4th and 5th Graders Need Recorders

Hello Families,

Students in 4th and 5th grade will need recorders for digital learning. Usually, these would be part of the Buccaneer Bundle that you would order from PTA and receive at meet and greet. Without face to face, this option is not available to us so you will need to secure a recorder on your own. Where do I get a recorder?

  1. There may be one in your home if you have an older brother or sister. You can use theirs for the time being.
  2. Check with a neighbor. Friends in your neighborhood may have 1, 2 or even 3 recorders in their houses and happy to share. All recorders can be sterilized by running through the dishwasher on the top rack for one cycle.
  3. We are working with Learning Express (beside Target), they are your only local source for recorders. You can call and have one reserved or get curbside pickup.  1401 Johnson Ferry Rd, Marietta, GA 30062                 PHONE: 770-321-3975
  4. Online sources are below:
    1. Amazon
    2. West Music Co.
    3. Music Is Elementary

All students need recorders by AUGUST 31st. This will hopefully give everyone time to get their recorders. I thank you so much for your help and am looking forward to making music with you all soon!

Mrs. G

Welcome Back!!

Hello Music Friends! I can not wait to see you all in our virtual classroom in just a few weeks. It is going to be an awesome year and we will make music however we are able. As you prepare to return, keep in mind these expectations for our live classes together. They are what we already do everyday in the Mt Bethel music room, just said in a way that makes sense for your personal home classroom.  See you all soon!

Digital Learning Week 8- String Family

What is the String Family?

The string family is one of the most recognizable families in music. The string family makes their sound through the vibration of strings. Duh, right?! LOL String instruments are great because (unlike the brass and woodwinds) one string instrument can make multiple sounds because one person can play multiple strings at once.  For example, the guitar (my favorite) has 6 strings and I can play all 6 strings at the same time. This makes instruments from this family great accompaniment instruments. ACCOMPANIMENT is the musical sounds that support the main melody. Imagine a rock band. The lead singer is the melody (main idea) and other instruments like guitars and drums provide the other parts that make the song bigger and more interesting. They provide TEXTURE  which happens when we layer all the parts of music (melody, tone color, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, instruments, voice) together to create a finished product. The more parts you have in a song the thicker the texture of a song. You can think of it as there are more things to listen to and make it sound interesting. Think of the difference between a thin texture (one voice singing) and a thick texture (a full orchestra). String instruments can provide many sounds at once which allows you to have more texture with less people. Check out the sounds of the string family here:String Family Instruments


Strings, Science and Make Your Own Instrument

The Sound House will show us all about the string instruments. They will us the piano to show us about strings but, in music, we consider the piano a member of the percussion family since we HIT the string with a hammer. But no matter if it is a piano or a violin the strings are effected by how long or short and how thick or thin the string is that you are playing.


The Cello Song

We met Steve Nelson and the Piano Guys several weeks ago when we met John Williams. Steve plays an instrument called the Cello (pronounced CH-low). In the music room we call her Mama Cello because she has a sweet soothing sound and warm TONE COLOR. Steve is going to play a well known song by J.S. Bach. He is one of the greatest composers from a time in music we call the Baroque Period when music was VERY fancy. But Steve Nelson, being the crazy guy he is, put his own spin on it and made a new arrangement for 8 cellos. NO, he doesn’t have 7 identical twin brothers playing with him, that is more cool movie magic for you.



Digital Learning Week 7- The Woodwind Family

What is the Woodwind Family?

The Woodwind Family is a group of instruments what use wind vibrating against a surface to create sound. Many of these instruments are made of wood or were made of wood in the past. Those who aren’t made of wood usually have a piece of wood in the mouth piece that create the vibrating sound. These instruments are used in many different STYLES (types of music) and have many different TONE COLORS. Tone color is the special sound each instrument and voice have that make it sound different from other instruments.  This is why, when listening to music, we can tell the difference between drums, flutes, or violins. Also how we know the difference between women’s voices and men’s. Tone color is what makes sound interesting and why we have so many varieties of music.  Checkout Classics For Kids to see these instruments and hear their tone color. Woodwind Family Instrument


Woodwind, Science and Make Your Own Instrument

We are back at the Sound House checking out the way the Woodwind instruments work. They will also show you how to create your own simple woodwind instruments at home.


Make a Woodwind Instrument…..From A Carrot!!!

