This Week in Music Class-March 3

This week we’re listening to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade”. You may have heard it during the Winter Olympics  ice dancing competition. Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the gold medal while skating to this beautiful music! It’s one of my favorites, and I was so excited to hear it (and many other Russian Nationalistic composers) during the Sochi Olympics. Many of the competitors chose Russian composers for their competition music this year, and the Russian audiences surely appreciated it!


This week during class we’re also delving into rhythm AND bass clef!!

We are just past the mid point of term 3. If you log in to Aspen and notice that your child has a poor grade, please check with them to be sure that they have brought in a folder (that can live in class).  Students are required to have a folder to keep all their music work together in one place. No worries if they didn’t have one when I checked… Just have them bring one in for partial credit ASAP. They must come and show me in order to get credit for it.

Mrs. Kelley


This Week in Music Class – February 24


I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful winter vacation!! We’re back in full swing this week!! We’re going to be adding rhythm this week to our repertoire. Check out the video below for a preview of what we’ll be learning in class! Once we’ve got rhythm, we’ll be adding new songs to our piano skills! This week we’re also honing our treble clef skills in anticipation of learning bass clef in a week or so!! Welcome back from vacation!!

Mrs. Kelley

This Week in Music Class – February 10

The snow day last week slowed us down, but just a little bit! We got a late start on our composers, so we’re working on that this week.  Each grade is assigned a different composer, this week we’re learning about:

Grade 6-George Frederic Handel 1685-1759

Grade 7-Antonio Vivaldi 1678-1741

Grade 8-Hildegard von Bingen 1098-1179

There are PowerPoint presentations for each composer which includes biographical information, images, and a video link for music that they wrote. Students then complete a worksheet (and can look up the answers in the PowerPoint).

This week we are also practicing notes on the treble clef, and putting the C-major scale together with both hands.

Thursday and Friday this week will be our first “Folder Check.” Students need to have a folder that they keep here in class which holds all the reference sheets that I give them in class.  On Thursday (for blue day) and Friday (for white day) I will be going through the class bins and checking for folders and papers. Please be sure that students have brought in their folders by then.

This week we’re listening to movie soundtrack music.  Click the picture below to go to a story about a modern-day composer (who just won an Annie Award for his work on the movie Frozen).


This Week in Music Class – February 3

We’re having so much fun getting to know the pianos in class!! This week we’re tackling the C major scale, with both hands (separately at first, then we’ll put them together). We’re also learning about our first composers of the term.  Each grade learns about different composers throughout the semester. There are PowerPoint presentations on the computers that I’ve created. Students view the presentations which include a video of music written by the composer, and then fill out an online worksheet answering questions about the composer and what they heard. Students can use the PowerPoint and look up the answers as they complete the worksheet, so it’s a great way to boost their grades while listening to great music and learning about influential Western composers.

Remember, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. School email is the easiest and quickest way.

Check out this video on playing the C scale on the piano, it’s not super exciting, but you can see how we go about playing the scale.

Mrs. Kelley

This Week in Music Class-January 27

Whew! We’re very quickly getting into the routines of class. This week we’re learning more about notes on the treble clef, we’re starting our music “Word of the Day” where we take the day’s word and spell it with music notes. We’re also learning how to navigate the programs available to us on the computers and looking at the notes on the pianos. What a lot of work we’re doing this week!!

I wanted to point out a feature of the class website.  Over on the right side, you’ll see a snippet of the music we’re listening to at the beginning and end of every class.  I try to pick something that students may not have heard before, and it goes beyond the usual Mozart’s and Beethoven’s that we learn about during class time. The music at the beginning and end of class is to expose students to new or different music.  If you click on the top “Listen to This” menu, you’ll find more information about the music we’re listening to each week.

Don’t forget, students need to have a folder, something to write with, and headphones for class.

Check out this cool video about how to read music 🙂

*Extra credit this month is to bring a box of tissues or bottle of hand sanitizer 🙂

Mrs. Kelley

Welcome to Music Class – January 20

photoWow!! I cannot believe that we are starting Semester 2. A sad goodbye to my Semester 1 classes, and a warm welcome to all my new students!!

