Wednesday, 26 February 2014


It's that time again our Grade 2/3 and Grade 4/5 choirs are heading off to the 97th Annual Winnipeg Music Festival in the next 2 weeks.  We have been busy rehearsing and fine-tuning our pieces.

We will be singing at the beautiful historic Westminster United Church (745 Westminster Avenue).

Please make note of the dates:
Grade 2/3 Choir - Thursday, March 6 at 9:45.
We are first to sing and will stay to hear 1 other group.
Grade 4/5 Choir - Thursday, March 13 at 9:45.  We are first to sing and will stay to hear 1 other group.

Please have permission forms returned immediately.  Also, please have your child to school on time as the buses are leaving promptly at 9:10.

Uniform: black dress pants, shoes, short sleeve shirt (choir shirts will be handed out at school)

Parent chaperons:  I am looking for a few parents to accompany us on the bus to help supervise.  If you can come, please indicate on the form that went home.

Families are invited to come and watch and will be seated in the balcony.  The admission fee at the door is $4.00 at the door (cash only).

Hope to see you there!!

Thank-you for your continued support of our music program.

We LOVE Sound Stories

Our sound stories are finished!  Enjoy!  Please leave comments about some of your favorites and why.




Friday, 21 February 2014

QR Codes

Our Grade 4/5s are just finishing up recording our sound stories in Garageband and they have been sharing them daily during music listening time.  With the use of classroom Ipad mini's, I was trying to think of ways to incorporate technology into my classroom.  I needed them to do a reflection for assessment and I decided to use technology to a. save paper / reduce my take-home work and b. engage the students in reflection.  With my tech training, I decided to create an online form using 'Google docs' and QR codes (see QRstuff website to create the code).  The Ipads were installed with the I-Nigma app and I created the QR link and posted it up for the kids to scan.  It was a no mess/hassel activity and I had instant data organized on a spreadsheet from their responses.
Check out this quick music questionaire!

If you don't have an app to try it, click on the following link: Music Questionaire

1-2-3 Energize!

It was yet another indoor recess in wintery Winnipeg today.  Our classes needed some energizers to get our bodies moving and brains ready for learning.

For the past 5 years I have been using several lessons from Jeff Kriske and Randy Delelles's GAMEPLAN books.  This quick and engaging movement / rhythm activity from the Grade 3 book had all the students participating.

Our learning objectives included phrasing, improvising, question-answer, and form (introduction/interlude/coda)

This is a short clip of the song by Eric Chapelle's Music for Creative Dance, Volume IV.  For purchase in Itunes, see website.

Game Version 1: Get into 5 rows and first 5 students of each row stand in front.  One at a time, each leader uses movement or body percussion to improvise an eight-beat phrase, and the class echos.  This happens 5 times with an interlude between each to switch to new leaders.

Game Version 2:  In scattered positions around the room, the teacher or designated leader leads the group in a question-answer pattern 5x.  On the interlude, each student can dance to a new spot in the room and the question-answer pattern repeats either with a new leader or the same one.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Grade 4/5 Music Celebration Reflections

A huge thank you to the families and students who attended SJSD Music Celebration on Tuesday, February 11 at Sturgeon Creek United.  The Grade 2/3 choir sang and then the Grade 4/5s.  We had a great turn-out.  The students sang well and Mrs. Millie Hildebrand (biography) adjudicated our performance.  She gave us some great ideas to improve our singing and stage presence.  Congratulations and good luck choirs as you prepare for the Winnipeg Music Festival coming in March.  Thank-you also to the parent volunteers and staff for your help in handing out uniforms and supervising.

Here's what the students had to say!

Callie - We did a really good job on Song of the River, hitting all the notes.
Rose - Our 2 parts were flawless.
Matt W - We sang with long phrases, showing we have good breath support.
Ally - If we had more face expressions for Swinging on a Star, it would have been better.
Marrisa - If we had put more power in our voices, to spin the words, it would have sounded better.
Noah R - At the end of Swinging on a Star, we need to work on our 2 part harmony.
Octavia - I would like to work on Part 1 words in Song of the River.
Noah C - I enjoyed doing the actions for Swinging on a Star.
Milan - Let's look like we are having a little more fun and put smiles on our faces.
Xavier - We can work on making our songs a little more louder.
Kirstin - We can make our phrases longer and I am happy that Mrs. Hildebrand gave us that advice.
Tessa - Our adjudicator said that on Song of the River we need more energy.
Carter - We can have more smiles and expressions to show more energy.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Choir Concert Tonight!

