Monday, December 11, 2017

Listening Quiz Link


Any students who wish to keep trying the ASO Listening Quiz (instead of doing part 3 of the project) may use the link below.  Be sure your Project Sheets are finished and ready to turn in during your class this week!

Listening Quiz  Please complete by Wednesday, if possible

Be sure to study which composer goes with each piece.

Listen carefully to the beginning and ends of The Fairy Garden (strings/happily ever after) vs. Rainbow Body (bass clarinet/rainbow jubilation)  and Storm vs. Firebird. Those are the ones kids mix up with each other.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Special Message from (3/4 of) our ASO Bassoon Section

Laura Najarian (bassoon), Anthony Georgeson (bassoon), and Juan deGomar (contrabassoon) talk about their favorite pieces for the upcoming Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Concerts for Young People concert: The Colors of Music


Sunday, November 12, 2017

D.A.S.H.H. & Q2 ASO Composer Project

On Friday, December 15 ALL SPARK and Hope-Hill Elementary students will D.A.S.H.H. to the Woodruff Arts Center to experience a day of the arts!
Our $25 admission price includes
  • The Color of Music concert with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • a docent-guided tour at the High Museum of Art
  • AND a T-shirt with our D.A.S.H.H. logo.  
  • plus transportation costs

Permission/payment deadline is Tuesday, November 28

Most students received info about the 
Q2 ASO Composer Project 
last week (week of Nov. 6)
This project will be based on the composers whose music we'll hear on our
D.A.S.H.H. field trip. Please see the tab at the top of the blog for all ASO Composer Project info.
Each image below represents one of the pieces we'll hear. 
See the project tab for more info!

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Six of our 4th and 5th graders spent many hours at the GMEA Fifth District Elementary Honor Chorus which was held at Grace United Methodist Church, just down the street! The students had an an opportunity to work with Ms. Emily Floyd to prepare some really complex repertoire. 

Art Thou Troubled?  Handel/arr. Bartle   
I Never Ate A Cloud by Wayne Bisbee
On Silver Tipped Wings by Mark Patterson 
The Tailor of Gloucester Arr. Cyndee Giebler 
Why We Sing by Greg Gilpin 

rehearsal of The Tailor of Gloucester

We also had a chance to run into some former SPARK & Mary Lin singers who are now singing at Inman and Grady. It's always great to see kids who are still working to develop their musicianship as singers!  


Thursday, September 28, 2017

This is the Sound of All of Us

Tonight was the Grady Cluster Fall Friendship Festival, featuring singers from Hope-Hill, Mary Lin, Morningside, SPARK, Inman, and Grady. My heart is full! Thank you so much to the singers for their hard work, and to the teachers who pour themselves into the work of helping pave a path for our musicians.

Full Grady Cluster Fall Friendship Festival concert playlist:

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Project info now in TABS at the top of the blog

Image result for look up

In order to help 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students find our Quarterly Project Info more easily I've created Project Tabs that will always be accessible at the top of the blog. Each Project Sheet will have a QR code that links to the tab for easy tablet and phone navigation, but computer-based kids can just come to the home page and check the top of the blog.

Music Projects are always accepted any time up until the deadline on the day you come to Music. Early projects are always appreciated and earn extra points. Late projects lose 3 points for every school day (not just the Music day) the work is late. Music project grades ALWAYS include the project itself AND the completed Project Sheet.

Students will officially have 4-5 weeks to complete this work. Students should plan to work on quarterly Music projects for about 30 minutes a week. Students may work with other students in their grade level.

Music Class days:

Hutto, Steigerwalt, & Pruett

Clark, Neal, & Thurman


Lockwood, Fellows, & Rhee

English, Naman, and Butler

Music class grading: Students can earn 10 points each week for their daily grade (Binder info/activity and Check Yourself) for 8 weeks (80 points), plus the Music Projects are worth 15 points.  Extra credit can be earned by going above and beyond for participation, turning in early projects, or other special reasons. 

Each Quarter
My Scores
Daily Total 80 pts.

Project 15 pts.
Bonus points or
extra credit
My quarterly grade
Music Class Grading
Prepared (+5) & Participating (+5) every week
 + Quarterly Project (+15)= A

Prepared (+5) & Participating (+5) every week,
 but NO Quarterly Project = B

Unprepared and/or Not Participating, 
but turned in a Quarterly Project = B or C

                  Unprepared and/or Not Participating, and                                                                               NO Quarterly Project completed = C or lower

A basic grade in Music is a 95 (80 daily points + 15 project points) Students can get up to 100 through extra credit and extra effort.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Happy New Year 2017-2018


On December 15
ALL SPARK Students and ALL Hope-Hill Students will head to the Woodruff Arts Center to go to the


Music@SPARK Ensemble info
4th grade students will sign up very soon!
Students are expected to stay in their chosen instrumental and singing ensemble throughout 4th and 5th grade.

4th and 5th Grade Instrumental Ensembles
Band and Orchestra have a concert each semester.
Every performer is important for our team!

