Saturday, 28 December 2013

Concert Highlights

Congratulations to our students on the fabulous concerts!  Many extra hours were taken to put the songs, dances and scripts together.  Here are some highlights from the shows.  ENJOY!

K-3 A Bear-Y Merry Holiday clips
Written by John Jacobson and John Higgins

Grade 4-5 Happy, The High-Tech Snowman
Written by Jill & Michael Gallina

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Principal of Music Award

We are very proud to congratulate our principal, Jane Couch, on a very special award she has recently received.  Mr. Miller and myself nominated Ms. Couch for the Principal of Music Award for Western Canada, presented yearly by the Canadian Coalition for Music Education.  We are very pleased to announce that she was selected!  Ms. Couch was presented with this award by Eric Marshall, former SJSD Arts Coordinator and present member of the Coalition, at our Winter Concert.  She received a plaque and cash award to be put towards our music program.  Ms. Couch goes above and beyond her duties as principal in our school to support music at Stevenson-Britannia and in St. James-Assiniboia School Division.  Thank-you for all you do for our students and staff to inspire us to be music-makers.

Music Makes Us Award - Coalition for Music Education

Friday, 20 December 2013

Last school day of 2013

Thank you to staff, students and parent council for the great work on the 2013 winter concerts.  Over the break, check out the pictures and videos soon to be posted of our awesome performers.  Have a very happy safe and relaxing holiday students and staff.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Let's Get Happy! Bear-ly!

The count down begins and our Stevenson star students are working hard to put together the last parts of our concert for next week.

Join us as the K-3 Polar Bears, Grizzlies, Dancing Bears and Pandas throw a beary big party at the North Pole.  2 shows!  Wednesday, December 18 at 1:30 and the evening at 7:00 pm.

Get in a beary merry holiday mood!

Come get lost in a blizzard of techno-speak as the Grade 4/5s dance and act their way to Broadway!  2 shows that you won't want to miss!  Wednesday, December 18 at 1:30 and Thursday, December 19 at 7:00 pm.  Come meet Happy, the high-tech snowman and an amazing cast of scientists, paparazzi, media and choristers!

Gotta find our man!

Let's Get Happy!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Winter concerts are coming!

All students are super busy getting ready for our upcoming annual winter concert.  We are so excited to present to our families 2 musicals this year!

Grade K-3 Wed. Dec. 18 1:30 and 7:00 pm            Grade 4-5 Wed. Dec. 18 1:30 
                                                                 and Thur. Dec. 19 7:00 pm

Students to arrive in evening at 6:15 pm                        Students to arrive in evening at 6:15 pm

Classroom teachers will be sending home costume notes as well as details regarding the concerts.  Please feel to contact me via email or homeroom teachers regarding any questions.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Student Led Conferences

Thank you to all the families who came out to our Open House Student Led Conferences.  It was wonderful to see so many parents and students come to the music room. It was very enjoyable to meet so many of you for the first time and have your child share some of their music learning!

SJSD Children's Choir

We are so proud that we have 5 Grade 5 Stevenson representatives singing in the SJSD Children's Choir this year.  This is an auditioned choir that sets out to give our students a dynamic learning experience in choral singing and techniques.  In addition, students build lasting relationships with peers and reap the benefits of hard work in polished, professional opportunities.  Students had the privilege of attending a 3 day choir camp in September and meet on a weekly basis for rehearsals with director, Mrs. Harochaw.  Congratulations on all your upcoming concerts!
Stevenson Children's Choir students
Congratulations to the Mrs. Harochaw and the Children's Choir on their excellent first performance on November 7th.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy

Since June 2013, Mr. Miller and I have been working on writing a theme song for the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy.  In September, we finalized writing and took the project to our students and began teaching them the song.  In October, we were ready for recording and began laying tracks for the student parts.  In November,  Mr. Miller and I recorded some other solos including J. Gagne, our SJSD Arts Coordinator and some piano riffs.  The project is in the final stages of production in the studio and a few special touches will be added.  Stay tuned for the premiere :)
Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy students recording the chant parts
SJSD Arts Coordinator recording the harmony

Students recording solos

Fall Learnings - Term 1

September, October and November 2013 were busy months in Stevenson's music room.  Students learned music routines and had a focus on becoming more comfortable using our singing voices.  In preparation of Remembrance Day, students rehearsed and discussed what an excellent singer and looks like and sounds like.  Here was our list:

Kinders showing what some excellent singers look like.  What can we do in improve ourselves?
Often during music, we'll practice good listening skills.  We like to play the 'Dream Game.'  As students are listening to a song, they imagine an image(s) about what the song is about, like a movie scene, colors or pictures.  We reflect and discuss ideas like the following questions -

1. Talk about the dynamic levels of the song. When is it the loudest? When is it the softest?
2. Is the song instrumental or have singers?  How many singers are there in the song? Is the song sung by one or more singers? Male or female? Are there back up singers?
3. Was the song smooth or choppy?
4. Do you notice any repeating parts of the song? What part repeats? What parts are different?
5. What instruments do you hear in the song?  What kind of effects are created?
6. Is the song fast or slow? Does it change speeds?
7. How does the song make you feel? Does it make you happy? sad? excited? angry? Why?
8.  What images or colors come to mind when you hear this music?  What do you think the composer is trying to say?