This is super cool and gives new meaning to “playing with your food.” LOL Checkout how Andrew makes a woodwind instrument from a carrot. If you want to do this at home, GET HELP FROM A PARENT!! Dads love to use power tools so they may be really excited to help you with yours.


Vegetable Orchestra Plays “Africa”

In Digital Learning Week Five, Ms. Sheppard introduced us to the song “Africa” by Toto performed by a group of singers called a CHORUS. Checkout this guy who uses all sorts of vegetables to make his own instruments to play his own version of this same song.


Harry Potter Meets….The Woodwind Family


Crosswords, Coloring Sheets and Woodwinds…OH MY!

Here are some fun Woodwind Activity Sheets for you to enjoy at home. Missing you greatly Buccaneers and I’m sending you lots of love.

woodwind worksheet1

woodwind worksheet 2

woodwind worksheet 3

Digital Learning Week 6- The Percussion Family

What Is Percussion? 

The Percussion Family is a group of instruments that control the steady beat and rhythm of a song. Drums are the most recognizable member of this family but there are so many others than just drums. This week we are going to be checking out some of these interesting instruments as well as creating our own! Check out the Classics For Kids website to hear many different types of percussion instruments.  Percussion Family Instruments Listen below to Mr. Jason as he takes you around his studio and shows you the different ways we make percussion instruments play. Keep your eyes open and see (not only the instruments he shows you) but also the other instruments sitting around and on shelves. ALL of these instruments belong in the percussion family!


The Percussion Family is the largest of the 4 musical instrument families because it includes anything that you HIT, SHAKE, or SCRAPE and sometimes RUB. There are a lot of things you can HIT, SHAKE, or SCRAPE and sometimes RUB so there are 1,000…100,000….maybe MILLIONS of percussion instruments all over the world!!! Checkout some of these unique percussion instruments and their countries.


Percussion, Science and Make Your Own Instrument

Instruments make sound because the effect vibrations. These vibrations move around us all the time and according to their size and length they make us hear different sounds (high or low) called PITCHES. Let’s head over to the Sound House and see these vibrations that we hear. Also, learn how to make some percussion instruments of our own with all those toilet paper rolls we all have around the house these days!


Make your own rainstick! Is a rainstick a HIT, SHAKE or SCRAPE percussion instrument? These videos are a few examples of how to make percussion instruments from normal recyclables we have around the house. What other instruments can you make that you can HIT, SHAKE or SCRAPE and sometimes RUB? Send me a photo or video of your percussion instrument at amanda.gardner@cobbk12.org


Let’s Play Along

Playing with others: Ok, now that you have your instruments, let’s make some music. Percussion instruments are used to create RHYTHM or the patterns of music. Play along to “Alla Turca” by the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. “All Turca” is sometimes called the “Turkish Rondo” because the Form (the way the music is put together) keeps going back and repeating the beginning, like a circle. Pick a color/shape to play along with and hit, shake or scrape your instrument whenever the color ball reaches the bottom of the screen. Grab others to help and make your own percussion band.


Playing alone: Pick the percussion instrument that matches the instrument you made from the percussion pizza. Then, play along with that instrument every time it joins in the groove. Can you play the same pattern as the instrument on the screen? Can you create your own pattern? If you create your own, can you right it out in the musical symbols we use on Patty’s Pattern in class?




Don’t forget to get your Freaky Friday’s in while at home! I would hate anyone missing an opportunity to Shake Your Groove Thing!!!

3rd-5th: Disco was an American style of music that lived (and died) in the 1970’s. Disco was a lifestyle for those who enjoyed it and you wouldn’t just listen to the music, you learned the dance moves and even wore the disco clothes each night to the dance club. So breakout your leisure suit, tell your parents to join and channel their inner John Travolta!!



Answer Key to Week Five! (Instrument Families Treasure Hunt and Camille Saint-Saens)

Drumroll…..the answers to the treasure hunt can be found here >  Treasure Hunt answers!

And the mystery music by Camille Saint-Saens? Did you figure out what animal it was? It definitely had low sounds and was at a slow tempo…that’s right! It was the elephant! 🙂

Digital Learning Week Five

Hello, Mt. Bethel Buccaneers, Ms. Sheppard here! This week I’ll be posting music activities and videos to the blog; check back often, since I will be adding new things to this post as the week goes on!

Corner for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders 

Foley Artist Sound Effects + Choir (ESGM5.CN.1b, ESGM4.CN.1b, ESGM3.CN.1b: Discuss connections between music and disciplines outside the fine arts.)

