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


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







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 4th grade been up to?

This first quarter , 4th grade students learned TaKaDiMi rhythmic syllables in simple meter and  demonstrated success in reading many different rhythms that involve whole, half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes and rests.  4th grade has also worked towards internalizing macro and micro beats using dalrcroze eurythmics  while singing melodic lines,  playing instruments, and listening to various repertoire.  In addition, 4th grade has also explored and learned all solfege hand signs and are able to identify and  sing corresponding solfege syllables and pitches independently.  Students reviewed their musical knowledge of the lines and spaces on the staff as a class and created their own written and verbal sentences in order to aid them.   Using repertoire, such as “Listen”  and Game Plan rhythm cards, the students have demonstrated an understanding of musical terms, such as ostinato, form, different dynamic markings, and simple time signatures using various repertoire, pitched and un-pitched percussion instruments,  and multi-level body percussion.  During this quarter, the students have worked very hard to learn and prepare their memorized repertoire for Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11)  and Grandparents Day (Nov. 24th).  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!


Come to the Musical! Once Upon a Mattress

Ravenscroft’s Fine Arts department to put on musical!!

 Once Upon A Mattress is a comedic musical based on the fairytale, “The Princess and the Pea.”  Fun and laughs for the entire family!


    TICKETS: Free, but required for assigned seating

Ticket Distribution: Pugh Family Lobby, Fine Arts Center

  • General Audience DistributionHours:

      10/21      7:30 – 8:30am 3:00 – 4:00pm

10/26      7:30 – 8:30am 3:00 – 4:00pm

10/27      7:30 – 8:30am 3:00 – 4:00pm

      Parents/Faculty: Ticket number limited to number in family

      Students: 1 ticket limit

      US students may pick up one ticket; MS & LS students: Parents will pick up a ticket for you

     (US & MS may pick up for family w/parent permission emailed to emcchesney@ravenscroft.org)

    Performances: Jones Theatre, Fine Arts Center

7:00pm      Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30

1:00pm      Saturday, October 31 Audience members of all ages are welcome to come to this matinee show in costume!

Be seated by 7:00 or 2:00pm, please, or your seat may be given away.

Unable to attend? Please return tickets to Fine Arts Office at least a day in advance of show

Video / audio recording prohibited per performance agreement with R&H Theatricals

Photography prohibited per same performance agreement

Veteran’s Day 2015

4th and 5th grade students will be performing and singing in the Ravenscroft Veteran’s Day Program. We have been working hard on two lovely pieces, “Pride of America” and “To Those Who Serve.”

I have posted the lyrics and recording  for “To Those Who Serve” below so that students can practice at their convenience.



To Those Who Serve Lyrics


My country ‘tis of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

to thee we sing, to thee we sing!


To those who serve,

who serve the free,

those who stand proud and tall and serve us all unselfishly.  

With heart and soul they’ve answered freedom’s call.  

To those who serve, who serve us all.


From this great land

our heroes hail,

putting their hopes and dreams on hold so freedom can prevail.

They come from north from south, from east, and west.  

They are the bravest and the best!


How can we ever thank them?

Mere words would never do.

All those who serve and help preserve

our grand red, white, and blue!


To those who serve,

put fear aside,

upholding all that we hold near and dear,

they’ve lived and died.

They taught us all what truth and strength should be.

To those who serve courageously.


How can we ever thank them

Mere words would never do.

Our heroes brave who serve to save

our grand red, white, and blue…red, white, and blue.


To those who serve,

who serve the free,

those who stand proud and tall and serve us all unselfishly.

With heart and soul they’ve answered freedom’s call.

To those who serve, to those who serve, to those who serve, who serve us all!


To those who serve, to those who serve, to thee we sing!