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! 
(please note this is the 2014 Project Sheet, but the Flashcard information will be the same for 2015)

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.

Deadline for Flashcard Projects 2015 will be during the week of September 28th. 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 2 points for every school day (not Music day) the work is late. Music project grades ALWAYS include the project itself AND the completed Project Sheet.

  • Tuesday, September 29th: Naman-4th & Thurman-4th
  • Wednesday, September 30st: Butler 4th & Southcombe-4th
  • Thursday, October 1st: Badger/Lockwood-3rd, English/Lockwood-3rd, Mckie-5th, Redel-5th
  • Friday, October 2nd: Latimore/Lockwood-3rd, Neal/Lockwood/-3rd, Hall-5th, 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. Our final step was the schoolwide Kahoot vocabulary championship. PLUS 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 (please use 3x5 index cards, not larger)
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!