Name Game where they were vagabonds travelling around the world and another had to do with changing the lyrics to a familiar song (i.e. Are you Sleeping?), adding body percussion for interest. Working in a group is an important skill and we are learning how to share ideas, thank people for their ideas and to make good use of their time.
  • We have also been singing ostinato patterns, singing in canon (one group enters a phrase behind) and trying partner songs (2 different songs sung at the same time).
  • Students have been listening and responding to a variety of instrumental music such as: The William Tell Overture, The Flight of the Bumblebee and Turkey in the Straw.
  • This month we are learning how to square dance and will begin to practice songs for our Winter Musical, "The Big Chill". With this lovely fall, it has been difficult to even think about winter.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Infinitus Presentation


OCTOBER 19, 2016

Grade 6 student comments:
  • They were humorous story tellers and their sound effects were cool.
  • I thought the strings were boring in the past, now I don't!
  • I recognized most of the songs.
  • The Dora story was a nice touch for the younger kids.
  • I liked how they introduced themselves using themes from Star Wars.
  • A favourite piece of mine was "What does the fox say?"
  • It was cool how they could just play a pop song by request (Shake it Off). 
Here are the answers to the 4th Grade Class:

Grade 4 Questions to Infinitus:
Have you traveled around the world?
-As a group, Infinitus has toured around North America.  Individually, we've all been to various places around the world.

Where did you attend School?
All three of us attended the University of Michigan, John also studied at the Peabody Conservatory, and Alex & Anthony studied a bit at the University of British Columbia.

Can you play the theme from Little Einsteins?
-Yes.  We're often asked to play that particular request.

Can you play with your eyes closed?
-Yes.  In fact, there are times where playing with our eyes closed is preferable!

Take care and God Bless!


Teacher Comments:

Thank you to Mrs. Martin for organizing the Strings Presentation today. It was a great way to spend an hour. Also thank you to all the teachers. Your students were so well behaved and engaged.
Marilyn Nasse
Vice Principal, St. Brigid School

I just wanted to thank you for the presentation today. It was awesome! I loved every minute of it, and my students who were there, seemed to really enjoy it.
Kelly Ellis
ES2 Elementary Teacher

This truly was an amazing presentation. These award-winning musicians from Vancouver entertained us using their unique style and upbeat delivery using only a violin, a viola and a cello. Favorite pieces of mine were: The Flight of the Bumblebee, Harry Potter Theme and a Star Wars Medley that they used to introduce themselves. I also enjoyed how they incorporated music concepts such as: Theme and variations, dynamics and tempo. 
Mrs. Martin
Music Teacher

If you are looking for information about Infinitus and/or how to purchase their CDS, please check out their website at

Thursday, 13 October 2016

October Music News (K to Gr. 3)

Dear Parents,
This year we are re-vamping Carol-fest and trying a new and exciting format in order to provide more opportunities to feature each class/grade in mini-musicals.

Kindergarten and Grade One
During the Christmas season we will highlight the classes of Kindergarten and Grade One in a performance about Angels. Through story and songs, we will showcase how God has used angels to change the lives of ordinary people with extraordinary news. Parents are asked to mark this date on their calendar: December 20th at 2:30pm. 
(Note: Due to the “busy"ness of the holiday season, there will only be one performance).

Grade 2 and Grade 3
The winter season will feature the Junior Choir and the classes of Gr. 2 and 3. Their performance is called, “The Big Chill “and it will take place on February 2nd. There will be a dress rehearsal in the afternoon at 2:30pm and grandparents will be invited to attend. The evening performance will be for parents and is scheduled for 6:30pm. The performance will be about 30 minutes in length.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at:
Mrs. Martin
Music Teacher and Junior Choir Director

Friday, 2 September 2016

September Music News

Division One Music Program - Taught by Mrs. Martin
The goal of the Music program is to teach students the elements of music through singing, playing, creating, moving and listening. Kindergarten to Gr. 3 students will receive two classes in the music room on days 1, 3 or 5 as well as a group hymn sing on Day 5 in the afternoon.

Students will be engaged in singing (by themselves and in groups), using hand-signs (developed by Kodaly) to show pitch, utilizing Orff instruments in solo and group ensembles, playing games, learning dances, as well as creating and responding to all genres of music.  Reading and writing music, in tune and part-singing, instrumental skills, composition, and the enjoyment of music are the concepts woven into the lessons. 
The Music program is enhanced by school-wide presentations and liturgical celebrations. Students will also have opportunities to perform, both informally and in concert settings. 
Music education is incredibly important to the overall development of a child. At St. Brigid School, students have the opportunity to participate in Music classes, the choir program, and Hymn Sing, where they practice learned singing skills and repertoire. 


The St. Brigid Junior Choir will begin in late October for all students who love to sing in Grades 2 and 3. It is an extra-curricular activity, which requires dedication and a responsible attitude as well as a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. Practices will be held every Day 3 @ 12:30 pm. Students who normally go home for lunch will need to bring a lunch on Day 3. Parents of interested students should look for a choir information and permission note going home after Thanksgiving.  Our first choir practice will be on Friday, October 28th. 

Looking forward to a fun-filled year of music!
Musically yours,
Mrs. M. Martin