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!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Support Music@SPARK & Hockey Fights Cancer! AND 5th Grade vs Teachers BB Challenge

Support Music@SPARK as 4th and 5th graders perform "O, Canada" at the Atlanta Gladiators vs Greenville during Hockey Fights Cancer weekend SUNDAY, MARCH 12, 2017 @ 2:05 P.M. ALL 4th and 5th Graders are invited to sing if they know the bilingual version of "O, Canada" (practice info below)

If we sell 100 tickets a portion of each ticket sale will be donated back to our Music program!

GO TO: (DO NOT enter www.) ENTER CODE: SPARK (code will be active until March 7)

O Canada!
Our home and native land
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée, (car tohn bwa say por-tay luh pay-uh)
Il sait porter la croix! (eel say por-tay la cwah)
Ton histoire est une épopée (ton his-twah ayt un ay-puh-pay-uh)
Des plus brillants exploits. (day plooh brill-yan zex-pwah)
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

We've also been invited to sing the US National Anthem at the 5th Grade Basketball Challenge on Friday, March 10 at 6pm (call time 5:30pm) No uniforms, SPARK wear preferred!
Star Spangled Banner Solfege Practice for harmony

Melody (starting at "And the rockets' red glare"):
F M RD T-- LT D M Fi S
SS D R M F S---- D R M F R D

Harmony (starting at "And the rockets' red glare"):
DD D R M M-- RD T D R R--
R D SS S   SF M M Fi S
SS M, S D R M----- L Fi S L F M

Music Notes: AC LGPE preparation! WRSP deadlines coming soon! 5th grade ASO field trip & Statewide Honor Chorus!

Advanced Chorus 
We have a busy, busy week that begins on Wednesday! Here are some Practice Sight Singing examples!
Wednesday 2/22: rehearsal until 4:30pm
Thursday 2/23: workshop at Mary Lin 3:30--> concert at 6pm
Friday 2/24: rehearsal until 5:00pm
Monday 2/27: rehearsal until 4:30
Tuesday 2:28: LGPE during school!  Permission form linked here!

Write, Read, Sing, Play info 
(see the next post for even more info)

Deadlines (all components must be complete by the end of class on these dates, no late work will be accepted)
Tuesday, March 7: Fellows & Naman
Wednesday, March 8: Barrett & Badger
Thursday, March 9: Smiley/Lockwood, Neal/Lockwood, Mckie, & Thurman
Friday, March 10: Latimore/Lockwood, English/Lockwood, Butler, & Redel

I will be available during the following times. I will not be available after school on Feb 22-24 (see above)
Mondays: 4th/5th Grade lunch & recess, After school until 3:30pm on March 6 only
Tuesdays: 4th/5th Grade lunch & recess. No after school tutoring
Wednesdays: Not available for tutoring during lunch/recess (SPECIALS team meeting) After school until 3:30 pm on March 1 & 8 only
Thursdays: 3rd grade lunch 10:00-10:30 am, 4th/5th grade 12:05-12:50pm After school until 3:30 on March 2 and 9 NOT Feb 23
Fridays: 3rd grade lunch 10:00-10:30 am, 4th/5th grade 12:05-12:50pm only

There are also many, many students who can coach children.There are designated coaches in every class, so if your child needs help they are welcome to ask a peer coach.

How to check off each component. Please note, students must check off the components in person with me.

WRITE: all notes, symbols, pitches, words and parts of the keyboard labelled correctly. Words must line up with the notes they go with, stems must be dogs or puppies, notes must be clearly on a line or space. Students who have not checked off the WRITE portion of the project are very late. This should have been completed by Feb. 3.

READ & SING: In order to do SING the chosen song correctly the students must READ it correctly. I'll check off both of these at the same time. Student must sing their song with correct rhythms and pitches using solfege hand signals.

