Saturday, September 27, 2014

Flashcard Projects due this week!

Scroll down to the posts about the project (there are 2) for more info!

Due during the week of September 29th. Music Projects are always due on the day you come to Music. Early projects are always appreciated and earn extra points.

  • Tuesday, September 30th: Naman-4th & Butler-4th
  • Wednesday, October 1st: Mckie-5th & Southcombe-4th
  • Thursday, October 2nd: English/Badger-3rd, Windham/Badger-3rd, Hall-5th, Redel-5th
  • Friday, October 3rd: Neal/Badger-3rd, Lockwood/Badger-3rd, Thurman-4th, Riggins-5th

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Information about ASO Field Trips (as of 9/22)

Information about ASO Field Trips
Dear SPARK Community,
Since Springdale Park opened in 2009 every student has had an opportunity to go on a field trip to hear the ASO each year. A huge part of our yearly Music instruction for all grade levels is based on studying the instruments, listening to the ASO's chosen repertoire for that year, learning about composers and conducting, and how to be audience members. I have connected every part of our Georgia Performance Standards with a live performance of world-class quality, and there is simply no better way to teach children about the connections that music can make than with this type of live musical experience.
During the past 6 years we have developed relationships with the Education Department of the ASO to get Musicians to visit SPARK to play and meet with the kids, and they (the Ed folks) allowed me a chance to give feedback on how to make the concerts better and more useful for our academic teachers. Our Musicians have been stellar--giving, inviting, and supportive of our children as musicians, mentors, and coaches. They have never hesitated to bring music to our children who are the future musicians and arts patrons in Atlanta.
This year’s ASO concerts are slated to cover Second and Fourth grade Science (Space: Music of the Universe) and Fifth Grade Social studies (The History of Struggle).  Read more here:  The K & 1st Grade concert is more of a beginner’s experience in orchestral symphonic music.

 Richard Deane, ASO Horn player(on sabbatical in NYC), and SPARK Dad

Original artwork by Tyler J. (now in 6th Grade)        
The usual end-result of our orchestra/composer unit, our ASO field trip, is imperiled this year by the fact that the ASO Musicians’ contract has expired and they have been locked out (no pay, and health benefits cancelled at the end of September) by the WAC and ASO management. Because of this, not only our field trips, but part (or all) of the ASO season have, for now, been cancelled, including our October 22nd Field Trip for 2nd-4th graders.
Despite this cancellation starting in October we will begin learning about the remarkable musicians, composers, and pieces that the ASO had programmed, and complete our Composer Projects on the timelines you received already. Hopefully the concerts will be rescheduled and our students will hear pieces they’ve always wanted to hear live—“Star Wars”, The Planets by Gustav Holst, Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001 Space Odyssey) by Strauss and more.

The current list of concerts that will not be performed includes:
·         Opening Weekend - Sept 25, 27 and 28
·         Beethoven Symphony No. 9 – Oct 2, 4 and 5
·         Beethoven Symphony No. 6  – Oct 9 and 11
·         Lang Lang – Oct 15*
·         Ravel, Bolero – Oct 16 and 18
·         POPS!, Jason Alexander (from FRIENDS) – Oct 24 and 25
·         FAMILY, Halloween Spooktacular – Oct 25
·         Grieg Piano Concerto – Nov 6, 7 and 8
·         Cancellations include ALL field trip concerts scheduled through November 8
You can read here for more information: The ATL Musicians page: 
My work in preparing kids to be performers, listeners, supporters, and innovators is everything to me. SPARK students LOVE attending concerts at the ASO. They love learning about important music and getting to know the humans who bring the music to us in our hometown. My participation with the ASO Chorus (since 1992) feeds all that I do as a teacher and a singer and more.
The ASO has been part of our cultural scene in Atlanta for almost 70 years. Having this fantastic orchestra matters to our city, to our culture, and most importantly, to the future for our children. It is my sincere hope that these negotiations are resolved quickly and fairly to ensure that our ATL Symphnony Musicians can continue to be a world-class representation of what Atlanta has to offer.
Musically yours,
Brianne Turgeon, Music/Chorus teacher
Springdale Park Elementary

Click the links below to see the amazing work by SPARK kids, inspired by the ASO

·         ASO Composer Projects 2014
·         ASO Composer Projects 2013
·         2010 & 2011

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SPARK AC & Mary Lin Singers at the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Virginia Highland Civic Association

More photos and video coming soon!