It's concert day!   Tonight our choirs will be performing at the St. James-Assiniboia School Division MUSIC CELEBRATION.  This is a non-competitive choral experience that will help the students prepare for the Winnipeg Music Festival competition in March.  Admission is free.

Sturgeon Creek United Church
207 Thompson Drive

Grade 2/3s are to arrive for 5:20 pm and perform at 5:50 pm
Grade 4/5s are to arrive for 6:00 pm and perform at 6:30 pm

- Uniforms: wear black dress pants or skirt and short sleeve tops.  If possible, bring indoor dress shoes as well.  Choir shirts will be provided upon arrival and will be collected in the lobby following our performance.
- Please leave jackets, sweaters and boots upstairs in the lobby as we will NOT be returning to the warm-up room.
- Parents please discuss with your child proper etiquette (walking, calm, quiet voices, listening to directions).  Parents are expected to watch their children before and after the performance.  Please have them use the facilities before they are dropped off at their designated times.
- Once you've dropped your child off in the warm-up room (Sturgeon Room), please find a seat in the auditorium to watch the performance.
- Immediately following their performance, you will pick up your child in the lobby.  Choir shirts are to be returned neatly to the parent volunteers.

All the best to the students!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Preparing for Performances

Hours and hours of practicing goes into preparing a group for a performance.  On Tuesday, the Grade 4/5 choir sang for our I Love to Read assembly kick-off.  We are getting ready for the Music Celebration concert this week as well as the Winnipeg Music Festival on March 13.  While our performance on this video isn't polished, it serves to teach us our strengths and our next steps.

SONG BACKGROUND (from Wikipedia): "Swinging on a Star" is an American pop song with music composed by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Johnny Burke. It was sung by Bing Crosby in the 1944 film Going My Way, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song that year, and has been recorded by numerous artists since then.

Song writer Jimmy Van Heusen was at Crosby’s house one evening for dinner to discuss a song for the movie Going My Way. During the meal one of the children began complaining about how he didn’t want to go to school the next day. The singer turned to his son and said to him, “If you don’t go to school, you might grow up to be a mule. Do you wanna do that?”
Van Heusen thought this clever rebuke would make a good song for the movie. He pictured Crosby, who played a priest, talking to a group of children acting much the same way as his own child had acted that night. Van Heusen took the idea to his partner lyricist Johnny Burke, who approved. They wrote the song.

Olympic Dancing!

As part of our learning of other cultures, the Kinders and Grade 1 classes have learned a Russian dance from the song "Sasha" to commemorate the opening of the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  We learned that "Sasha" is a nickname for Alexander or Alexandra.  As well, the song uses 3 Russian words - ras, dva, tri - meaning one, two, three or ready, set, go.  The pronunciation is something like 'ross' 'va' 'tree.'  For dance instructions or a download of the song, go to Dancing Masters.

Here is the Grade 1 classes performing the dance.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

I Love to Read Month

Congratulations to the Grade 4/5 choir and the Grade 1s on their fantastic performances for I Love To Read Olympic kick-off assembly on Tuesday.

Grade 1 I Love to Read performance

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Healthy Hearts

Stevenson-Britannia students and staff participated in a school-wide dance-a-thon this past Wednesday to raise money for Manitoba's Heart and Stroke Foundation.  Congratulations on raising over $9000 for this important cause.  We all had a great time dancing all sorts of styles like jazz, hip-hop and zumba all afternoon.  A huge thanks to the coordinator, Breanne Hearsum, on creating such a successful and fun event.  I even learned some new moves!  Staff also danced to "What Does the Fox Say?"

Instrument Exploration

Grade 4/5 classes are in the middle of preparing soundscapes.  They will be using sound effects to create an interesting sound story for our daily music listening program for I Love to Read month.  Once our projects are complete, we will post a few on our blog.  Everyone had an opportunity to explore playing all of the instruments in our room.  Here are a few photos from the classes.