Monday, 15 September 2014

Dot Day

Today, Stevenson celebrated International Dot Day based on the book "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds.  Did you know that music has lots of dots?  The Grade One music classes went on a treasure hunt to find musical things in the room that had dots.  Here were a few things that they came up with.

We also listened to the Dot Song.  Here is the video.  We REALLY liked it and many people were singing along with the song after only listening to it once!

Our Home and Native Land

This year we are adding a new version of our anthem to our school's morning routine.  We are privileged to use Carol Morin's aboriginal version of O Canada.  The song is simply sung to the heart beat of the drum.  She intersperses her heritage into the song with lines in Cree and Chipewyan.  This week, our students listened to our original English version and then compared it to Carol's version.  Students created Venn diagrams of the comparisons and similarities.

This is what they came up with:

Saturday, 13 September 2014


One of our new music resources this year is an excellent Orff based book called Fun 'N Games Galore by Sue Harvie.  The Grade 4 and 5's worked on a simple call and response chant to get to know each other called "Jump!"  Here is a little snippet of the chant (used by permission).  Can you keep the beat?

Sea Shanty

The Grade 2 and 3 students learned what a sea shanty is.  We learned a traditional song and dance to John Kanaka.  There are many versions on Youtube and here is one of them.  What instrument is the man playing?

Star Musicians!

The Grade 4 and 5 students have had a busy week of music, setting into routine of listening, sharing, playing, moving, singing and creating.  This week we started learning the Kind Hearted Hand song by Peter Seltzer (see song on side bar).  We took tableau pictures of symbols and actions that depict acts of kindness and working together.  A lyric video is to come as well more info on the Great Kindness Challenge in the future.

For the piano music and lyrics, check out the pdf: Kindness Toolkit

The whole school is learning this song as our theme this year and we'll be auditioning Grade 4/5 students for singing parts.

Name Games

What is the rhythm of your name and how many drum taps do you play?
The beginning of the year is always a challenge to remember old and new names.  As the music teacher, I have over 200 students and staff to know and it's important to remember these quickly. Kinders and Grade 1's had the opportunity to try our new buffalo drum.  A buffalo drum is inspired by the indigenous cultures of North America.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

September's Season of Song


Music is important for a healthy culture and essential to human life.  Music impacts our lives and helps define and express identity.

At Stevenson-Britannia, music is an important part of our daily lives.  In our classroom, we strive to grow as music makers, both in listening, critical thinking, creativity and active participation.  At anytime during the year, you will hear speech, singing, rhythm, music listening, discussions and instruments.  You will see students using movement, art, writing, music technology and instrument play to show learning and develop skills.

Many research studies show that music helps improve learning and brain functioning (music brain research).

EXTRA- CURRICULAR: In addition to our regular music and choir classes, there are several extra-curricular music opportunities for students at Stevenson including:

- recorder club
- orff ensembles
- drumming club
- auditions for solos/drama/dance
- song-writing projects
- music assembly leadership

If you have questions about the program, please feel free to contact me at the school or email me. Year plans are available upon request.

RECORDERS:  All Grade 2 and new students will need to purchase a Yamaha recorder for music.  All returning student's recorders are in the music room already.   Dollarama recorders ARE NOT recommended.  They break easily and do not have good sound.  Forms are available in the office or music room.  The cost is $6.50.  Exact cash only.

CHOIR:  As part of the music program at Stevenson, we are continuing to have Gr. 2/3 and Gr. 4/5 choir once a cycle.  Each student is 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, and experience choir performances.

Some of the important dates for all Grade 2-5 students are:
  • Nov. 7 - Remembrance Day Assembly @ Stevenson
  • Dec. 17 & 18 - Winter Concerts @ Stevenson
  • Feb. - Music Celebration @ Sturgeon Creek United Church
  • Mar. - Winnipeg Music Festival @ Westminster United Church
  • May 20 - Celebration of the Arts @ Stevenson
Please check the school calendar as well as the music "Important Dates" tab for updates and additional performances.