Kinders playing the "Dream Game"

Kinders are learning to follow directions and cues.  As we sing songs, we like to do actions.  Here is some students performing one of our favorites - Elephants Have Wrinkles.
During music listening, we heard 2 songs by the composer, Johan Sebastian Bach.  As we listened we, imagined how the songs made us feel and noticed certain characteristics.  


Group instrument practice

The Grade 2/3 classes were busy making music in Term 1.  We were practicing matching our voices to sing in tune with each other, keeping a steady beat, conducting in 4/4 time, practicing solfege hands signs, reading music and practicing rhythms, learning and practicing patterns on the glockenspiels, metallophones and xylophones.  
Drummers practicing their part in the song, "Freedom March"
"Light a Candle for Peace"
Grade 2/3 choir


Grade 1s have learned how to show excellent singing.  We practiced matching pitches and sang in a singing circle to learn our parts.

Grade 1 singers
During a Halloween activity, we practiced being good listeners.  Students listened to short clips of music that was either happy or scary sounding.  Students held up the face they felt showed the correct sound.  We almost got them all right!   
Is the song happy or scary?
Room 14s faces
Room 16s faces

Our Remembrance Day song included a snare drum.  Here we are comparing and testing the sounds between a snare and timpani.  Which one is lower?
Drum roll please!

Creative expression and movement is an important part of music.  Here we used scarves to show the different parts in the song (seaweed or fish?)


In term 1, the Grade 4/5 classes settled into the music room routines quickly.  We explored reading music and playing in an ensemble on non-pitched instruments.  We did warm-up songs and voice techniques in choir as well as learning to read 2 parts music score in "If You're Out There."  On the barred instruments, we practiced various bordun patterns on the barred instruments while singing a song.

During music star free time, we like to bust the groove on Just Dance Videos.

Dancing and singing!

Welcome chant and Grade 4/5 instrument parts

"If You're Out There" - Grade 4/5 choir
Congratulations on the 2 part singing!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Choir Performances - Let Us Remember

Congratulations to the K-1 students on your hard-work to perform your songs.  Please see links below for your songs.

What are your thoughts about our Remembrance Day performances?

Danielle - I felt proud.  I felt happy when everyone else sang.
Jayden - I felt peaceful.  I was happy that I got to sing up front with Mitchell.
Samir - I felt happy because I enjoyed singing.
Breanna - I felt nervous to perform infront of all the people.  I felt proud of my singing.
Landon - I was excited to sing.
Hannah - I started to kind of cry when I thought about some the soliders dying.  Happy tears went down my face when the Grade 4/5 choir sang because it was peaceful for me.
Jimmy - I felt shy singing infront of everyone.
Christmas - I felt happy when everyone sang because it sounded beautiful.
Sam - I felt proud singing infront of the school and having my dad come to visit.
Beau - I liked singing our song, Light a Candle for Peace.  When I sang O Canada, I felt sad because I remembered the soliders who died.
Bailey - I liked when the 4/5s sang because it sounded beautiful.  I liked when the solider shared some words.
Gavin - I liked singing our song because it sounded beautiful.
Sierra - I liked it when the Grade 4/5s and Kinders/1s sang.  It was graceful.  I liked it when Sam's dad shared about his medals.
Glendy - When the Kinders and Grade 1s sang, they were brave.
Karter - I felt happy singing "Light a Candle for Peace."
Josh - I liked how the others groups and our choir sang.
Terrance - The songs made me feel sad.
Tyson - I liked how all the other groups sounded perfect.
Marlen - I enjoyed hearing the other groups sing.
Marissa - I thought that everyone had good posture.  Everyone sang beautifully.  I was surprised when no one sang during the second 'now' part.
Rose - Everyone was showing what an excellent singers looks like and sounds like.
Remil - I felt very proud that we sang very nice.
Ally - Everyone was smiling.
Callie - I saw everyone singing correctly.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Happy, The High-Tech Snowman

This year for our winter concert, the Grade 4/5 students will presenting the musical "Happy, The High-Tech Snowman" on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 1:30 and Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7:00.  Auditions have taken place and students have been casted.  Students need to bring scripts to and from school everyday.  Congratulations to these 40 students!  Let the rehearsals begin!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Instrument Play

The Grade 1 classes learned a new song this week that teaches us how to play our instruments and keep a steady beat.  We practiced holding and playing all the different instruments.
Room 14 Musicians!

