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!