Music Notes from Mrs. Gardner

Kindergarten: In October we spent our time finding where are singing voice lives, way up high in to the center of our forehead. Help your student at home with doing fun games to help us find this voice. Pretend you’re riding a roller-coaster and make the “weeee” sound way up high. Pretend you’re riding a train and make the “chug a chug a choo-choo” whistle or howl like wolves at the moon! Anything to reinforce the high head sound will help your student on their way to becoming great singers.


First: We practiced our rhythm understanding by making pumpkin stew with crazy ingredients like strawberries, ketchup, and Coca-Cola! We’re beginning to work on how beats are grouped into two, three, or four beat groupings and how each of these groups feel different to make music sound different to our ears. In November we are visiting Aiken Drum, the man who lives in the moon, and exploring how we create our own folk songs.


Second: All year long we will be enjoying learning about music AND our great state of Georgia. We went to Mayfield Dairy Farms in Braselton Georgia, where we are learning songs about ice cream, creating our own ice cream rhythm and testing our bucket filling skills with rhythm exploration. We spent October at Stone Mountain learning about patriotic music and how events in history help create these songs. 2nd grade will be performing some of these songs at the Veterans Day celebration breakfast on November 11th as a “thank you” to our special guest.


Third: We started our year talking about where music came from and exploring the sounds of early man. In Egypt, we are discussing the musical concept of Form, the way in which music is put together, and created movement form to share with the class. Next stop, Greece and the start of written music.


Fourth: We are making beautiful squeaks and squawks on our recorders in music class as we continue to work on becoming PHAT players. This reminds us the four steps of great recorder playing; position, hands, air, and tonguing. These four steps will turn our squeaks into beautiful notes! So if practice time in your house sounds more like prehistoric pterodactyls on the loose instead of beautiful baroque recorders, just remind your fourth grader to PHAT.


Fifth: Fifth grade is moving right along in their music reading journey. This month we started with F# fingering and have practiced red belt (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) as a class. This piece should be completed by December 22 for the report card. We also began our journey into the development of American music and students composed their own Native American style flute songs then performed it in our in class Powwow.


I was very proud of our eleven Mount Bethel Honor Chorus members who participated in the Northwest Georgia Choral Festival at Shorter University on October 21. These students did us all proud and represented everyone with respect and beautiful music that brought the audience to their feet. Great job guys!


First Recorder Master of 2019-2020!

Congrats to our first Recorder Master of the year! He completed 9 belts (including one where he wrote his own song  and then played it) to earn this title. From here, he will be able to start Alto Recorder bringing new challenges of new fingerings and songs to this hard working musician.

5th Grade Honor Chorus Auditions NEXT WEEK



-North West Georgia Choral Festival auditions are open to all Mount Bethel 5th graders.

  • Honor Chorus will perform at the Northwest Georgia Choral Festival on the campus of Shorter University in Rome, GA. Participants will spend the day working with conductor Vincent Oakes director of the Chattanooga Boys Choir. The day will end with a spectacular concert that will also include performances from the high school honor choir and the Shorter Chorale.

Being in this group is a great honor.  Students that are chosen will be expected to attend special rehearsals with Mrs. Gardner on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before the event to learn the music as well as practicing on their own at home.

Mt. Bethel auditions will be held the mornings of September 10th and 12th.  Students who are interested, please come by my room and signup for an audition slot on the form outside my door.  These auditions will be one-on-one. THERE WILL BE NO MAKEUP AUDITIONS EXCLUDING AN EXCUSED ILLNESS-RELATED ABSENCE. Students will be asked to echo a few vocal patterns, match pitch to a piano, and sing the first verse of America (My Country Tis’ Of Thee). Eight students will be selected and announced on Friday, September 13th.


NWGCF Honor Chorus Rehearsal and Concert Day

October 21st, 2019

Shorter University Rome, GA

This will be an ALL DAY field trip, students will miss a day of school

Each student pays $30 for: a provided snack, lunch, and music


Parents/Chaperones- Most of the logistics can be worked out at a later date, and carpooling is an option, but each parent is responsible for getting students to and from Rome.  I will need chaperones at the event all day for anyone interested in sharing this experience with us. It is truly a marvelous day.

If you have any questions or concerns about auditions or expectations please contact Mrs. Gardner

5th Grade Testing

image All fifth-graders in music this nine weeks need their Blue Belt by October 6th to secure an A in music for the nine weeks.  All students have created a username and password for the app Showbie. Students should have written this inside their recorder notebooks. Students can now submit work from home either through the app (available in the iTunes Store) or by way of the website


Testing must be completed by 8pm on Sunday October 6th to count toward the report card.


