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Mrs. Jill Campion....Vocal Music Teacher
Mrs. Zajac's Class
Miss Mineo's Class
Mrs. Buettner's Class
Newsletter PSO Grade 4 2013
The 4th Grade Students attended the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Schooltime Concert this morning, April 3, 2013. It was a wonderful music concert experience that focused on what inspires composers to write the music that they do.
Conductor Lawrence Loh began the concert with English composer Edward Elgar’s “Wild Bears” from the Wand of Youth Suite. The inspiration for this introductory piece was the description of wild animals.
Next, German composer Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture was performed. On a trip to Finegal’s Cave off the coast of Scotland, Mendelssohn was struck by the beauty of the area. He composed music that sets the scene of a lush, watery landscape where soon a storm appears. In the music, the storm then clears briefly with a clarinet melody but then returns to conclude the piece.
The third piece performed was Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, Mvt. III. Mozart was inspired to compose by his teachers and by his father, and he in turn, inspired many others with his music. This piece featured a conversation between 4th grade piano soloist and orchestra. The students really enjoyed hearing a student their age performing so well with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Gabriel Faure’s “Sicilienne” was written to describe a love story between the characters of Pelleas and Melisande. This piece featured lilting melodies from the flute and harp.
Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite was performed next. This magical story is of Ogre King Katschai and how he is trying to turn the Prince into stone. The students enjoyed this dramatic, rhythmic dance piece.
Inspired by love of country, Sibelius’ Finlandia was performed next. This music was loud and strong, yet in some sections, hymn-like.
The concert concluded with the brilliant film feature of John Williams’ Star Wars.
Prior to the field trip, the students learned about the concert repertoire, conductor biography, Heinz Hall history, orchestral seating and all completed a written and listening test on the instruments of the symphony orchestra. Today, the students were terrific in their demonstration of all that they had learned and the field trip was a success. Thank you to Ms. Buettner, Mrs. Zajac and Miss Mineo for all of their leadership.
Click on newspaper to see the Opera newsletter.
Notes from the Music Room:
What an exciting day in the music room at JES on November 30th:
We welcomed the Pittsburgh Opera Education teaching artists for an Opera Improvisation presentation today in the vocal music room. The Opera teaching artists introduced themselves, spoke about various opera elements and sang two contrasting arias of which the students chose their favorite through applause. A story theme was then chosen from their "prop box" and the artists improvised the story through recitative and incorporated the chosen arias inside the concept of Overture, Plot, Finale. Musical academics such as languages, voice classifications, ensemble groupings, characters, styles of singing and audience interaction were discussed by the quartet and pianist with the students throughout the presentation.
This was possible due to the studying of opera elements from the Pittsburgh Opera's Interactive Opera Trunk program with Dr. Marilyn Egan, Director of Education, Pittsburgh Opera, and specifically the entire study of La Cenerentola (Cinderella). The artists included Soprano Mia Bonnewell (Mt. Lebanon graduate), Soprano Bridget Steele, Tenor Joseph Gaines, Baritone Craig Verm and Pianist James Lesniak. The students did a great job; they were respectful, attentive and knowledgeable.
Music education in Mt. Lebanon is consistent with the National Standards for Arts Education. The Music curriculum is balanced, comprehensive, and sequential. It provides experiences in creating, performing, listening to and analyzing music.
Vocal music is a standards based program using the singing voice as the primary instrument through which children learn the concepts of rhythm, melody, harmony, form, tone color and musical expression. To reinforce the singing there is movement, singing games, playing tuned and untuned percussion instruments, reading and writing notes as well as active listening to various styles and genres of music.
All students will be exposed to current computer software to supplement and enhance classroom activities. This is used on an ongoing basis which enriches the music curriculum. Exceptional students, to the fullest extent possible, will have the opportunity to participate in music on the same basis as other students.
The District recognizes the collaborative role of certified music specialists to implement the curriculum.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
May 23, 2012 - 2nd Grade Schooltime Concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
There is nothing quite like the gift of live music. What an exciting day for the Second Grade students at Jefferson Elementary! We traveled to beautiful, historical Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts to hear the world-famous Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Thomas Hong. The concert entitled "Meet the Orchestra" began with an exciting opening composition, Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Opus 93, Allegro movement by the composer Shostakovich featuring the entire orchestra of strings, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. Maestro Hong then led us through the four families of the orchestra and their discussion according to sound and how it is produced on each instrument. Each rhythmic percusssion instrument was individually introduced and then collectively presented. The presentation continued with each instrument from the brass, woodwind and string families.
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Opus 36 featured specifically the delightful sound of the string family playing pizzicato followed by a woodwind and brass family feature. Maestro Hong then welcomed to the stage WQED, 89.3 radio's Mr. Jim Cunningham to narrate Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. Coordinated pictures of each instrument were displayed on the large screen above the stage while the composition progressed through the four families and their respective instruments. All students then experienced conducting patterns and conducted while the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concluded with Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever march.
This was an exhilarating concert of live music with meaningful academic musical education for the students.
An interactive day of Pennsylvania Music and History for the
Jefferson 4th Grade students!
We began our day at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts with the world-class Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The concert focused on Pennsylvania composers contributions to the musical world in conjunction with Pennsylvania history. Maestro Thomas Hong, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and guest narrator and vocalist Mr. Tim Hartman presented seven compositions to the students. The PSO began with the Philadelphia composer Jennifer Higdon's Amazing Grace which beautifully featured the string family. John Philip Sousa's Liberty Bell March, the march that was played for three Presidential inaugurations, was performed second. Next, Mr. Hartman gave an energetic performance of two Stephen Foster songs, "Camptown Races, Oh Susanna!" . Martha Graham's collaboration and Aaron Copland's incorporation of folk music created Variations on a Shaker Melody which featured the beautiful "Tis the Gift to be Simple" theme and variations composition. Next, we learned about Henry Mancini's early life of playing in the Sons of Italy Band, attending the Juilliard School for a shortened time due to being drafted in the war and then returning home to composing the comedy movie theme, The Pink Panther.