Choose from Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, and Percussion

Choose from Violin, Viola, or Cello

4th and 5th Grade Singing Ensembles
Students MAY do both an instrumental ensemble AND singing ensembles

Rehearsals begin Aug. 4 
No auditions necessary!
The group that represents SPARK singing the most. Attends ALL Chorus rehearsals AND after school rehearsals on Fridays until 4:30pm. These students are automatically part of Chorus, and AC has a lot of performance opportunities in the community! Rehearsals begin right away, so be sure to send transportation info to your child's teacher so they know your singer will stay on Fridays all year!

During-school rehearsals. Performances in December and May and other performances by choice/invitation

Chorus Non-Performer
Attends Chorus rehearsals and is welcome to perform, but is not required to perform.

NEW This year Grady Cluster Music Club (GCMC) click for registration form—Open to all 4th and 5th grade students from Hope-Hill, Lin, Morningside, and SPARK who want to make music and make new friends. We will sing, dance, play bucket drums and other percussion!

Friday, May 26, 2017


Thank you, Parents, Kids, and Community for another great year for Music@SPARK!

The last hour of 5th grade
These students decided to make a (better) video of our Awards Day song The Time of My Life on SPARK's front lawn. It has been such an amazing honor and joy to teach these young people! Make music! Sing! Move! Live! And come back to visit!

The Time of My Life


Thank you to Pace Tilley for video of our Music@SPARK Orchestra concert! I still need Band & Chorus/AC video PLEASE!!

I want to say a personal thank you to Ms. Totka Valkova. Ms. Valkova and I both came to APS in 2006, and we taught at Morningside together before SPARK was built. We have worked happily together ever since, and I have to say that Ms. Valkova is one of the very finest teachers I have ever seen--she is caring, passionate, and supremely talented, but most of all, she would do anything for her Orchestra students! Ms. Valkova has worked at 4-5 schools in the Grady cluster over all of those years, and she has given her all at every school that she's served.

For next year Ms. Valkova has accepted the position as the second full-time Music teacher at Morningside, where she will teach General Music and Orchestra. We will deeply miss her, her kindness and dedication at SPARK every week, but I look forward to continuing to work with her within the Grady Cluster of Music teachers.

Coming for rising 4th graders: In June I will have a post that contains a survey about ensemble choices  (Band, Orchestra, Chorus, AC, etc).

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Music@SPARK Concerts

I hope you were able to make it out for the SPARK Orchestra concert on Monday--I heard it was amazing! Please send video to Ms. Turgeon if you have it. 

Mon. 5/15 Music@SPARK Band concert 5:40 call, concert at 6pm. 

Tues 5/16 Chorus/ AC call time 4:30pm, concert is at 6pm

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Saman Team at Atlanta Families' Awards Ceremony

Our Advanced Chorus was invited to perform for the Atlanta Families Awards for Excellence in Education ceremony, in which this year's winners were recognized. 

I wanted to offer something special, and I enlisted a team of kids who were willing to put in before school, lunchtime, and after school rehearsals for the past couple of weeks on a piece we started learning in Feb (I see kids once a week, generally). I even had kids who couldn't attend the gig, but were willing to serve as coaches so we could be as precise and sharp as possible (Thanks Sophie B and Sydney!). Our coaches were amazing and the performance was significantly better because of their work. But ALL of the singers worked really hard to be precise and on top of their game.

This team rocked my world. Yesterday, the day of the show, our fifth graders returned from their 3-day camping trip to Wahsega at 3pm, and were at the gig at the Carter Center at 5:30pm ready to warm up.

I also had my dear friend, the Music teacher from Henderson Mill ES in Dekalb County, Meaghan Curry on hand to help herd the cats and keep me sane. She was at the ceremony to celebrate her principal Mitch Green winning the AFAEE award, but was willing to skip the grown up time to be with 21 very excited and vocal 4th and 5th graders. My hair remains intact because of Ms. Curry. 

The Saman team was able to do all of this because their parents are wonderful and supportive--they let the singers come to rehearsals, brought them to the gig, and helped make sure everyone was in uniform. PLUS they (Lisa M) filmed the performance! I am so grateful and proud. Great job, Saman team!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Movement 2017

Movement Project Sheet 2017

Your spring project is to move. You have lots of choices. You only need to choose one of the options below and complete the Reflection. Have fun!

New info as of 4/25: Ms. Turgeon will accept video submissions ONLY IF your group consists of FOUR or more students and all members are visible. Groups of 4 or fewer should perform for Ms. Turgeon live in class or during her office hours. Performances should be 2 minutes or less for most projects.