We don’t have a semester 2 open house, but I do have my Open House Information PowerPoint available for everyone to view. Please CLICK HERE to see the PowerPoint presentation with the basic class overview information that I presented in the fall, and as always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you have.

Students are required to bring 4 things to class.

  • A positive attitude… We will be doing new and different things, how you approach new and different things definitely affects how successful you are.
  • A PENCIL. All work should be completed in class and in pencil.
  • Headphones. They don’t need to be fancy or expensive, the dollar store ones work fine, but imagine a room with 12 electronic pianos all playing at once, and you’ll understand why we need headphones in class!
  • A Folder. The folder MUST be something that can be left here in class. All student work is done in class and students will have many reference sheets to help them. Folders will live here in the room and be available for students when they need them.

Extra Credit: This month’s extra credit is to bring in a box of tissues or bottle of hand sanitizer :) With nearly 250 students each semester, we go through a lot of tissues :)

Mrs. Kelley

This Week in Music Class – January 13


It’s hard to believe that we are almost finished with semester 1!! Seems like just yesterday we were trading in our shorts and flip-flops for backpacks and packed lunches, but here we are in January with our snow shovels and hats/mittens!! This is our last week in music class for this group of students, so we’re finishing up on the guitars, and tying up loose ends for the end of the semester. I hope everyone has a wonderful end of year, and hope the second semester is as great as the first!!

This week’s Middle School Word of the Week is Hypothesis. HERE is a very brief article titled “An Evolutionary Hypotheses for Why Humans Are Musical



Flash Mob at Boston’s MFA

I know I wasn’t going to post again until after vacation, but… I found this amazing video of a flash mob last week by Berklee School of Music students at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you can appreciate the beautiful voices (in a beautiful space). You can read the full article on here.

This comment from the article struck me in particular…

The choir rehearsed twice together and then the whole group, including strings and singer Mark Joseph, a 20-year-old Berklee student, practiced together on Friday.

Wow… the choir rehearsed twice, and the whole group only once… Wow again…

Have a happy and wonderful vacation… See you next year!!

Updated: A parent just sent me the link to another Flash Mob, this one the Air Force Band at the Smithsonian!! Enjoy!

This Week in Music Class – December 16

This week is a continuation of what we learned in guitar last week. Students are continuing to hone their skills on reading music and reading guitar TAB.  This week students have the choice to work on any of the 7 songs they currently have in their folders.


Music reading skills:

  • Skip to my Lou
  • Go Tell Aunt Rhody
  • Paw Paw Patch

Guitar Tab skills (these holiday songs are optional):

  • Let it Snow
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

It’s getting to be that time of year where sniffles and sneezes are rampant… We’re starting to run low on the tissues and hand sanitizer that came in at the beginning of the year. I’m happy to give an extra credit grade to anyone who can bring in a box of tissues or bottle of hand sanitizer to share!!

This week’s Middle School Word of the Week is Primary. The main definition is first or highest in rank or importance.  Since we’re playing the guitar, let’s talk about the primary chords. The “Primary” Chords in music are the three most commonly used chords. Those are the I, IV, and V (or V7) chords. Meaning the chords that are built off of the first, fourth, and fifth degree of a scale. Right now in guitar, the students know the I and the V chords in the G scale, namely the G major and D7 Chords.

The G Chord


The D7 Chord


Chord images found here:

This will be the last “This Week in Music Class” until the new year!! I hope everyone has a wonderful winter vacation!!

Mrs. Kelley


This Week in Music Class – December 9

This week we’re learning how to read guitar TAB, but don’t worry! We’re not abandoning reading “real” music notes!! Just having fun with some winter songs.  By the end of the week, students will be able to play the guitar by both reading notes and TAB.  They are still working hard on the traditional US folk songs:  Skip to my Lou, Go Tell Aunt Rhody, and Paw Paw Patch!  Do you know what a paw paw is? Check out this link to read about this tasty fruit that is indigenous to the United States!


This week’s Middle School Word of the Week is Parallel.

Take a peek at THIS link to see parallels between Music and the Common Core in Math and the Language Arts!

Mrs. Kelley