Mr. Culter who presently teaches at Duquesne University composed the next work that was influenced by Vincent Van Gogh. His Vango Tan Gogh incorporated the many musical styles of jazz, rock, country and tango. The 20th century composer from West Chester, PA was our final composer feature. Samuel Barber, best known for his Adagio for Strings, which he wrote while a student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, PA, composed the modern Overture for School for Scandal. This composition featured jubuliant brass playing, followed by the theme from the entire orchestra to woodwind features to an entire orchestra fanfare to conclude the piece. The concert was truly a fantastic musical history lesson for the students.
Following the concert, we traveled to the Senator John Heinz History Center where we met Katie Eskew's grandfather, Mr. Bob Fulton. With several docents, the students visited the Innovations Gallery, the Special Collections Gallery and the two floors of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. At the Innovations Gallery, the students learned about Pittsburghers who have changed the world through various inventions and discoveries. Students learned about early weaponry, steel development, the Bessemer converter, the Westinghouse air brake, the Salk polio vaccine, the Renaissance of Pittsburgh and more. The Special Collections Gallery featured more than 3,000 artifacts organized into small ethnic collections from Serbia, Poland, Italy, Germany, Asia and Ireland. The interactive Sports Museum highlighted the great Western Pennsylvania sports of all kinds.
Thanks to Ms. Buettner, Mrs. Zajac, Mrs. Stack, Mrs. Jhaveri and Miss Osiecki. It was a memorable day.
What an exciting day in the music room at JES Thursday December 1:
JES welcomed the Pittsburgh Opera artists for an Opera Improvisation performance today in the vocal music room. The Opera artists introduced themselves, spoke about various opera elements and sang two contrasting arias of which the students chose their favorite through applause. A story theme was then chosen from their "prop box" and the artists improvised the story through recitative and incorporated the chosen arias inside the concept of Overture, Plot, Finale. Musical academics such as languages, voice classifications, ensemble groupings, characters, styles of singing and audience interaction were discussed by the quartet and pianist with the students throughout the presentation.
This was possible due to the studying of opera elements from the Pittsburgh Opera's Interactive Opera Trunk program with Dr. Marilyn Egan, Director of Education, Pittsburgh Opera, and specifically the entire study of La Cenerentola (Cinderella). The students did a great job; they were respectful, attentive and knowledgeable.
Building Chorus performances--throughout the year--Grade 5
Also available for Grade 5 by audition is Elementary District Chorus. This selected group offers another opportunity to students who wish to develop their vocal musical talents more fully.
SCHEDULE FOR VOCAL MUSIC
Grades 1 - 5.................................30 minutes/twice a week
|Important Dates |
Upcoming Musical Events
Friday, December 14, 2012 JES Winter Concert
1:00 pm Student performance,
2:15 pm Parent Performance
Friday, April 26, 2013 JES Spring Sing
1:00 PM Student Performance
2:15 Parent Performance
Mr. Doug Reichenfeld, Band
Click on the horn to access Mr. Reichenfeld's wiki for additional information.
The band program begins in fourth grade and builds upon the music foundations of the vocal music program.
Flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone, French Horn, and percussion are taught in a small group setting. Being a "pull-out" program, band students meet for 25-minute lessons which rotate through the day to avoid students missing the same class two weeks in a row.
Most students rent their instruments through local instrument dealerships, although family-owned instruments are commonly used, too.
Students are expected to practice daily, thus ensuring steady progress. Holiday concerts are held at Jefferson, as well as spring band concerts held at the high school.
The Jefferson Middle School band is the perfect complement to Jefferson Elementary's tradition of band excellence.
Mr. Pierce Cook, Strings
String students working with a world class muscian sponsored by Mr. Cook
Basic information about 3rd Grade Strings.
1 - All students should have a small, clean, dry cloth in their case to clean off their instruments after they play.
2- We encourage students to have a keychain, action figure, bandana, or SOMETHING tied onto their case to help them distinguish their cases from others.
3- Students should practice 5 minutes a day for 5 days a week (25 minutes total) for the first several months of lessons. Around December, practice should be increased to 15 minutes a day for 5 days a week (75 minutes) Mr. Cook will make it clear when that switch should happen.
4- Students will participate in two concerts in 3rd grade - the All District Orchestra Concert in early spring and then the Jefferson Elementary Concert Spring Concert, usually in May. Families will receive all needed information as the concerts draw closer.
5 - Make sure you have and use a music stand at home!
6- Your lesson is the same DAY every week - don't forget your instrument on your lesson day!
4th and 5th grade String Players
Fourth and fifth grade string players are expected to strive for 100 minutes of practice a week: 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Realizing that some students already have a level of commitment to other activities that may prevent them from this much practice, it is still expected that students practice several times a week for as long as they are able to.
Practicing music is just like learning any other skill - frequency is as important, if not more important, than sheer number of minutes. If a student can play for 10 minutes a day for 5 days, that is usually far better than 50 minutes on one day.
Fourth and fifth grade string students will participate in at least 3 concerts during the year - the JES Holiday Concert in December, the District Orchestra Concert in early spring, and the JES Spring concert, usually in May. The possibility of a field trip to perform in a local retirement home or other civic location always exists. All information for concerts will be sent home with plenty of advanced notice. Both the spring and holiday concerts require attendance at weekly recess time rehearsals that usually begin two months before the concert. String students are always encouraged to showcase their talent at the JES spring talent show!