I added this section to my classroom website, and then forgot about it. I apologize to anyone who has come looking for something to read! My first year in the Norwood community has been very exciting so far.
We started the year introducing strings and general music to students (and teachers) across the whole school. Any 4th-5th grader who wasn't already in band was welcome to join strings. We have had a blast learning how to play these complicated instruments. So far, we can hold and play our instruments. Learning how to hold them is half the battle! Students are playing the violin, viola, or cello. We are now capable of playing the D major scale and are looking forward to showing our stuff at All-City at the end of April. 3rd graders were given two weeks of introductory instrument previews from both me in strings and Mrs. Lyles in band. They then chose to either play a string instrument or band instrument. So far, in 3rd grade strings, we can play all of the notes on the D string and are working on the A string. We are also working on using our bow with concise and clear tone.
In the lower elementary school grades, I have reintroduced general music to the schools. Students in each class (including pre-k!) come once a week to learn about the different elements of music: rhythm, dynamics, melody, harmony, tone color, texture, and form. We do this in a fun way, singing song and playing games. Some of my favorite lessons have been composing songs with 2nd grade, acting with 1st grade, learning about instruments with kindergarten, and singing nursery rhyhmes with preschool!
This year, I have been very blessed to receive support from many people and organizations. I received two grants at the beginning of the year to help jumpstart both the general music program and the strings program at Norwood. In particular, the strings program was especially helped, as I was able to buy music and essential supplies for my classroom. A few weeks ago, Mrs. Lyles (band) and I receive a departmental state grant to greatly aid the music department at Norwood. We are so excited to spend the money to make Norwood have the music department it should and deserves to have.
I have been honored to be a teacher at Norwood this year, and I can't wait to see what happens at this wonderful place in the future.
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