Remember last week when we explored how Foley artists use sound to create effects in movies? Here is a choir that decided to incorporate the same idea of sound effect into their performance of Toto’s Africa. What sounds do you hear? Do you think the choir’s use of sound effects enhanced their performance?

Create the Soundtrack of Your Life (ESGM5.CR.2, ESGM4.CR.2, ESGM3.CR.2: Compose and arrange music within specified guidelines)

If you created your own soundtrack, what would it be like? Would it be dramatic? Chill? Edgy? Adventurous? Relaxing? Just plain fabulous? Did you know that you can combine new instruments, genres, and sounds in Live Loops in the Garageband app to make a your own personal soundtrack? Not only that, you can record it and save it to share! I know Mrs. Gardner is super excited to hear what you come up with! Rock, Hip Hop, Electronic, Orchestral, Piano..the possibilities are endless!!

Here’s how to do it:

Here’s a sample below of one that was made by tapping “New” and adding 4 different loops at different times from the “orchestral” category: Courier Strings, Oath, Pursuit, and Vigilante. It reminds me of hiking a mountain…or maybe cleaning the bathroom (hey, a good soundtrack helps with anything!) 🙂 Do you hear where the percussion instruments come in? That’s the claves and African talking drums.


Instrument Families Treasure Hunt (Standard ESGM3.RE.1c, ESGM4.RE.1c, and ESGM5.RE.1c: Identify and classify orchestra instruments by sight and sound)

I know that at Mt. Bethel, Ms. Gardner loves introducing you all to the different instruments and instrument families of the orchestra. Since many orchestras are going digital with virtual videos, this gives us an opportunity to see each member of the orchestra up close and personal! So we’re going on a treasure hunt in this performance of Ravel’s Bolero performed by the NY Philharmonic and edited on audio and video software by Isaac Trapkus (their bass player) and Kyle Zerna (their percussionist). This is how it works: I give you a timestamp and something to look for at that timestamp. You can print out the worksheet (Instrument Families worksheet), answer the questions, and send a picture to Mrs. Gardner at Amanda.Gardner@cobbk12.org. Then later this week I will post the answers to the blog. Here we go!

Bonus question: This composer (Maurice Ravel) chose to layer in instruments one by one and to highlight each instrument family. Why do you think he made this decision? Does this choice of the composer create a feeling or mood?

Corner for Kindergarteners, 1st, and 2nd graders 

Introducing Jason the Turtle! (Standard ESGMK.PR.1a, ESGM1.PR.1a, ESGM2.PR.1a: Sing simple accompanied and unaccompanied melodies in a limited range, using head voice)

Draw a Melody with Tune Train (Standard ESGMK.PR.3 and ESGM1.PR3: Read and Notate music, including simple melodic contour representations)

Tune Train allows you to create your own melody (or “tune) by choosing which direction the melody goes: up or down. Then you can add a backing track to see what it sounds like!

Here’s how to do it:

Making Camille Saint-Saens’ Animals Come Alive! (Standards ESGMK/1/2.RE.1b, ESGMK/1/2.RE3b: Describe music using appropriate vocabulary, Perform choreographed and non-choreographed movements to music)

Hmmm…do you remember what animal Mr. Camille Saint-Saens wrote music about, that was very FORTE? (not piano, like the kangaroo). Watch the video and let’s listen and act out this animal together!

And now, I have a new animal for you: can you guess what it might be by listening to the music? Answer coming soon, so make a guess quick!! 🙂 Remember, we listen to the music to find out what animal it might be. Is it a big animal? What does a big animal sound like? A slow tempo or a fast tempo? High notes or low notes? Long notes or short notes? Forte or piano?


Digital Learning Week Four

Star Wars meet…the RECORDER!!!!

Body Percussion Imperial March

Use your body as an instrument. Each body part can make a different sound and produce some very fun combinations. Follow along with John Williams “Imperial March” with your body sounds by making the rhythms when the notes change color.

Music Careers in Hollywood

Music and the production of sound are booming careers in the movie making industry. There are very few movies who don’t utilize a soundtrack created by composers like John Williams. But, did you know that even common everyday sounds in a scene are created in a studio too? On location of a movie set, it is not always possible for the microphones to pickup all the sounds needed in a scene. These sounds are often added in something called post production. Post production is after the film has been recorded but before it is finished to go to the movie theaters. 