The AC also performed at the Virginia Highland Civic Association meeting on September 18th!

Thanks to GSU student Megan Schuitema for being our videographer!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Flashcard Project Update (help topics)

We've had a ton of kids who have finished their Flashcard Project already! Yay!

If your child is having trouble finding definitions/symbols they can check the "I'm stuck" board outside the Music Room.

Here are Matthew's line and space note cards! Be sure to use a straight edge! 
Cards with wobbly lines will not be accepted!
Nice job, Matthew!

Line/Space Note Card Steps:
1. Use the template to make dashes on the sides of your cards. The template will help you make sure your lines are parallel.

2. Use a straight edge (ruler or index card) to connect the dashes to draw a staff on each of the 9 cards.
3. Draw a treble clef on the left side of the staff.
4. Put ONE note (a whole note) on each card--5 line notes and 4 space notes.
5. Put the letter name of the note on the back of the line/space note cards.

6. Fifth graders ONLY: turn the card upside down and put a BASS clef on the opposite end from the treble clef (scroll down to the next post for detailed photos).  And watch this:

Third graders created this "helper" sheet for line/space note cards during class today (then there was a fire drill, of course).

I only had ONE student who has come by for help during the Thursday help time. Please let me know if you plan to stay NEXT Thursday! It will be your last chance!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Flashcard Words and Info

Some students asked me to go ahead and post the words for the upcoming Flashcard Project. :)  I'm happy to oblige! The words are the same as last year's except for #34 duration.

Click here to download the Flashcard Project Sheet!

During First Quarter all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders will complete the Music Flashcard Project--the hard-copy of the word list and GPS goal sheet/reflection will be coming soon (around the last week of August)

Due dates will be during the week of September 29th. Music Projects are always due on the day you come to Music. Early projects are always appreciated and earn extra points.

  • Tuesday, September 30th: Naman-4th & Butler-4th
  • Wednesday, October 1st: Mckie-5th & Southcombe-4th
  • Thursday, October 2nd: English/Badger-3rd, Windham/Badger-3rd, Hall-5th, Redel-5th
  • Friday, October 3rd: Neal/Badger-3rd, Lockwood/Badger-3rd, Thurman-4th, Riggins-5th

Students will officially have 4-5 weeks to complete this work, but you are welcome to start early if you like!  Students should plan to work on quarterly Music projects for about 30 minutes a week (3 sessions of 10 minutes OR 2 sessions of 15 minutes OR 1 session of 30 minutes). Some students will need more time, others less. If you are having trouble, or if you need help ASK MS. TURGEON or a classmate you can trust! 

The flashcard project is an opportunity for students to develop better dictionary and paraphrasing skills, learn music vocabulary, practice using a straight edge to draw a staff, and create a toolbox that will help them learn proper music terminology, symbols, and notes on a staff. 

While creating flashcards is not a grand use of creativity or a super fun activity, many students from last year expressed that it was the MOST USEFUL project they did in Music, because once the cards were finished we used them in games, competitions, and assessment activities during class. The kids got better at using their Music words and they felt able to express their ideas more effectively.

Third Graders: Flash Cards (1-25 and 9 line note/space note cards) PLUS the GPS goal sheet /reflection

Fourth Graders: Flash Cards (1-35 and 9 line note/space note cards) PLUS the GPS goal sheet /reflection
Fifth Graders: Flash Cards 1-50 and 9 line note/space note cards PLUS the GPS goal sheet /reflection

Students may use their cards from last year if they are in good shape and the defintions are appropriate

Vocabulary words
Cards with * should have a definition AND a symbol on your card, along with the definition of the word.
1.       beat
2.       rhythm
3.       tempo
4.       largo
5.       andante
6.       allegro
7.       presto 
8.       meter (the musical term)
9.       duple meter
10.    triple meter
11.    dynamics
12.    tone color  and timbre (these mean the same thing)
13.    *staff
14.    *measure
15.    *treble clef
16.    *quarter note & rest (draw the note & rest, and tell its duration)
17.    *eighth note (draw the note & rest, and tell its duration)
18.    *half note & rest(draw the note & rest, and tell its duration)
19.    *whole note & rest(draw the note & rest, and tell its duration)
20.    *crescendo
21.    *decrescendo
22.    *piano (not the instrument)
23.    *-issimo a suffix
24.    *forte
25.    *mezzo- a prefix
26.    *repeat signs
27.    *barline
28.    *double barline
29.    *time signature
30.    string
31.    woodwind
32.    brass
33.    percussion 
34.     duration
35.    form
36.    AB form
37.    ABA form
38.    harmony
39.    melody
40.    *dotted quarter note (draw the note & rest, and tell its duration)
41.    *dotted half note(draw the note & rest, and tell its duration)
42.    tonality
43.    *accent
44.    notation
45.    rondo
46.    canon
47.    ostinato
48.    arpeggio
49.    moderato
50.    adagio