PLAY: Students must play their song with correct rhythms, pitches, and hand position (see below) on a keyboard. If you do not have a keyboard there are many FREE piano apps for smartphones and tablets that students can practice on, or they may use my classroom keyboards during the tutoring times. Students may choose to play their song on additional instruments for extra credit.

Reflection: All questions on the back of the page must be answered completely.

Left hand: 5=Do  4=Re   3=Mi  2=Fa  1=Sol
Right hand:  1=Do  2=Re  3=Mi  4=Fa  5=Sol

Most of the song choices should be played with the Right Hand only. 
Songs that have La or notes below Do may require 2 hands.

Piano fingering. Finger numbers.

Image result for piano fingering charts

D major scale piano fingering, right hand. 

G major scale on piano (keyboard).

F major scale, piano fingering

5th Grade's ASO Field Trip Tweet

Statewide Elementary Honor Chorus!
Four of our fantastic fifth graders participated in GMEA's Statewide Elementary Honor Chorus Feb 17-18, performing in the Allegro choir (250 singers!) and the mass choir of Allegro + Vivace (550+ singers!!) Congratulations to Ava, Fisayo, Ruya, Leyla!


If you made it this far here is something that will make you smile--singers from Mary Lin, Morningside, SPARK, Hope-Hill, and Grady High singing the Wailin' Jennies' One Voice at the Fall Friendship Festival in September:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

3rd Quarter Write, Read, Sing, Play project 2017

Write, Read, Sing, Play Project Sheet Download

Students are receiving the Write, Read, Sing, Play project information during the week of January 24. WRSP is an application of skills project and we will do parts of the projects in class; however, students will still need to complete unfinished classwork, practice, and memorize their song parts outside of class. Students MAY work with a partner, but each partner must complete his/her own project sheet. 

Deadlines (all components must be complete by the end of class on these dates, no late work will be accepted)
Tuesday, March 7: Fellows & Naman
Wednesday, March 8: Barrett & Badger
Thursday, March 9: Smiley/Lockwood, Neal/Lockwood, Mckie, & Thurman
Friday, March 10: Latimore/Lockwood, English/Lockwood, Butler, & Redel

Song Choices for Write, Read, Sing, Play MUST come from our Music textbooks. No exceptions. Please be aware that this document link has 60+ pages--be careful to only print the page you want!  If the song your child chose is not present, please email me at

additional songs:
Here We Sit
Vive L'Amour
Mr. Frog
Words of Wisdom
Mother, Mother
Hey, Hey, Look at Me
Cat and Dog
Lucy Locket
Old Dan Tucker
One Potato, Two Potato
Who Has the Penny?
Deta, Deta
Goodbye Brother

The project sheet has all of the steps students should take listed IN ORDER.  Students should have their songs completely written out by the end of this week (Jan 24), and they should have had their work checked by me.  As we are completing components of the project I write down the grade on each student’s project sheet—for example the title is Write, Read, Sing, Play, so once a student successfully completes the “Write” part of the project (copying the music onto their sheet) I write a 3 on top of Write on their sheet.
  • Each component of the project is worth 3 points, and the reflection on the back is worth 3 points for a total of 15 points for the project (extra credit if they do an extra instrument, another language, or something extra with the project).
  • I have keyboards in my classroom that the students will use for the Play portion of the project 4th and 5th graders may also play on other instruments (including band, orchestra, guitar, ukulele, etc). Don’t worry if your child doesn’t take lessons and/or if you do not have an instrument at home. There are lots of free apps with keyboards--my favorite is Musical Pro (Android) but any with a functioning keyboard is fine to practice with. Students should practice with proper finger positioning and not play just with one finger.
  • If your child needs coaching they may come by the Music room for help:  Third Grade during lunch time on Thursdays or Fridays OR they could stay after school (times TBA) 
  • Fourth and Fifth Graders may come during lunch/recees or after school (times TBA) 
  • Students who stay after school should be picked up at the carpool lane at 3:30pm. Be sure to send a transportation change to your child’s teacher if they plan to stay.
  •  Please encourage your child to play/sing for me live—if they perform live I can fix mistakes on the spot and get the check-offs over with quickly. I will hear them in private, so nerves should not be a problem. 
  •  If your child has questions please check out this entire blog post first, because I think I’ve posted information that covers most questions here.

