Joyful Noises

Just another Edublogs site

2018-2019 Welcome Letter


Welcome to the beginning of a new year in music! I’m excited to begin my 4th year here at Daniel Bagley. In music class, students should expect to participate in singing, playing classroom instruments, moving (dancing), and listening activities. In alignment with the Washington State Arts Learning Standards, we will create, perform, respond, and connect through music. We will explore the music of many cultures using the Orff and Kodaly philosophies of music education. For more information on these philosophies please check out:


We move and sit on the floor often. Students should wear comfortable clothing, and may wish to wear shorts or leggings under skirts on music days. Comfortable, soft-soled footwear, that is safe for movement should be worn.

Patriotic and Secular (non-religious) holiday and celebration songs are part of our curriculum. I work to include music from many cultures in the most authentic ways I possibly can, and welcome students sharing their cultural experiences, particularly in how they relate to music and vice-versa. If there is a conflict with your child participating in these cultural experiences, please notify me in writing as soon as possible.

As we begin our music making this year, students in grades 1-5 will be reviewing rhythms, body percussion, and classroom instruments that they have previously experienced, while we work to have a common understanding of classroom procedures and expectations. Kindergarten students will begin the year singing, moving, and listening to songs with Farm and Animal themes, as they learn to feel music in their bodies, and understand music room expectations.

As part of SPS Policy #0030 regarding Welcoming School Environments and Recognizing Diversity, I am also incorporating Community Talking Circles into our music classes. “Community circles help educators create a welcoming school environment through the development of deep relationships that honor the uniqueness of each person, staff, student, and their families.” At least once a week, each music class will participate in a Talking Circle in which each student is given the opportunity to speak uninterrupted. Each circle will have a unique focus. Sometimes this focus may be related to a musical theme. Sometimes it will be an opportunity for each child to share a hope or experience. Sometimes we will share appreciations from our music class that week. By participating in these circles we can help develop trust that is necessary for students to learn together, perform as musical ensembles, and allow all voices to be heard.

I’m looking forward to a great year! Here are some conversation starters to get your kids talking about their music class:

  • What songs did you hear during your rhythm warm-ups? (1-5)
  • What are the four body percussion movements you used this week? (1-5)
    • Answer: Snap, Clap, Pat, Stamp
  • What are the four families of classroom percussion? (1-5)
    • Answer: Metals, Shaker Scrapers, Woods, and Drums
  • What animals did you sing about in Music? (K)
  • Did you play any instruments in Music? (K)
    • Answer, yes, rhythm sticks and hand drums.

If you have any questions, please contact me by email:


Spring Music Informances (Informative Performances)


It’s that time of year! Time for Bagley Bees to show off some of the things they’ve learned in music class this year. In an effort to consolidate evening trips to the school, we’ve scheduled these the week of Art Walk and the Spring Book fair. Families can enjoy arts of all kinds while supporting the PTA at the book fair. Like last year’s concerts, these have been split up into 4 separate concerts that will last roughly 30 minutes each. All concerts will take place on the stage at Bagley.


Wednesday, May 17 at 6:15PM: Cole, Norton, Richards, Steele, Stone

Thursday, May 18 at 6:15PM: Adriance, Bader, Filep, Scordas, Tamura

Thursday, May 18 at 7:00PM: Green, Kingsbury, Lipsen, Messom, Schultz

Friday, May 19 at 6PM: Hoyer, Mower, Outhouse, Vonderlage

Arrival: Students should arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled performance, and sit on the floor with their class.

Questions: Please contact Ms. M-K

by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    

For This We Give Thanks


At this time of the year, I feel so very grateful that I get to spend my days making music with kids. With the many difficult situations going on in our world, I’ve been working to reconnect with what it was that made me love music in the first place. Music was always the place in school where I fit in. Particularly in seventh grade, when I got my first pair of 1987 giant plastic framed glasses, and had to wear a headgear to school, choir was the place that I could shine, and make up for my otherwise awkward being. In choir, the headgear came off, and people heard my voice, rather than seeing what made me different. Music gives us connection in so many ways. We connect to ourselves and our emotions. We connect to other cultures. We connect with our peers in ways we may not elsewhere. With music, we are able to speak a common language. I hope, in the music room here at Daniel Bagley, we are giving students ways to connect, places to shine, and a place to call home.