Vocabulary Cards Line and Space Note Cards (please use 3x5 index cards)

1. Each flash card should have the vocabulary word written on the front of the card and the definition on the back.
2.Definitions should be written in complete sentences.
3. Be sure to use simple definitions that you understand.
4. Each flash card should be numbered (corresponding to the vocabulary number) and have your name on it.

--->If you do a few cards a week it will be a breeze!

Third Graders: We will review how to create these cards in class, but you will need to finish them at home.

*Students may work together to compile their flashcard definitions, but EACH student must have the required cards in their set.  
 *Fourth and Fifth Graders may re-use their cards from last year if they are in good condition and meet the requirements

You can also use any online kids' Music dictionary:
 Link to some Music SYMBOLS           
More advanced dictionaries, if you want a challenge:

If Fourth and Fifth Graders have their cards from last year they may re-use them if they are in good condition and meet the requirements below (which are the same as last year).


  1. Use a straight edge and try to make all cards look as consistent as possible (same width of lines, etc). Cards done without a straight edge will have to be re-done.
  2. Each card should have a treble clef and a whole note on each line or space, as pictured below.
  3. The back of the card should have the letter name for each line or space note. Be consistent so that when you flip the card the answers will always be in the same area of the back of the card.
  4. Don't use the LINED side of your cards--it will make your staff lines look blurry.
  5. Line notes (from bottom to top): E-G-B-D-F  Space notes: F-A-C-E

Front of cards

a few cards flipped over so you can see the answers

Fifth Graders will have reversible cards--from one direction they will be Treble Clef cards, and Bass Clef when turned the other way.

Treble Clef: Line notes (from bottom to top): E-G-B-D-F  Space notes: F-A-C-E
Bass Clef: Line notes (from bottom to top): G-B-D-F-A Space notes: A-C-E-G

On the answer side be sure to show if the answer is for Treble or Bass Clef

Here are some fun worksheets to help you practice note identification!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Finding True Love: Helping Your Kid Choose the Right Instrument

Perfect timing to read this article on (the comments are very informative, for once)!

The answer is, there's not just one way to know which instrument is the best. Sometimes the child "just knows". Sometimes it's stars aligning. Sometimes it's chance or logistics--can your child hold the instrument? is it satisfying or challenging to play? does your child have a sound they enjoy hearing or creating?

And from Casey McCann at Eclectic Music:

And MORE from NPR about practicing:

My story: I learned I could sing when I was 8 from my Challenge teacher, Grant Bennett. He changed my life, because ever since he told me I "sounded great" I have been a singer. It's just who I am, and he helped me see my talent. My Grammy was a singer, too, and her family didn't have a TV or radio, they had a piano and they sang in harmony every day. What a happy life!
My Grammy's stage name was "June Martin"
I tried the Band route with the saxophone and piano, but I never had the inspiration to dig in and work hard, so in 7th grade when I had to pick, I chose Chorus (and Advanced Chorus, and Madrigal, and Show Choir, and Girls Ensemble, and drama....).  I figured "I'm just not an instrument person", but now I understand I didn't know HOW to practice, and my 4 sisters were not patient with the awful honking going on, so I never really got better.

Now I play around with playing bodhran, doumbek, ukulele, autoharp, castanets, dulcimer, spoons, theremin, and lots of weird but fascinating instruments. I can play some of those things as well or better than my 5th graders, and I'm okay with that. I try, and I practice, and it's fun. Instruments are not my strong point, but I have other skills.

If your child is joining Band, Orchestra, Chorus, or AC, encourage them and help them be successful. Set up a specific time and place for them to practice each week (10-15 minutes a few times a week, even for Chorus/AC). Don't let them forget to bring their instrument home, and really give it a good effort. Teach them to respect their instrument and their efforts, and set little goals for each practice session. Most of the time when kids want to quit it's because, like me, they aren't progressing and it's not satisfying. If they work and see their progress they will enjoy playing and singing!

