Monday, April 9, 2018

Jupiter Arrangement


Jupiter elementary orchestra arrangement sheet music


My students are learning an arrangement of "Jupiter" from The Planets by Gustav Holst, but I wasn't pleased with several aspects of it, so I arranged it myself for the next time I teach this piece.  This arrangement includes just the hymn part of "Jupiter," no introduction, and violins/violas have the melody while the cellos/basses have the harmony.  It's transposed to G Major, so low second fingers are needed, as well as E string notes for the violin (I put viola down an octave in those spots).  There are a few slurs for the upper strings and a few hooked bowings for the lower strings.  I did switch the original dotted eighths/sixteenths to even eighth notes, made the harmony part all arco instead of pizz., then arco, and I added some bow lifts that would not be in the original melody just to help students who might need an extra spot to regroup in case they get lost.

Sheet music (all PDFs):
Audio (WAV files) to preview or for students to play along with to practice:
Selected YouTube links:

Enjoy!
Jupiter elementary orchestra arrangement sheet music
 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Books of Compositions

Book of orchestra student compositions

When my school started a section in the library dedicated to student writing, I made up two binders of student compositions from my first year of teaching up to the present.  Each time students write a new composition, I make sure to print an extra copy to add to the binder.  Now current (and future) orchestra members can check out what current (and past) students have written.

Book of orchestra student compositions


Book of orchestra student compositions


Book of orchestra student compositions

Friday, March 2, 2018

Women Wow the Music World! Bulletin Board



Women's history month music bulletin board female composers performers


March is Women's History Month, and this year I wanted to create a bulletin board highlighting female musicians throughout history.  Thanks to my mom for coming up with the title: "Women Wow the Music World!"(and for cutting out and mailing me the letters)!

As with some previous bulletin boards (see the post "Celebrate Music with these Great Americans!" for Black History Month), I printed out the "condensed" file, trimmed and laminated each half sheet, and then attached them to a folded piece of colored paper.  If you'd rather save some steps, just print out the "double sided" file, fold each page in half, and you're ready to staple them to the bulletin board!

For each musician, I included her name and picture on the front and then her name, dates, country, instrument, profession, genre, and one famous title when you lift up the flap.

Here are the 24 musicians included (feel free to add your own):

  • Martha Argerich
  • Amy Beach
  • Hildegard von Bingen
  • Nadia Boulanger
  • Regina Carter
  • C├ęcile Chaminade
  • Sarah Chang
  • Sandra Dackow
  • Jacqueline du Pre
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel
  • Jennifer Higdon
  • Billie Holiday
  • Alma Schindler Mahler
  • Midori
  • Soon Hee Newbold
  • Florence Beatrice Price
  • Clara Schumann
  • Ruth Crawford Seeger
  • Anoushka Shankar
  • Bessie Smith
  • Esperanza Spalding
  • Ellen Taaffe Zwilich


Women Wow the Music World!--heading


Names, pictures, and trivia (condensed)

Names, pictures, and trivia (print double sided)

Enjoy!

Women's history month music bulletin board female composers performers


Women's history month music bulletin board female composers performers


Women's history month music bulletin board female composers performers


Women's history month music bulletin board female composers performers


Women's history month music bulletin board female composers performers


Women's history month music bulletin board female composers performers


Women's history month music bulletin board female composers performers


Women's history month music bulletin board female composers performers


Women's history month music bulletin board female composers performers

Monday, February 26, 2018

Dr. Seuss Door Decorations


Dr. Seuss door decoration elementary band/orchestra

This year my school is doing a whole Dr. Seuss week, complete with door decorations inspired by different Dr. Seuss books.  My book was The Foot Book, and what better way to decorate the door of the band/orchestra room than by adding feet to instruments?  I colored and cut out photocopies of feet from the book and added them to laminated pictures of instruments that I already had from an earlier bulletin board, and voila!  I think I like the feet on the trumpet and bass the best :)