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Kindergarten and First Grade: Our youngest students have been working with the concept of high sounds and low sounds. We read a book called “Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert, which has a repeated line:

“A leaf man’s got to go where the wind blows.”

We learned that a repeated line in a song is called a refrain. We put the refrain on cards on the board, and students got to take turns  moving one or two words higher than the others. Then we sang our refrain, moving our voices to a higher pitch for those words that were higher on the board. We also discussed how leaves fall to the ground, imitated these movements with our bodies, and followed the sounds of a xylophone as they spun down, till our leaves (bodies) landed on the floor.


First, Second, and Third Grade Classes: All classes containing second graders have been working on a composition project that is tied to our district common music assessments that assess both music, and 21st Century skills. While some first and third graders also worked on this project at their own level, second graders are the students completing the entirety of the project. Second graders have worked to complete the baseline assessment which involved writing a line of words, setting them to rhythms we have already learned, and performing their composition for me. To prepare for this, we reviewed rhythms we had previously learned, practiced reading them in several different ways, and practice matching syllables to rhythms in a class composition. The 21st Century skill we are emphasizing with this group is Creative Thinking.

3-4 and 4-5 classes: These classes got to work in drum circles. We spent time learning the system and expectations involved in a large drum circle. Then we learned to play in an ensemble involving tubano drums, shaker eggs, and rhythm sticks. We learned a pattern, and learned to sing a song from Ghana called, “Sansa Kroma”. We also learned to play a rock passing game with this song (many younger classes also did parts of this). By the end of the week, we were able to have some students play instruments while others played the game on the floor and sang. As these classes focus on the 21st Century Skill of Communication, we discussed how people in all cultures use music to communicate with one another, and have begun discussing musical tools we have to help us communicate (rhythm, tempo, meter, instrumentation).

Conversation Starters:

Kindergarten and First grade

  • Can you make your voice go up and down?
  • What is your favorite part of brain dance?
  • Can you show me with your body how a leaf falls from a tree?

First, Second, and Third grade

  • What rhythm has one sound on a beat? (Ta or quarter note) Two sounds? (Ta-di or 2 eighth notes) No sounds? (Rest or quarter rest)
  • Second and third graders (and some firsts) should be able to write 4 beats of these rhythms in stick notation. Ask them to write you some rhythm.
  • Can you sing “Sansa Kroma”?

3-4 and 4-5 Classes

  • Tell me how drums circles work in music class.
  • What is your favorite part to play in a drum circle?
  • Can you sing “Sansa Kroma”?
  • Can you teach me the rock passing game that goes with “Sansa Kroma”?

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!








by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    

Welcome to 2016


The year has begun! We are all getting a chance to get to know each other and make music. Here are a few highlight of the Fall thus far:

  • Brain Dance- All classes have been warming up doing Brain Dance. Developed by local dance teacher, Anne Green Gilbert, Brain Dance is a series of 8 movements designed to engage our bodies and reorganize our central nervous system. This warm-up activity allows students to use their bodies in music class in a fun and engaging way. I am working this year to get kids moving in music class as much as possible, especially on rainy days like today.  For More information about Brain Dance:
  • Kindergarten and First Grade Classes-  We have been singing simple songs, and working to feel a steady beat in our bodies. Most recently we sang , “What will You Be on Halloween” and “Five Little Pumpkins”. First Graders are also learning to read basic rhythms including quarter notes, and paired eighth notes.
  • 1-2-3 and Second Grade Classes- Second and third Graders have been reviewing rhythmic material they learned last year while helping first graders in their class learn to read, write, and play (on xylophones) quarter notes, paired eighth notes, and quarter rests.
  • 3-4 and 4-5 Classes- these classes will be focusing attention on the 21st Century skill of communication. They have begun to learn about dynamics in music, and how different dynamics can convey different meaning. They moved with the song “super-cali-fragi-listic-expi-ali-docious”, changing the shape of their bodies to reflect the different dynamics they heard. They also connected their language and music skills by collaborating in small groups to create a new word or phrase with 14 syllables. They then performed these for their classes to the tune of “super-cali…”.

Conversation Starters:

  • Tell me about a song you have sung in music this year?
  • Have you played any singing games? Tell me about them?
  • What rhythm has one sound on a beat? (also zero, 2, 3, and 4) Can you draw that for me? (For older students)


by posted under Uncategorized | No Comments »    

Skip to toolbar