Monday, June 27, 2016

Now Playing Signs

Now playing music by--magnetic signs for orchestra classroom listening

Since I have such limited time with my students, I want to make the most of any opportunity to create a musical experience for them.  One such opportunity presents itself when students stop in the orchestra room before school to drop off their instruments and again at the end of the day when students pick them up to take home.  I try to always have music playing during these times to expose students to music of different composers and styles.  On the CD player cabinet, I have a magnetic sign that says "Now playing music by" along with the composer's name so students have an idea of what they're hearing as they walk by.  I tend to stick with the same composer for a week or two before switching it up.  This would also work for a composer-of-the-month theme or as a way to indicate what is being played as background music during in-class writing activities.

I had been using taped-on, hand-written labels, but this summer I had a lot of fun playing around with different fonts and color combinations with my mom's Cricut for these signs:

Now playing music by--magnetic signs for orchestra classroom listening

Now playing music by--magnetic signs for orchestra classroom listening

Looking forward to trying these out in the fall!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer Packets

Summer packet beginning orchestra supplement repertoireOn the last day of small groups, students receive their summer packets.  The first page gives some ideas of how to stay involved with music over the summer, a few dates of orchestra concerts in the area that families could attend, as well as suggested books to check out at local music stores for additional repertoire.  (I've kept the first page pretty blank on these templates so you can customize it for your students.)

Then, the rest of the packet is all music in the public domain.  I was sure to include a few duets and rounds that students could play with their friends when they get together over the summer.  I play Devil's Dream for the beginners and encourage students to try that piece (slowly first!) if they would like a challenge for the summer.  The packet for second-year students includes a few patriotic tunes just in time for the Fourth of July.

Summer packet (for first-year string players):

  1. Morning Song
  2. Alouette
  3. Come Follow Me (round)
  4. Scotland's Burning (round)
  5. A Mountain View
  6. Trumpet Tune
  7. Rondeau
  8. Chopsticks (duet)
  9. Oh! Susanna
  10. The Arkansas Traveler
  11. When the Saints Go Marching In
  12. Les Toreadors
  13. Devil's Dream

Summer packet (for second-year players):

  1. Now Is the Month of Maying
  2. You're a Grand Old Flag
  3. Shalom Chaverim (round)
  4. March
  5. Waltz
  6. This Little Light of Mine (duet)
  7. Ahrirang
  8. America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)
  9. Flop-Eared Mule
  10. Finale from Serenade for Strings
  11. On, Wisconsin!

Enjoy, and happy summer!