Below is a helper video. You should be able to find everything you need on this post!

Deadlines & Things to Note:

  • Students may perform their project and turn in this Reflection & labeled song sheet any time between now and your Music class day during the week of March 6. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DEADLINE to complete your performance parts! Start getting ready now!
  • As we get closer to the deadline there will be limited class time available. If we run out of class time your child may need to come sing/play during lunch or recess.
  • I prefer a live performance so I can give immediate feedback and allow kids to keep polishing their work. I go by "Angry Bird Grading" for this project, so kids can keep trying until they receive 3 stars for each component. 
  • Don’t forget to turn in the Reflection and your labeled song sheet!

Below are some Music reading helpers:

Please note the pitches below are for the key of C Major. Your child's song may be in C, D, F, or G.

C Major Solfege and finger numbers (up to 5)

F Major Solfege and finger numbers (up to 5)

G Major Solfege and finger numbers
                                            1     2        3      4       5                                    

Image result for d major scale
                                               Do        Re          Mi          Fa          So         La          Ti

D Major Scale

G Major scale
G major scale (piano)

F Major scale
F major scale piano fingering

all of the keyboard notes on the staff
Image result for "d major solfege"

Finger numbers
piano finger numbers

Music Georgia Performance Standards Covered in this project:

  • M_GM.1 a. Sing melodies expressively using appropriate head voice accompanied and unaccompanied. 
  • M_GM.1 c. The student will sing from memory multiple songs representing various genres, tonalities, meters, and cultures including at least one song in a foreign language. 
  • M_GM.2 a. Perform melodic patterns on an instrument from a major scale with appropriate technique. 
  • M_GM.2 b. Perform instrumental parts while other students sing or play contrasting parts. 
  • M_GM.3 a. Read rhythmic patterns including quarter note, quarter rest, eighth note, half note, dotted half note and whole note using traditional symbols in 2/4, ¾ and 4/4 meter. 
  • M5GM.3 b. Notate rhythmic patterns including the use of quarter notes, quarter rests, eighth notes, half notes, dotted half notes and whole notes in response to teacher performance. 
  • M_GM.3 c. Read melodies within a treble clef staff. 
  • M5GM.3 d. Notate simple melodies within a treble clef staff.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Music@SPARK December Concerts

Happy Holidays to all of our SPARK families! Here is video from Chorus/AC and Orchestra concerts. If anyone has video of the Band concert and the 5th Grade Orchestra concert please share it with me so I can post the results of their hard work!

Chorus and AC at Grady High School with Mary Lin and Grady High School:

Mary Lin and SPARK 4th Grade Orchestra

Friday, December 2, 2016

Congratulations to Tar River Elementary! Winners of the South Region of Give a Note~

Dear Ms. Turgeon, 

We were truly inspired by the video created by the students of Springdale Park Elementary.  Your community showed outstanding support for your program, but unfortunately, you did not win the South Division for the contest.  Please let your students know that we believe they are awesome.  As a semifinalist, your school will receive a plaque recognizing your accomplishment.

We wish you the best of luck and we know you will continue to inspire students.


Jane Mell Balek
Executive Director, Give a Note Foundation

While we did not win the contest I am proud of the work of our Springdale Park students and community! Huge congratulations to Tar River Elementary and their fantastic music teacher, Angela Mangum!

Caroling and Sing-a-Long Season!

