What’s New in Music?

The year is off to a great start!  4th and 5th grade students spent the first few weeks of school reviewing their solfege and rhythm syllables, as well as exploring new music concepts and repertoire!


Both 4th and 5th grade started their music for Veteran’s Day and Grandparent’s Day! 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade are singing a beautiful and heartfelt, 2-part piece entitled,”Proud of Our Veterans.”  5th grade is doing a great job singing with more expression and musicality! Way to be mature leaders and model healthy, beautiful  singing for the lower school! Our warm ups now include 3-part harmony, which establishes vocal and aural independence.


4th grade has not only spent the first few weeks reviewing their basic music fundamentals, but they thoroughly explored the timbres of  different barred instruments!  I am so enjoying getting to know the students of 4th grade!


**Special Request**

4th and 5th asked if I would post the song I used for a rhythmic sub-division/movement exercise.  So, here it is!

No Place I’d Rather Be


Mark your calendars!

Veteran’s Day

Nov. 10th


Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Nov. 21st


Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Bring on the turkey and pass the cranberry congealed salad!  However, let’s get through Grandparents and Special Friends Day first!


This special day will be on November 22nd at 1:00pm in the Finley Center.  3rd, 4th, and 5th grade have been working very hard on a joint vocal piece entitled, “Dreams that Children Dream.”  This  beautiful two-part harmony piece has been quite a challenge, but I am so proud of all of their hard work!

What’s New with Drama Troupe?

Drama Troupe has been working hard to prepare for their December 14th sharing, after school in the Richards Hall Annex.  All family, friends, and teachers are welcome to join.


If you are a parent of a drama troupe member, stay tuned for an email regarding the sharing!  Drama Troupe will be performing numbers from Bye, Bye, Birdie and Rent, as well as a song by well-known pop singer, Adele.

I’m sure all of you have seen the Mannequin Challenge on-line?  Drama Troupe decided they would take on this challenge last week, and I think they did a pretty great job!

Drama Troupe Mannequin Challenge

So(l), what’s been happening this Fa(ll)?

 Sight Reading/Sight Singing

I cannot believe it is almost October?!  Cue the spooky music, songs about falling leaves, and mornings filled with  pumpkin spice lattes!

But really, cue the everyday incorporation of sight-reading/sight singing. Overall, sight reading/singing enhances response to change and engages the brain in a stimulating activity, which can transcend into core subject areas.  Sight reading/singing is also a fundamental element of musical understanding and success that contributes  to the develop of aural skills and music literacy.

Utilizing the Kodaly method of solfege syllables (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do) and hand-signs,  4th and 5th graders are enhancing their music literacy and building their foundation as young musicians. Either at the beginning or end of each class, we do a 5-7 minute sight reading/sight singing activity on either the doc cam or lined white board.  I am proud of the students’ success,  as they are eager to learn and challenge themselves.


Veterans Day and Special Friends:

We are continuing to work on our repertoire for these special events! Items we are focusing on with each are clarity of diction and shaping the phrases of the music.  Please see the earlier blog posting for recordings and lyrics, so that your child may practice at home.

Veterans Day: Nov 11th

Special Friends Day: Nov 22nd

What’s Going On in Music?

4th and 5th grade students started the year off strong reviewing solfege hand signs and syllables, as well as TaKaDiMi rhythmic syllables to continue building their fundamental music skills.

4th grade began working with different instruments and their timbres, using the song “Listen” from the GamePlan curriculum.  This exercise explored three different instruments and timbres, reviewed mallet technique, and utilized their ability to sing and play as a group.


5th grade began working with a traditional, Caribbean folk-song that utilized the tubano drums, as well as different Orff instruments.  Within this exercise, other elements such as harmony, ostinato, drumming technique, solfege, and melody were explored.

New Songs for Veterans Day and Special Friends Day

Below are links to the lyrics and recordings to two lovely pieces.  4th and 5th grade students are working hard to prepare two,  two-part harmony works. I encourage your child to look at these lyrics and listen to the pieces at home!