Dr. Seuss door decoration elementary band/orchestra


Dr. Seuss door decoration elementary band/orchestra


Dr. Seuss door decoration elementary band/orchestra


Dr. Seuss door decoration elementary band/orchestra


Dr. Seuss door decoration elementary band/orchestra


Dr. Seuss door decoration elementary band/orchestra


Dr. Seuss door decoration elementary band/orchestra


Dr. Seuss door decoration elementary band/orchestra

Monday, February 12, 2018

Composer Trivia Bulletin Board


Composer trivia bulletin board elementary orchestra


One thing that I like about our method book, "Orchestra Expressions," Book 1, is that it highlights several composers including Bach, Beethoven, Bizet, Copland, Strauss, Jr. and more.  The featured composers each have a portion of a page with their portrait, a short bio, a listening map for a specific composition, and a timeline.  The CD that comes with the book also has a recording of that specific composition for each composer; students are encouraged to listen to that CD track while doing various warmups.

Anyway, I took five of the composers and came up with a bit of trivia for each.  I put the fun fact on the front of a folded sheet of paper and the corresponding composer's name on the inside.  This way, it's an interactive bulletin board--students can flip up the flap to see if they guessed the correct composer!

Here are the pdfs of the text and pictures.  I laminated each bit before taping it onto the colored paper so they would last longer.  I've also included some pdfs of the same trivia written as a word balloon coming out of the mouth of each composer. Enjoy!


Composer trivia bulletin board elementary orchestra

Composer trivia bulletin board elementary orchestra

Composer trivia bulletin board elementary orchestra

Composer trivia bulletin board elementary orchestra

Composer trivia bulletin board elementary orchestra

Composer trivia bulletin board elementary orchestra


Composer trivia word balloons

Monday, January 8, 2018

William Tell Overture Arrangement



William Tell Overture elementary orchestra arrangement

For this year's district-wide String Fest, I arranged Rossini's "William Tell Overture" for beginning orchestra.  There are two versions for the very beginners--one is a mostly open string harmony part with a few first finger Es and Bs, and the second is more melodic part that sticks mostly to D string notes.  The arrangement for second year players is very balanced--everyone gets the melody at some point!  Instead of writing repeat signs for repeated material, I wrote it out so violins get the melody the first time and violas/cellos/basses get the melody the second time.  This is written in G Major (so some low 2s) with no slurs (but a few tricky double down-bows in the intermediate arrangement that take some practice).

Orchestra members really enjoyed learning a "real" piece that they had heard before and seen YouTube recordings of professional orchestras playing.  While some students were initially put off by its length (two pages instead of one for the intermediate version), they quickly realized there's a lot of repetition and felt a sense of accomplishment as the orchestra learned each section.


Sheet music (all PDFs):



Audio (WAV files) to preview or for students to play along with to practice:



Intermediate melody (first 8 measures only), which I used when introducing the piece:



Selected YouTube links:



Again, I like to use clip art instead of labeling parts "beginning" and "intermediate" or by grade level, so you'll see matching images within the beginning and intermediate parts and scores.


William Tell Overture elementary orchestra arrangement


William Tell Overture elementary orchestra arrangement



William Tell Overture elementary orchestra arrangement



Monday, December 11, 2017

Beautiful Bow Hold Bulletin Board



Admire these beautiful bow holds bulletin board elementary orchestra


I had been wanting to create a bulletin board showcasing the bow holds of famous string players--and of my students--for a couple of years now and I finally made it happen this year.  You'll see some pictures both before and after I added the student pictures.  Students can check out some model bow holds and start to become familiar with the names of a few well known string players as well as feel recognized for their work on their own bow hold!


Musicians included:

VIOLIN
  • Regina Carter
  • Yehudi Menuhin
  • Midori
  • Lindsey Stirling

VIOLA
  • Yuri Bashmet

CELLO
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Steven Sharp Nelson

BASS
  • Edgar Meyer (French bow)
  • Robert Oppelt (German bow)

Admire these beautiful bow holds bulletin board elementary orchestra


Admire these beautiful bow holds bulletin board elementary orchestra


Admire these beautiful bow holds bulletin board elementary orchestra



Admire these beautiful bow holds bulletin board elementary orchestra

Admire these beautiful bow holds bulletin board elementary orchestra