This Week in Music Class-March 10

Happy Monday Everyone!!! I hope everyone is up bright and early today… The only good thing about losing that hour of sleep is that it’s a sure sign that spring is finally on its way!!! March is Music in Our Schools Month, and while I was surfing around the web this past week I found this clip. It’s Jimmy Fallon, Idina Menzel, and The Roots singing “Let it Go” from Frozen using classroom music instruments!!! Awesome in so many ways 🙂 I especially love the triangle and the multicolored glockenspiel!!! Check this out:

How much fun was that???!! In other music happenings… In class this week we’re talking about our next composers, and learning our first piano song that has chords… Plus continuing to get those pesky bass clef notes!! Busy, busy week!! For extra credit this week, fill out the form below and tell me what your favorite classroom music instrument is 🙂

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 2

This week we’re continuing to build on our knowledge of the guitar. We’re putting the final touches on Skip to my Lou, the song and the chords. We’ve started working on Go Tell Aunt Rhody, the song and the chords.  Students who have a little more experience on the guitar will be continuing on to Paw Paw Patch. Pretty soon we’ll be adding more songs and chords!  The last 2 weeks of December we’ll be learning how to read TAB as well as the notes.

Tis the season to attend winter concerts!! If you get a chance to see live music of any kind during the holidays, please be sure to let me know!! Students who attend outside-of-school live music events can get extra credit for class simply by coming in and telling me about it!! I’m excited to be attending the Celtic Christmas Sojourn this year, plus several other events. It’s so nice to hear live music!!

Middle School Word of the Week: Hemisphere

Want to learn more about the hemispheres of the brain?? And how music fits in?? READ THIS ARTICLE called Music, Rhythm and The Brain.

Hmmm… Where does our ability to play and react to music come from?? Really interesting stuff!!

Happy December Everyone!

Mrs. Kelley

This Week in Music Class – November 25

Happy Thanksgiving Week!!! I hope everyone has a wonderful and restful long weekend this coming week.

Good luck Wildcats!!!! I’m sure the game will be a good one (even if the game’s away in Tewksbury this year), and you know you don’t want to miss the fabulous Wildcat Marching Band half-time show!!!


(Ha!! found this image at and it made me laugh!!)

We have a short week at school this week… We’ll be reviewing the 6 notes we know, along with the 2 chords, and applying them to a new song (Go Tell Aunt Rhody).

This week’s Middle School Word of the Week is Capital-A city regarded as being of special eminence in some field of activity.

Austin Texas is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” It was officially named that in 1991 when it was discovered that Austin hosts more live music venues per capita than anyplace else!!! Who knew??


Mrs. Kelley