Let Freedom Ring, audio


Let Freedom Ring, lyrics


Dreams that Children Dream, audio


Dreams that Children Dream , lyrics







5th Grade Musical Auditions

When: March 7th, 3:30-5:00
Where: Ms. Hight’s classroom in Richards Hall
I am so excited to formerly announce the 5th grade musical as well as the audition date.  5th grade has been working very hard on “At the Bandstand,” which is a 50’s rock and roll musical written by NC Native Sally Albrecht.  The musical focuses on the iconic rock and roll tunes of the 1950’s, and is based on the famous American TV show, “The American Bandstand.”
Auditions will be held after school on March 7th in my classroom in Richards Hall from 3:30-5:00.
Students will need to prepare the two verses of “Rockin Robin”.
 All students have learned this thoroughly in class.  Music does not need to be memorized; however, memorization will be best.  Each student will be evaluated based on Pitch, Projection/Tone, and Stage Presence.  They will be evaluated as either a 4,3,2,or 1  with 4 being the best.  This same audition rubric will be used for each student to insure a fair audition for all.  There will be three people on the audition committee: myself, Mrs. Amber Hitchcock (strings), and Mrs. Elisabeth McChesney (Fine Arts).  In order to simulate a real performance experience, students will audition in front of their peers.
Students will also be required to read-through of  a scene at the audition. This does not have to be memorized AT ALL. I am hoping that students will read for multiple characters.  The script will not be available until the time of the audition.
See you at the bandstand!!

4th grade Musical Auditions

I hope each of you had a restful and rejuvenating break! As the new  year begins, we are hitting the ground running in music class. I am excited to announce that the 4th grade musical will be Pirates! 2: The Hidden Treasure, by John Jacobson and Roger Emerson. The cast consists of 20 speaking and solo parts, along with a chorus of natives, pirates, and William Shakesbeard.  4th grade began learning the numbers Monday.  I thought this would be a great musical for our lively bunch of buccaneers, as well as help contribute to their study of Eastern North Carolina and outerbanks culture and history.

If your child would like to audition for a role in the 4th grade musical, please have them ready to sing and perform the first verse of “A Pirate I Will Be,” as well as read and perform the Captain’s lines from the attached script and music.  This music will be taught to all classes by Thursday.  Music and script does NOT  have to be memorized, but memorization would be BEST.
Auditions will be held Monday, Jan. 11th  starting at 3:10 pm in Ms. Hight’s room.  You can sign up with this link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4ca5a82ba7fb6-4thgrade
Extra copies of music and scripts will be located in the 4th grade center.
Please let me know if you have any questions.  I look forward to hearing your child at auditions!

Veteran’s Day, November 11th

4th and 5th grade has been working very hard on their repertoire they are performing for Veteran’s Day, on November 11th at 8:15 am in the Lower School Gym,  They are all very excited to honor our Veterans in the lovely program that Ravenscroft holds every year!


Please know that attire for this program is red, white, and blue.

I hope to see you there!  Please remember that the lyrics and songs are located on my blog, just in case your child would like to practice at home.

What has 5th grade been up to?

5th graders have reviewed and built on prior knowledge of whole notes ,  half notes, quarter notes , eighth notes and  all  rests.  Learning and using TaKaDiMi rhythm syllables, students demonstrated their ability to play, internalize, and say many different rhythmic combinations.  Utilizing TaKaDiMi syllables, correct notation and simple-meter time signatures, students have composed, shared, and played their own rhythmic combinations on white boards. 5th grade has also worked towards internalizing macro and micro beats using dalrcroze eurhythmics  while singing melodic lines,  playing instruments, and listening to various repertoire.  In addition, 5th  grade has also reviewed all solfege hand signs and are able to identify and  sing corresponding solfege syllables and pitches independently.   Using solfege syllables, 5th graders are able to aurally and vocally identify Tonic and Dominant chords.  Tonic and Dominant cords are also known as the I and V chords, or primary chords in music.  With the help of repertoire, such as “Dis Solda di”, a folk song of the  Caribbean, 5th grade has furthered the development of their mallet technique on barred instruments. This Caribbean folk song aided in their performance and understanding  of multiple ostinati accompaniments. During this quarter, the students have worked very hard to learn and prepare their memorized repertoire for Veteran’s Day and Grandparents Day.  They cannot wait to share their use of proper vocal technique, musicality, their ability to sing in two part harmony, and their musical expression with you!