Here is a sound clip of our classes singing the song: 
Welcome back to school
Welcome back to school
Can you play and count to 8?
"I can play and count to 8"
1 - 2 - 3- 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8

Passing to our left
Passing to our left
  Carefully and quickly
Passing to our left

Room 16 Musicians!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

We Believe

My students shared their thoughts and ideas about what they believed about music. We used our new mini iPad and created voice files in the Garageband app. When we put them all together, this is what it sounded like!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Things to Note

Music Program:
Our overaching music goal for the program here at Stevenson is to support, nurture and inspire the growth of every student as a music maker.  The Stevenson music program integrates speech, song, movement, games, art, technology and instrument play as we develop skills and concepts.  Year plans are available at your request.
There are several extra-curricular music opportunities for the students throughout the year including:
  • recorder club
  • orff ensembles
  • drumming club
  • auditions for solos/drama
  • dancing
  • song-writing project
  • music assembly leadership
If you have questions about the program, please feel free to contact me at the school or at my email address (
All students in Gr. 2-5 music are required to have a recorder for music.  Dollarama recorders are NOT recommended.  My experience is that they break and do not have good sound.  Students who purchased a Yahama recorder in previous years have one at school already.  It is suggested that each student have a second recorder at home for practicing.  Forms are available in the music room or the school office.  The cost is $6.50.  Exact cash only please.

I am excited for our Grade 2/3 and Grade 4/5 choirs this year.  We are continuing to have practices once a cycle.  Each student will be fitted with a choir shirt.  Every student needs dark pants and clean shoes for performances.  The purpose of choir is multi-fold: to have fun singing, to develop singing and personal skills for making music in a group and to experience choir performances.  
The following are important dates for all Grade 2-5 students:
  • Nov. 7 - Remembrance Day Service @ Stevenson
  • Dec. 18 - Winter Concert @ Stevenson
  • Feb. - Music Celebration @ Sturgeon Creek United Church
  • Mar. - Winnipeg Music Festival @ Westminster United Church
  • May 21- Celebration of the Arts @ Stevenson 

Are You Ready for This...

Welcome to a new school year 2013-2014.  School is just around the corner and I'm excited about all of things we will learn and grow in this year.

Two new things coming this year include the implementation of the new Provincial Report card/music outcomes and the use of Ipads in all classrooms across the Division.

Manitoba Education has developed new curricula for the Arts subjects (drama, dance, music and visual art) for K-8.  The Stevenson-Britannia music program has been using the new Manitoba music curriculum frameworks for the last 5 years.  SJSD elementary schools will be implementing the new Provincial Report card this year and the music essential learning outcomes reported on will now be 4 instead of the original 3 set out by SJSD. 

The music outcomes reported on will now be:
1. Language and Performance Skills
2. Creative Expression
3. Knowledge & Understanding of Music in Culture & Society
4. Analysis & Communication

For more information regarding specific learning outcomes for each grade level, please visit the MB Education Music Curriculum website and check out the Framework of Outcomes pdf.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Just a Spoonful of Sugar...

The time is drawing nearer for our return to school and all the exciting things that 2013-2014 will bring.  If you haven't already gone, Winnipeg's own outdoor theatre, Rainbow Stage, is playing Disney's Broadway Musical, "Mary Poppins," until the end of Thursday, Aug. 29th.

Some of you may know several of the actors who attend(ed) school in SJSD.  Paula Potosky is playing the lead role of Mary Poppins.  Cory Wojcik is also a SJSD grad who acted in numerous plays and musicals in the school division.  Also, Jenessa Lee, who plays the role of Jane Banks, is a current participant in the Divisional Musical Theatre program.  Below is the link to the Free Press review of "Mary Poppins," followed by an article about Paula. 

This is a wonderful production that's sure to bring back childhood memories and be one for your children to remember for a long time!

I remember my first trip to Rainbow Stage when I was about 10 years old.  I saw Disney's production of Peter Pan and I was immediately caught up in the magic of the theatre.  I distinctly remember the colors, smells and sound as the magical story came alive through the singing, dancing, costumes and staging.

Wpg Free Press - Something Magical About Mary

Wpg Free Press - Paula Potosky Interview

Friday, 14 June 2013

End of the Year song

For those students wishing to practice our end of the year song, here it is!  Families, you are invited to come out to our year end assembly, Thursday, June 27th at 10:00 am.  See you there.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Calvary Place Concert

Thank you to the Calvary Place Personal Care Home and Mrs. Kappy for coming to Stevenson today and hearing us sing.  9 seniors came and we were so excited to have you here.  The Kinders presented Eric Carl's song and story, "Today is Monday."  The Grade 1's sang the funny and familiar song, "On Top of Spaghetti" and the Grade 2/3's sang "Danny Boy" and "Music is Fun."  We ended off the mini-concert with our school song, "Reach of the Stars."  Please come again!

All you hungry children, come and eat it up!
Kindergarten art
Thursday is roast beef... moo!
Kindergarten art

Grade 2/3 Orff Club Presents...

Congratulations to the Grade 2 and 3 Orff Clubs!  Each group presented their piece on June 4th to their classmates.    Grade 2 Orff performed "Ananse and the Sticky Situation," a West African folktale retold by Cristi Cary Miller.  The Grade 3 group presented "Alexandra and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst.