Music Notes for September 2013

Fall Snapshots from the Music Department

As a unified music department, our goals are:

  • To continue to work together to share resources, space, equipment, and best practices
  • To explore new ways to use technology in the classroom
  • To collaborate on joint performances and activities

Band Notes by Vivian Boudreaux and David Brigham

The first few weeks of school are a turbulent period for the band program.  There are overviews of goals, expectations, rules, grading policies; the complex process of getting instruments into the hands of students who need them; the tasks getting pieces ready, preparing folders, and passing out music.   Somehow, it all gets done, and the music begins!  6th graders are learning or reviewing basics of posture, playing position, embouchure, tone production and music fundamentals, creating a foundation on which to build the skills needed to play beautiful music in a joyful and supportive environment.  7th grade Concert Band students are gaining musical independence through a variety of music styles including using chorales, rounds, a swing tune, a concert march, and a Renaissance piece.   The 8th Grade Symphonic Band is playing complex contemporary band literature using contrasting instrumental timbres or tone colors, including full brass fanfares and lyrical woodwind melodies, all punctuated by elaborate percussion parts.   We are looking forward to a fun-filled year of learning, performances and other activities.

Band Practice

Band Practice

Band Practice

Band Practice

Orchestra Notes by Rachel McGuire

What is Classical music?  We know it if we hear it, but it’s difficult to define.  We use this word to describe music that isn’t jazz, or rock, or folk, for example, just because there isn’t any other word that seems to describe it better.  What students in orchestra are learning at the beginning of this new school year is what Classical really means:  a style of music from the Classical era between around 1750-1820 written by composers such as Haydn, Mozart, and early Beethoven.  We’re also learning about and playing music from all other musical periods from the Renaissance to modern day.  As we learn how to play the music and get to know each other as an orchestra, we get to learn about style, form, harmony, rhythm, popular genres, composers, and how all of these things change from one period to the next.  We’re also learning about history and how it affected the music of it’s time.  Every bit of knowledge and insight beyond the notes on the page will help students to understand just how exciting “classical” music really can be!  There is a world of sound out there, spanning hundreds of years, just waiting to be discovered- and it’s only September!  Let the music begin!

Orchestra Rehearsal

Orchestra Rehearsal

Choir Notes by Monica Covitt

Tell me, I forget, show me, I remember, involve me, I understand.  – Carl Orff

The beginning of the year in choir has been full of many different and fun activities, all with the aim of involving students and leading them towards a greater sense of musical experience and understanding.  Through the lens of Orff-Schulwerk, an approach to music education based on the belief that children learn music best through play and imagination, Jordan choir students have been engaging in games and activities that invite their own creativity, all with the aim of establishing a musical community of trust, safety and friendship.  We have been playing getting to know you games, learning about singing technique, exploring our bodies through proper posture, movement, and body percussion, exploring different types of voices and musical genres based on student-suggested examples, and exploring the beginnings of reading rhythm and music notes.  This week, students explored rhythm ideas through the use of different objects, and were able to compose their own rhythmic compositions using these items in their own creative ways.  Through play, exploration, and a constant use of imagination, the Jordan choir students are musically involved from head to toe, involved and ready to understand all of the musical experiences at their fingertips.

Choir Practice

Choir Practice

Upcoming Music Calendar Dates


Tuesday, October 29
Paly Band/Jordan Symphonic Band
5:00 rehearsal and dinner
7:30 concert at Jordan

Thursday, October 31
Halloween Concerts
7/8th grade Band, Choir and Orchestra
Invitational Assemblies 7th Period and 3rd Period in Jordan MPR


Friday, November 8
Jordan Symphonic Band/Paly Pep Band Football Event
6:00 pm at PALY Stadium

Wednesday, November 20
7:00 – Jordan 6-7-8 Orchestra


Wednesday, December 4
7:00 Jordan 6-7-8 Choir

Wednesday, December 11
7:00 & 8:15 6-7-8 Bands,
Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band