Music is not easy, but it's worth the effort! And it's fun to make music with friends!

"To be an artist is not the privilege of a few, but the necessity of us all." --Robert Shaw

Sunday, August 3, 2014

AC Begins August 8th!

The Music@SPARK Advanced Chorus (AC) rehearsals will begin THIS FRIDAY on August 8th! YAAAY!

There is no audition--4th & 5th grade parents just need to send a note to your child's homeroom teacher to let them know the singer will stay every Friday. Rehearsal runs until 4:15pm this year and will take place in the (new, fabulous, giant, exciting) Music room.

Come join the fun!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fourth & Fifth Grade Music Choices

Fourth and Fifth Graders at SPARK have several choices to make about the courses they'd like to study for Music. 

See the tabs at the top of the page for videos of performances by each ensemble!

FIFTH GRADERS who plan to continue with their selections from last year do not have to do anything further. Any changes require a parental note indicating this year's selections; however, switching from Band to Orchestra (or vice versa) is not permitted. 

The Music@SPARK staff encourages all students to stick with their choices and really give their training their best effort throughout Fourth and Fifth grades!

You may indicate your choices here:

The choices and additional information are listed below.
5th graders who were in Band or Orchestra last year will be automatically re-enrolled in their chosen ensemble.

Ensemble Descriptions:

  • Band--choose from Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, and some percussion
  • Orchestra--choose from Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass
  • Extra-- Attends Environmental Science
  • Advanced Chorus --Performs with the Chorus AND attends after school rehearsals on Fridays until 4:30pm
  • Chorus Performer--Learns Chorus music during Music Class, performs in concerts
  • Chorus Non-Performer--Learns Music during Music Class, but does not choose to perform

The Music@SPARK performance uniform for Band, Orchestra and Chorus is:

    • The Green Music@SPARK polo
    • Black pants/skirt/shorts/
    • black shoes/socks

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    Need Something to Do? Watch These!

    ...just in case you were looking for something to do this summer. Watch this a few times! It will help you with your Flashcards!

    Also, these are some choirs Ms. Turgeon will see this summer at the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia with the Atlanta Young Singers:

    Sing together with thousands of international singers on the large open air stage in Me┼żaparks, it has space for more than 11 000 singers and 25 000 visitors. “Singing together brings nations together” will come true in this event. 

    Photo: World Choir Games 2014 – Countdown to register

Sing together with thousands of international singers on the large open air stage in Me┼żaparks, it has space for more than 11 000 singers and 25 000 visitors. “Singing together brings nations together” will come true in this event. 

Come to the World Choir Games 2014!

    15,000 people singing together!

    Friday, June 6, 2014

    See you at Summerfest!

    Although we don't have an official gig for Summerfest I plan to be there listening at the Kidstage around 12pm-1:00pm on Saturday!  Y'all come by and say HI!

    Also, AC members, come by and sign our LGPE Superior Plaque!

    Friday, May 23, 2014

    The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars and Instrument Showcase

    Ms. Turgeon with Chorus/AC members and Mrs. Joanie Michaels, AFAEE Board Member!

     M'organ in his Music@SPARK wear

    I am so, so proud of our Chorus and AC for their fine performance at Callanwolde on Tuesday, May 20th.

    Click here to view or download the concert program

    And some FANTASTIC Option 2 & 3 projects!

    It is an honor and a joy to teach these SPARK kids! Thanks for all you do!
    Ms. Turgeon

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    Music@SPARK Chorus & AC PLUS Instrument Showcase!

    Music@SPARK Chorus/AC—The Science in Musicconcert: Sun, the Moon, and the Stars (click for the program) Tuesday, May 20th  at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center's Amphitheater at 6:00pm (call time 4:30pm in uniform) 

    980 Briarcliff Road. Park in the main parking lot and go down the stairs to the Amphitheatre

    The weather forecast is sunny and 80’s for Tuesday! YAY! 

    Instrument Showcase! If you completed an Option 2A project please plan to bring your instrument to show and demonstrate it to the audience members starting at 5:30pm! If you are unable to attend you are welcome to ask an AC/Chorus member to bring and demonstrate your instrument for you!