Welcome back to the new year all my fine musician friends! I am super excited to see you all back in the music room for another wonderful year of making music together.  We are going to have a great time and I am excited to announce that we will be sharing our music with a new friend Ms. Teresa Sheppard, my student teacher from Kennesaw State University.  She will be with us part time from now till December and then full time from January to May.  She is super nice, smiles all the time and she can’t wait to get to know all of you.  So, if you see her in the hall, be sure to give her a smile and a wave. We want her to know that Mt Bethel is the best place to be with the kindest people.  Check out below for some more info from Ms. Sheppard herself.  See you soon Buccaneers!!

Because Music Matters,

Mrs. Gardner


Hey! My name is Ms. Sheppard, and I’m so excited to start the year with Mrs. Gardner at Mt. Bethel ES learning how to be a music teacher! I’m a student at Kennesaw State University and I have two harps at home that I love playing. One is a pedal harp, like you see in orchestras, and one is a lever harp, that is perfect for playing Celtic music. You probably already know from Mrs. Gardner that Celtic music comes from Ireland and Scotland. I actually got to go to these two beautiful countries a few years ago and travel around visiting different Celtic harp teachers and taking lessons. Never underestimate where music might take you!
I love all things Irish and Scottish, along with baking, hiking, and traveling, and most of all I love sharing and making music, which is why I’m looking forward so much to this year with all of you musicians at Mt. Bethel!
See you soon,
Ms. Sheppard

5th Grade History Study Guide AND Belts for Quarter 4

Please make sure you have checked your study guide and have all your sheets for after spring break. You should have:

  1. Progression of American Music (Native American)
  2. Colonial music
  3. Writing a piece for the drummer boy
  4. African American music
  5. Ragtime and syncopation

Attached is the pdf of these guides. Pages 1-4 are in the Progression of American Music document. if you have lost yours, please print and complete before our next class. These sheets will be needed for our American history test in the coming weeks.


ragtime and syncopation-1l6dtlk

The Progression Of American Music-s7p14j

“Take The L”…OUT of the music room!

In the recent weeks, a new dance has emerged in the music classroom called “Take The L.” This dance includes the dancer placing the letter L on their forehead and placing their other hand in the region around their belt buckle (or below) then bouncing back-and-forth from one foot to the other in a side to side motion. The students have informed me that this is a Fortnite dance and that doing this dance means that you are calling someone a “loser.” I’ve had discussions with some classes, and will continue to discuss with classes as needed, that this dance is not a nice dance. It is not kind to call someone a loser and so the dance is not appropriate to do during music. Dance is such a huge part of expression through music! This is why we incorporate a lot of movement lessons and our beloved Freaky Friday celebrations into the classroom time. But, not all dances are kid friendly. Please take time to remind your students the importance of using school appropriate dance moves in the classroom.


The Music Room Needs HELP!!!




The Music Room needs your help! As we are finishing the year, we are in great need of some donations from our MBE family. A few things that we need are:


pencils (LOTS of pencils)


Ziploc bags (gallon and quart sizes)


Any donation will be greatly appreciated!!!

March Music Notes

Kindergarten: We are having all sorts of fun on the farm exploring our instruments of the Percussion Family. Percussion instruments or anything that we can hit, shake, or scrape. Our farm has introduced us to the tambourine, egg shakers, maracas, and hand drums. We are continuing to work on our great singing voices and self-control with our precious instruments.

First grade: First graders are really rocking it on the xylophones, I have been super impressed with their respect for these very important instruments. We have been having such a great time reading different books and acting them out with our bodies and our music.

Second: In February we learned about our Georgia state flower the Cherokee Rose and our state butterfly the Tiger Swallowtail. Students are now learning how to create melodies using these symbols to create simple sol, me, la patterns we have been practicing in class. Our goal is to combine our knowledge of rhythms (that we learned while at Zoo Atlanta) with our new understanding of how melodies move and to create our own compositions is by the end of the year.

Third: Third graders have done a really great job learning the skills of reading music while studying about western European music of the 6th century. We will begin in March learning about canon (where two or more groups do the same thing but start at different times). This is our first step to understanding how harmony works in music.

Fourth: I have really challenged fourth grade the past month in their recorder playing skills with new  games, and boy are they doing great! We have earned our orange belt and are working on adding low E and eight note rhythms to our playing skills with our new piece It’s Raining. Many students have shown great growth and improvement, keep up the hard work at home!

Fifth: As we finish the Civil War era we’re talking about the music of the African-American slaves of this time. Students will learn how African-American spirituals will shape and influence jazz music which then influences the pop music of today. Testing is coming along nicely. We have had several students complete all the way to their 6 degree black belt and become “recorder masters” moving on to the Alto Recorder here in this second semester. I’m so proud of their hard work!





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