Sunday, October 30, 2011

Compromise through modern technology

Mr. Owen and I share vocal music duties at the Middle School.  This year a great thing has happened for our students.  Last year the students had music every other day for a semester.  This year, the vocal music students have choir everyday for the entire semester.  This is positive due to the fact that our students now receive twice as much class time in choir than in previous years. This concentrated amount of class time has allowed the students to prepare more music in a shorter amount of time.

Mr. Owen and I had a discussion one time at the beginning of the year about the extra time with the students.  We joked about "Karaoke Fridays" every week.  The next thing we knew, we had decided to implement this idea on Fridays.  One reason for this was the basic thoughts of young, middle school choir students.  They always seem to sing out with volume and confidence as they sing along with the radio, yet when we are in class, they seem quieter while singing and not a sure of themselves.  By implementing "Karaoke Fridays", it allows the students a little time each week to sing popular songs and give them a chance to sing as if they were in the car.  This also brings some relaxation and additional "fun" to the classroom.  To give the students a little more ownership in this idea, Mr. Owen has set up a survey in google that the students can access and vote for songs each week.  Besides voting for songs on a list, they can use the form to suggest songs of their own.  Each week, we sing the top voted song each week for "Karaoke Friday".

Along those same lines, with the extra time to work on extra songs, we have decided to try to ad some of the more "popular" music to our class that the students will be more familiar with.  Just taking suggestions from students could be messy.  Again, Mr. Owen came through with a technological suggestion.  He set up another form that the students can access through their school e-mail.  This form lists many songs that were suggested by our students.  The list is very long, so the students will first be able to log in and choose their top 10 songs.  Then the top vote getters will be posted and the students will be able to vote once again. Through this method and the technology we have available at school, the students can help to choose music for the concerts and also have a say in some extra, fun songs each week.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Make plans to attend the Broadway Players of FHS's production of 

Friday, October 28 at 7:30
Saturday, October 29 at 7:30
Sunday, October 30 at 2:00
in the FHS Auditorium.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Updated 5th Grade video

Here is the updated video of the 5th Grade Ensemble singing the National Anthem at the Fairfield High School Varsity Volleyball game on 10/11/11.  Check it out...

5th Grade Ensemble Anthem

I am really pleased to let everyone know just how proud I am of the students in the 5th Grade Ensemble!!!

Last night they sang the National Anthem for the Varsity Volleyball game against Washington.
We have had only two practices to prepare, and I think they did an AWESOME job.  If your student sings in the ensemble or you know someone who does, please pat them on the back and let them know how proud I am of the job they did.

Thank you for your students!!

~Mr. G

Click the video below to hear how well they did.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Busy Times!!!

I apologize for the slight pause in my posts, but a lot has been happening lately and I have fallen slightly behind.

Coming up soon:  5th Grade ensemble began just two weeks ago, however on Tuesday night we will be singing the National Anthem at the Varsity volleyball game at the High School.  Students should please report at 6:30 in the High School Gym.  Approximately 6:45 we will be moving to the hallway so that we can practice a couple times, and approximately 7:00 we should be performing the anthem.  Although we have only had 2 weeks of prep time, I am excited about how well they are following my direction and the sound they are putting together.

Next month, both Libertyville and Washington Elementaries will be putting on a Veteran's Program.  Students are working hard in music to learn songs to perform at the programs that will help us remember our Veterans and all they have given to keep our Freedoms that we all enjoy.

This last week has also brought our Winter program to my mailbox.  We will be performing in December at the Sondheim Center and we need to begin those preparations shortly to be ready in time.  Besides concert preparations we will still be concentrating on our regular classroom objectives such as steady beat, counting rhythms and enjoying new songs.  Fourth Grade Ensemble will also be starting this week, so please watch for permission slips to be coming home with your students.

Lastly for this week, I do believe the date has been set for the Middle School Vocal Music Program.  the program will include the 7th and 8th Grade choir and the MS Ensemble.  The concert will be at the Middle School on Monday October 24th at 6:30 PM.  We do recognize that there is also HS Volleyball Regionals that night, but it our intention to be done by 7:00 which should allow people the ability to attend both events.  Watch for more information to follow soon.

Thank you for your students and your support,
~Mr. G