LEARN: Below is a video about Foley Artistry.  A Foley Artist is a person who creates the sound effects in a movie. Watch the video and see how they turn everyday objects into movie sound magic!


CREATE: Turn ON your favorite movie and turn OFF the sound. Using objects around you (or even your voice) create your own sound effects for what is going on in the scene. Try different sound effect, even ones that don’t match the action, and see how it changes the mood/feeling of the scene. You can even make up your own dialogue/words for the characters to say. Have fun being the sound director in your version of the movie.

Stop Motion Creation Project

Have you ever dreamed about being a director of a movie? Directors have a big job to decide how the music, the sound effect, dialogue, and scenes go together to create a finished project. Here is a video where the director used a production method called stop motion animation. Stop Motion is when a scene is created by moving parts of the scene in small sections to make it look like the objects are moving by themselves. Watch the video below to see an example of a stop motion music video.

CREATE: Stop motion is an easy way to become a director of your own movie. Pick a section of  a song, any song, and make your own stop motion animation video to go with it. Recruit your siblings to help, grab things from the toy box and get creative! You can record using iMovie OR use the FREE app Stop Motion Studio. Both apps will allow you to photograph each scene and add audio to make your project. Need some ideas? Checkout the Mt. Bethel art room blog at https://mtbethelart.blogspot.com/ where Mrs. Astorga has posted many examples of things you can use around the house to create your project. Here is a “How To” video for Stop Motion Studio if you need help working the app. Be sure to email your finished project so I can enjoy it too! amanda.gardner@cobbk12.org

How To Use Stop Motion Studio:

Digital Learning Week Three

This week we are focusing on one of my favorite composers Mr. John Williams. A Composer is a person who writes music. Like an author writes books a composer write songs. While you may not know John Williams by name, I know you have heard his songs. Williams writes mostly for movies including all the movies pictured here. Have you seen any of these movies? I bet you have! This week and the week after spring break, I am going to share with you works of Mr. Williams and pull back the curtain behind the scenes of music and movie making.

Meet John Williams

Here is brief history about the life and career of John Williams.


John Williams Home Movies and MOOD

This is a cool home movie of John Williams and director Steven Spielburg working on the film E.T. in the early 1980’s. Here we see how film composers work through their ideas with the director. The machine they are looking at is a film projector. It is playing the final cut E.T. and Williams is talking through the emotions of the scene to decide how the music can help the MOOD of the action. Mood is the emotion or feeling of a song.  Have you ever noticed how music can give you different feelings? Are there songs that you listen to when you feel happy and different songs you listen to when you are sad? As a film composer, it is very important to know what kind of mood the director is wanting. The music’s mood can even give you a clue about underlying moods such as when a character on the screen may look like he is a “good guy” but the mood of his music gives you the feeling that he is really a “bad guy” in disguise.


Star Wars Dance Challenge

RESPOND: Even though we can’t have Freaky Friday together, doesn’t mean you can’t get dancing at home! I will warn you, Darth Vader is bringing it with this dance routine. Watch the rolling screen on the left to see what dance move is coming next. See if you can keep up and if not…just use The Force and dance like no ones watching!!


The Cello 

The Cello is the 3rd largest instrument in the string family. In class, we call her Mama Cello because her sound is warm and soothing.The Cello looks like a violin but is MUCH larger and can not sit on your shoulder but instead is played between the knees. Below is a video of a great Cello player by the name of Steve Nelson. He is a member of the group The Piano Guys who do really cool videos and concerts around the world. He is playing a Star Wars Medley. A medley is a song that is made up of songs already composed by someone else. Medley’s take the best parts of those songs and turn them into something new. The Cello he plays here is an electric Cello, thats why it looks so futuristic. But look out for Chewbacca, he will have a more traditional Cello to play.


The Orchestra and What Do Your Ears See?

CREATE: Ok, now it’s time to make something new. I want you to imagine that Mr. John Williams has brought you this song that he composed. He wants you to be the movie producer and decide what is going on in your movie where this song would play. Play the video below, close your eyes and listen to the instruments. What is the mood of this song? If I were watching your movie with this song playing, what would be going on in the scene? Print out the worksheets below and draw a picture of your scene and tell me what is happening in your movie. I would love to see your finished work! Take a picture and email it to me: amanda.gardner@cobbk12.org

What do your ears hear worksheet

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