Saturday, Dec 3 11am-1pm this is a change from the time listed in SPARK-e 
Caroling for Virginia Highland's Tour of Homes
Our SPARK Chorus and AC has been invited to go caroling during the Virginia Highland's Tour of Homes. Meet at the YWCA on North Highland around 10:30am to warm up. Drop ins are welcome~

All families invited:
Wednesday, Dec 7 6pm in the SPARK Gym Community Sing-a-Long with Atlanta Young Singers An informal festive holiday event featuring songs for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and wintertime. Students who can play chords on guitar or ukulele are welcome to bring your instruments or small (reasonably quiet) percussion instruments to play along. We’ll play songs in D, G, C, mostly. Ms. Turgeon will have chord charts available by Dec 2.

In-school Sing-a-long (during school for kids) Dec. 16 info coming soon

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

ASO Composer Project Update

This year I decided to try something new in light of the major goals for the ASO Composer Project, which are:
The MOST IMPORTANT goals of this project:
  • Listen to the music you will hear on your Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Field Trip
  • Learn and REMEMBER a bit about these composers
  • Practice doing research and citing your sources
  • having fun and being creative with Music

During the week of Nov. 28-Dec. 2 in Music class we will have a quiz over the music & composers from the ASO Composer project. Third graders who have Music on Friday, Dec. 2 (Latimore/Lockwood & English/Lockwood) will have their quiz on either Monday or Wednesday. 

Students should:

  1. Complete the ASO Composer Project sheet (front and back + timeline)
  2. Identify at least 4 of the 6 composers/pieces by listening and tell a fact about each composer (including era, nationality, etc) 
  3. Tell 2 more facts about your chosen composer

How should the students prepare for the quiz? Listen to a couple minutes of each piece and try to associate the piece with the composer and their nationality/era/facts. The listening examples will be from obvious places in the music (beginnings, major themes). I will not try to be tricky. We have worked on this in class, and the students seem to be able to tell which pieces are which.

Students who complete #1, 2, & 3 on the quiz will be finished with the ASO Composer Project. No further presentation/project will be necessary.

Students who haven't finished the ASO Composer project sheet by their class day (Nov. 28-Dec 2), or who cannot successfully complete the quiz can complete a poster, diorama, video, dance, song, book, comic by the orignial deadline. The ASO Composer Project Sheet and project must be complete by the deadline. No exceptions.

Students who pass the quiz AND complete a project (or who have already completed the project) will receive extra credit. If they are up to date with their daily grade they will earn a 100 on their report card for Music for Second Quarter.

Left: listening map for deFalla's El Amor Brujo "the Haunted Love"
Right: listening map for Smetana's The Moldau

Left: Listening map for Debussy's En Bateau from Petite Suite
Right: Vivaldi's Winter from the Four Seasons alternates between string orchestra (ritornello) and a violin soloist 

Left: Rossini's Finale from William Tell was popularly used for The Lone Ranger's theme song
Right: The Star Wars Main theme by John Williams has four different themes or "leitmotifs" that represent different characters.

Listening list for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade:

Fifth Grade Listening List:

Listening maps and resources coming soon!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day Tribute from Kindergarten, First, and Second Graders

In honor of Veterans Day our SPARK K, 1st, and 2nd graders recorded a video singing two patriotic songs--"America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)" and "America the Beautiful" to send out to Veterans groups, hospitals, and to post on social media.

My country 'tis of thee sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing!
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrims' pride.
From ev'ry mountainside let freedom ring!

Our fathers' God to thee, Author of liberty, to thee we sing!
long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light!
Protect us by thy might, great God our King!

Second graders featured:
O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine!
Till all success be nobleness and every gain divine!

O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee.
And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!

Thank you, VETERANS!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

ASO Field Trip and Composer Project Information

Permission Slips for ASO, CEP, & Lift Every Voice Field Trips are linked here and above

What is the ASO Field Trip & Project?
All Students at SPARK attend an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert each year. These concerts have different repertoire each year, and give the students a chance to become familiar with all of the instruments of the orchestra, concert etiquette, music history, and other Music standards. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders will complete their Second Quarter ASO Composer's Project based on the composers whose music they will hear.

