Week of April 1st/ Class # 8

March 28, 2016/Rehearsal #11
March 31, 2016
Thursday March 31st/ Rehearsal # 12
April 1, 2016

Week of April 1st/ Class # 8

Greetings, Prep 3 Families!

Thank you for another great week of rehearsing! It was awesome to have such good attendance during these Spring Break weeks. To those of you who remembered to turn in your musicianship books, thank you! If you forgot to bring yours last week, please remember to bring next week!

Our focus in the coming weeks will be solidifying the more challenging sections of our music, and creating a “dynamics map” for each of our songs. We will also discuss the text and meaning of each song in greater detail, so we can truly feel connected to this music. Please spend this week thinking about each song, the images they convey, and their overall message!

Trivia Question: What point in history is the popular musical, Newsies, based upon?


This week, we had fun improvising the rhythm of our favorite ice cream on the rhythm sticks – we then played our rhythms simultaneously, creating some pretty cool poly-rhythms. We worked on a unified sound by picking different vowels to vocalize in our Vocal Explorations Warm-up. We also sang some of our favorite warm-ups which the singers helped to lead, including Tuning Tree, and Mama Made Me Mash My M and M’s. Children are really starting to master pure, sustained vowels in all their warm-ups, and are starting to apply this to all their songs as well. We extended our warm-ups into a rhythmic exercise, playing and indentifying the rhythm for Laughing, Singing, which the children are singing in beautiful 2-part harmony. We also sang solfege patterns and reviewed the solfege in several of our songs as a precursor to singing them.


We discovered that the children have memorized This Shall Be For Music, and are on their way to memorizing The Swing, which may be one of our most challenging songs in 2-part harmony. We reviewed the Spanish and sang our lovely Guatemalan Folk Song, Un Lorito de Verapaz, and we also listened to and started an uplifting anthem from the musical Newsies, Seize the Day.


Action Items

This weekend, please sit down with your music, and listen to the following songs:


Other items:

  • MEMORIZE The Swing.


We are continuing to work on a number of canons, which are excellent tools for learning to sing in 2 and 3-part harmony. Some of these are:


Have your child teach you ALL these canons and sing together in harmony with movements – extend, and see if your child can sing it for you in solfege – or clap the rhythm in canon – all these activities are so much fun, and musically enriching.

Movement and Games

We are continuing to learn new dances and games, all which highlight the different cultures from which our songs come this semester. Some of these are:

  1. Los Machetes, a Mexican stick dance.
  2. Bonjour, mes amis, a welcome partner dance set to French text
  3. Great Big House in New Orleans- my class revisited this song last week, then dictated the rhythm and solfege on their whiteboards  – next week, we will dictate this song in the key of C.
  4. Oats and Peas and Barley Grow, a fun circle dance!
  5. Welcome, Bienvenidos, a welcome partner dance set to Spanish text
  6. The South African dance, Pata Pata, based upon the famous song by Miriam Makeba – music attached – please dance at home -my class in particular needs some practice!
  7. The traditional Irish Jig, set to the tune of The Irish Washerwoman– music attached – please dance at home!
  8. El Capitan, a fun song and game set to Spanish text.

Action Items

This weekend, please sit down with your music, and listen to the following songs:



Summer Camp Registration is Open! 

We have three exciting weeks of summer singing camp in July, geared towards the Prep 1-3 age groups. I am excited to be leading these camps, along with our fabulous instructor, Jazmine Harnishfeger-Brand.  Please read up on the different themes and how to sign up – it will be summer of musical fun!

Dates                                    Theme                              Time

Week 1 July 11-15      Faraway Kingdoms              8:30-12:00

Week 2 July 18-22    The Magic of Opera!            8:30-12:00

Week 3 July 25-29    Carnival of the Animals      8:30-12:00

How to Register:

Through the Parks and Rec Department in Los Altos Hills Activity Guide:


Contact Phone: Sarah Gualtieri; 650-947-2518


Through the Parks and Rec department in Los Altos Activity Guide:


Contact Phone: 650-947-279

We look forward to seeing you next week!

Katie and Laney


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