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







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!!

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!

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!