Students received their ASO Composer Project info last week--week of October 24-28.  Please see the tab above for all of the resources to support your work on the ASO Composer Project  This post gives basic info, but if you want to find ALL of the info (playlists, project sheet downloads, tech help, etc) it is on the tab linked above.

The MOST IMPORTANT goals of this project:
  • Listen to the music you will hear on your Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Field Trip
  • Learn and REMEMBER a bit about these composers
  • Practice doing research and citing your sources
  • having fun and being creative with Music
Tuesday, Dec. 6: 

Wednesday, Dec 7: 
Thursday, Dec. 8: 

Friday, Dec. 9: 


Students will:
Find basic biographical information & Fascinating Facts about their composer
Cite their resources
Use the information they found to create a presentation about what they have learned.

Info in the document is from:

Recommended books:
Meet the Great Composers, Bk 1: Book & CD by Maurice Hinson and June C. Montgomery
Claude Debussy (First Discovery: Music) by Pierre Babin
Antonio Vivaldi (First Discovery: Music) by Olivier Baumont

Suggested "Weekly" STEPS: Students may complete a part of a step each week, but it should be clear that  s/he has made progress on something weekly. Ms. Turgeon will check progress weekly for classroom points.

Step 1: Listening: 
 CHOOSE YOUR COMPOSER AND LISTEN to his music. Students will listen to music by his/her chosen composer several times and identify the listening elements using correct Music vocabulary.  Music can be here OR on Classics for Kids OR on YouTube 

Step 2: About the Composer: Student will complete research about his/her composer using various source (online and hardcopy) and find the Required Facts PLUS More Fascinating Facts. All information must be put into your own words.

Step 3 (may take 2-3 weeks, depending on your project design idea): Perform, Create, Display, Present:  Student will create or design a way to present his/her facts using the facts from Step 2.

Level of Bloom’s Taxonomy: Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Creation, and Synthesis

ELA and Music Standards covered in this project

·         ELACC3W7: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
·         ELACC3W8: Recall information from experience or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
·         ELACC3W10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

·         ELACC4W7: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
·         ELACC4W8: Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
·         ELACC4W9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
·         ELACC4W4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
·         ELACC4W5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
·         ELACC4RI9: Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
·         ELACC4SL2: Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

·         ELACC5RI7: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
·         ELACC5W7: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
·         ELACC5W8: Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.
·         ELACC5W9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research
·         ELACC5SL4: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
·         ELACC5SL5: Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

Georgia Performance Standard for Music:

·         M_GM.6 a. Distinguish between repeating and contrasting sections, phrases, and simple formal structures – AB, ABA, rondo, Introduction, and Coda.
·         M_GM.6 b. Describe music using appropriate vocabulary (e.g., allegro, moderato, adagio, forte, mezzo, piano, crescendo, decrescendo, upward, downward, step, skip), articulation terms, appropriate mood and timbre adjectives, and other musical terms: e.g., fermata.
·         M_GM.6 c. Identify and classify orchestral, folk, and world instruments by sight and sound.
·         M_GM.6 d. Aurally distinguish between soprano, alto, tenor, and bass voices.
·         M_GM.7 a. Evaluate musical performances of themselves and others.
·         M_GM.7 b. Explain personal preferences for specific musical works and styles using appropriate vocabulary.
·         M_GM.8 a. Describe the relationship between music and the other arts.
·         M_GM.8 b. Describe the relationship between music and disciplines outside the arts.
·         M_GM.9 b. Describe the role of music and musicians in various historical time periods.

The ASO Composer Project was designed to allow students an opportunity to practice research and writing skills while learning about classical music and selected composers. This work is intended to support and enhance skills learned in grade-level Reading, ELA, and Writing classes including the categories, Research to Build and Present Knowledge,  Range of Writing, and Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas.