White Christmas at NDHS

I thoroughly enjoyed the NDHS presentation of White Christmas. The students did such a great job. They have bright futures ahead of them!

2013 Battle of the Buildings

Every year, the North Daviess High School has a fundraiser to benefit Camp About Face. The students at each building bring in their coins, and the top 3 classes in each building compete. The high school has won for the past 3 years at least. Mrs. Allen’s 5th grade class came in second, and Mr. Wilson’s 6th grade came in third for the Elementary. The teachers put on a fun show for the students at the end of the battle. I missed last year due to the death of my father, so I really enjoyed it this year. Here is the video of our great staff at NDCSC!

This video is blocked on mobile devices due to some of the songs the teachers danced to. If you cannot watch it on your iPad, etc., try the vimeo version at this link.

New Storage

Last week I purchased some plastic drawers to keep the books I need for the my classes near my piano. There is a large bookcase in the back of the room, but I don’t like going back there during a class. The books were in a plastic tub last year but I never could find the book I needed quickly. Hopefully with the books sorted in drawers, it may help. Surely, this will be much better!

Some of the books pictured below are new this year. The jazz books are actually from our school’s social studies series. The classroom teachers asked if I might need them. Yes, score! The classrooms also have a new reading series this year, so I was given a big book of songs for first grade. They are piggyback songs that go along with the stories. Pete the Cat has a new book out, but there is something missing–actually someone. Mr. Eric (Eric Litwin) is not the author of this book. It sort of loses the magic of the other four books (I also have a Christmas book that is tucked away until Christmas). After searching on book review sites, I found disturbing news that Mr. Eric and the illustrator, James Dean, have parted ways. There will not be anymore books by this fabulous duo. James Dean is pairing with his wife to write the books. I’m a little bit sad. Hopefully, this is just a temporary scheduling decision, and it’s not permanent!

Checkout the rest of the pictures on my Flickr site!

Real Life Pipe Dream

My students love Animusic, and I posted about it in 2007 (see this link). Now Intel has created a real life version of Pipe Dream. What a great marriage of science, technology, and music! It was created in only 90 days too, which is really mind-boggling.


If you haven’t join the Pinterest craze, did you know that you can just look without becoming a member? Just click on the red link on the left. If you find something that interests you, you can either break down and make a board or simply bookmark the link on your computer. I have almost 12,000 pins, so I am more than a little addicted. The thing I like the most about Pinterest is the plethora of creative ideas. I have hunted music blogs in the past on Google but had very little luck. After just a few searches on Pinterest, I have dozens of them bookmarked. The thing I don’t like about it is that it can’t be organized. I have trouble finding the pins when I’m looking quickly for something.

Quick link to My Boards

2013 My Classroom

After a rough start, my classes are finally on a roll–and I am not! That means the wheelchair has been returned, so I’m moving a little quicker. I can stand up now a bit too which means I can get my posters up. My walls are now almost finished. The only thing I have left is my Word Wall. I’ll have to do that in sections because I fill a whole side of the room with music terminology.

Even with a broken ankle, I was able to make some new stuff this year. Last Spring I had help moving the big TV on top of a large cart. This left some blank space on the back of the Clavinova to fill. I decided to make a bulletin board out of Styrofoam insulation. I cut the pieces and covered them with orange material. I had enough to make a second one above my instrument storage area. I also have enough to make another one above my computer but ran out of material. At the end of school last year, I made some Beat Blocks out of large lego blocks. The kids wanted to play with them, so I know they’ll really come in handy. After seeing many Pinterest posts, I decided to make my own version of the saying, “Music is a Language the Whole World Speaks.” I used DJ Inkers great CD to make the letter-size prints. I have a bunch of graphics from DJ Inkers, but I think it was through pcCrafters. My other boards were heavily influenced by Cara of Miscellaneous Me. I love her downloads! The last big change was to my bucket seats. Last year I had them upside down. This year I purchased lids which means the class can’t easily stack them now. We have enough room to slide them back that it shouldn’t matter. The plastic ruffle from last year didn’t make it through a whole year, and the noise and dirt really annoyed me so I decided to make cloth ruffles. I use four colors to help divide the class quickly into parts for singing or playing instruments.

To see the rest of the photos, go to my Flicker site here.

Here’s to another start of a great year! (I say knocking on wood) Check out the pictures from my room!

Broke My Ankle

OK, last year I had a really rough start to the school year with my Dad having a stroke and then passing away. I had hoped that this would be a great year. On July 20th, unfortunately, I broke my ankle in 3 places and dislocated it too. It was a silly accident–I don’t even have a good story. The push mower simply started to slip near a ditch in front of my house. Because I was so worried about the mower, I didn’t pay attention to how close my feet were. The ground gave way, and my foot and I slammed into the ditch–in different directions. The mower thankfully didn’t cut me, and there were all kinds of cars that stopped to help me. My main thought was that I had ruined my vacation to see my daughters, and I was worried how I was going to start school (on August 12th). The vacation went off as planned, and I had incredible help from the staff and students at NDE! I would never want to do it again though!

Here are a few pictures of my time in DC with a broken ankle. My daughters attended North Daviess schools for six years before we moved back to Loogootee. Love my daughters!

6th Grade Keyboards

The Sixth Grade General Music classes were again the accompaniment players for the Sixth Grade Choir performance during Awards Day. For one class only of four different GM classes, we recorded the audio first. Each class was responsible for learning one part of the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips. For instance, one class learned the melody of the refrain, while another class learned the chords. Two other classes learned the chords of the verses, and a few brave students learned how to play the Clavinova with the bass and percussion sounds (unfortunately, I forgot to videotape that). After we recorded the audio, then I recorded them playing as video. I mixed the music altogether in Sony Acid Music Studio, then matched the video to the audio in Sony Video Studio. The added animations were by Digital Juice. Don’t be scared off by the price of DJ media. Sign up for their newsletters as they have sales every week. All their audio, video, and graphics are Copyright free. You can even use their stuff in commercial projects!

There are not too many chords in this song: mainly C, Csus4, am, F, and G. It’s very easy to learn in root position, but I wish we would have had time to learn the inversions which sit under the hand better. Hope you enjoy our chords and can at least hum the tune to “Home.”

ND Singers & Jazz Band Visit NDE

In April the North Daviess Singers and Jazz Band came to North Daviess to talk to NDE students about Music. It was very enjoyable to see my former students, and of course, I loved their performance!

Writing Rhythms

My students have been working on ways to create rhythm patterns. We talked about repetition and contrast, such as how patterns can be mirrored or simply repeated. I took snapshots (not too great, mostly blurry) of their patterns on a dry erase board. We then evaluated and clapped the patterns. Next time I do this, I will try to bring my camera as the iPhone doesn’t do a great job on indoor pictures on gloomy days.

This is a 4th Grade student whose class was studying different combinations of eighth and sixteenth notes.

This is a 2nd Grade student whose class was studying different combinations of quarter and eighth notes.