Up to 10 in a group, or up to 5 couples
Groups up to 6
SOLO Writing Assignments
(Must also do some sort of movement activity—playground game, jump rope, one line dance, etc.)
Learn 2 LINE DANCES and/or partner dances and perform with friends Examples: Cha Cha Slide, Cupid Shuffle, Cotton Eyed Joe, The Hustle, The Bus Stop, swing dancing, waltzing, etc. Lyrics to the songs must be school-appropriate.
Learn a dance, choreograph a new dance, OR create a new version of a dance that you already know.
Explain how dancing/marching in groups has been used in different cultures, religions, civil/human rights movements (in history or today)  and places around the world to draw attention to causes. Were they effective? Why or Why not?
Sing and create a dance to a song for yourself OR with a small group.
Learn 2 GAME SONGS (clapping games, circle/partner games, jump rope games, etc.) and perform them with your friends.
Choose/create a dance that tells a story and perform it to music.
Research the benefits of dancing and write an essay about why dancing and moving is good for you.
Create a routine to perform with friends. Jump rope, basketball, baton, poi, sticks, hula, body percussion, etc.
Learn a song from a movie or musical and act out a scene to perform it (include costumes, scenery…whatever you wish!)
Tell about times that you had an experience with dancing or moving on your own or with a group. Explain why each experience was memorable (in a good or bad way) to you.
Students who work with a group/partner will complete a peer assessment about how each person contributed to the final product.
Write a “how to” article about how to become a better dancer. Be specific!

Deadlines (students may complete projects any time between now and the dates listed. 
No late projects will be accepted):
Tuesday, May 8: Fellows & Naman    
Wednesday, May 9: Badger & Barrett

Thursday, May 10: Smiley/Lockwood, Neal/Lockwood, Mckie, & Thurman 
Friday, May 11: Latimore/Lockwood, English/Lockwood, Butler, & Redel 

Movement Playlist (Saman, stick game, patting game, Fight Song, how to do lots of dances, TONS of body percussion) Click the upper left corner waffle to select the video you'd like to see!

Line Dances (click for search results)
Basketball Routines to Music (click for search results)
Jump Rope Games (click for the search results)

Clapping Games: 
Choose 2
I edited this list for age-appropriateness--BT

Monday, March 13, 2017

Music in Our Schools A BUSY March!

LGPE Feb 28 (during school field trip for adjudicated performance)
Advanced Chorus participated in Large Group Performance Evaluation (LGPE), an event hosted by the Georgia Music Educators’ Association. At LGPE choirs perform two pieces and are rated by judges who are experts in Choral music. Very few public school elementary choruses participate in this event.

Students perform two pieces, and three judges provide ratings and comments on their progress. Then students go to a separate room and are given an 8 measure sight-singing example to read at sight.  The scores are: 1-Superior--2-Excellent--3-Good--4-Fair--5-Poor   These scores are then combined to give one overall rating using the same scale.  Most elementary schools do not do sight-singing, but we do, because in my opinion music literacy is very important to a well-developed musician.

Our SPARK Advanced Chorus earned Superior ratings overall from all 3 repertoire judges AND in Sight-Singing. They worked very hard! Please congratulate these singers!

We are so proud to have earned Superior ratings in Sight-Singing. Students had an 8 measure example that they had never seen before. I was allowed to give them the starting pitch and establish our tonality, but the singers had to read the pitches and rhythms in the example at sight with no help from me. The students sang one of the hardest unison examples that we could choose from--they did NOT want the easy example! 

Music@SPARK Advanced Chorus members (plus Gisele and Kimber) were invited to perform at the Atlanta Public Schools March Board Meeting on Monday, March 6

Chorus & AC Members sang the US National Anthem at the 5th Grade Basketball Challenge on Friday, March 10

Music@SPARK Chorus & AC Members sang "O, Canada" at the Atlanta Gladiators game on Sunday, March 12. The Gladiators must have been inspired by the singing, because they beat the Greenville Swamp Rabbits 8-3.

PLUS 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students completed the Write, Read, Sing, Play project

Coming this week: the SPARK Art Show!

Musical Entertainment

Please be prepared to sing or play with the mic,
introduce the songs and introduce yourself, and be sure to play/sing loudly enough for the audience to hear you, even with the mic!

Tentative schedule:
Updated 3/14
Sophia Dominey guitar
Neil Sevigny, piano
Jonathan Hardwick, trumpet
Leonie Remy piano “Lightly Row”
Thomas Sehat, violin
Zoe Diamond-Wilding, piano
Jason Zgonc, piano
Clint Holmes (& Ezra Coe?) “Big Beat Boogie” drums
Ava Anderson, piano
Lucy Madlem, singing “I Don’t Know My Name”
Jessie Heilman, ukulele
Ben Rein, singing
Ben Pollett & Seth Kohn, piano & singing
Brenan Fritts, Penelope Keenan, and Maria Shinina, Regan Stringer, singing
Isabel Salehbhai violin
Phoebe Wasick, piano
Charlotte Keenan, flute
Cassidy Davis, singing & piano
Marissa Rainey piano
Rohan Reddy, piano
Claire Malaney-Lau, guitar
Brynn Moser, piano
Delaney DeShields & Chloe Peyton, viola & violin
Aubrey Senter Lost Boy piano & singing
Jeanne Basdevant, piano
Ruby Segerman & Sophia Brookswolf, cello
Destiny Mitchell, piano

Kindergarten and First Grade will also attend the ASO concert featuring Peter and the Wolf!