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Sara Gillette- Music, Red Oak

  •  Greetings from the Music Room

             My name is Ms.Gillette and I am very excited to join the Red Oak Family this year. It's hard to believe that this is my 16th year teaching music! I have previously taught everything from early childhood music to middle school band and orchestra. Most recently, I worked toward the process for achieveing certification in music through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. I began my teaching career teaching elementary general music and am thankful for the opportunity to work with elementary students again. 

        One of my passions as a musician and as an educator is making connections between music and other disciplines. In music this year, we will always try to connect our learning to areas both across the curriculum and in every day life. My number one goal is to provide all students with a meaningful and enriching experience.

        Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I hope to meet even more Red Oak parents in the months to come!

     

  • Week of March 19

    Posted by Sara Gillette on 3/23/2018 9:00:00 AM

    Kindergarten

    We finished up on our series learning how to "get into music" by listening to "Autumn" from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi. Students enjoyed moving like leaves as we listened. 

     

    1st Grade

     Students used their bodies to create original Do, Mi, Sol, La compositions. Next week, we will combine pitch and rhythm to read, perform, and compose new music. 

     

    2nd Graders

    2nd graders were really on the move this week! Students are learning to hear and understand the difference between pitches that skip and pitches that step. We reinforced stepping melodies by creating colorful buggies while we sang through a new song. Next week, students will get to see "Re" for the very first time! 2nd graders  learned the "Bubble Gum Song" They enjoyed coming up with fun endings for the song!

    Student chooses a word from a gumball machine.

     

    3rd Grade

    3rd Grade is really rockin' it on recorder! Most students have added the right hand notes. It is amazing to hear the tone of the recorder players improve. We even have some Blue blets among our ranks!

    4th Grade

    4th Grade is learning to recognize the differences between contrasting sections, even when the contrast is very subtle. We learned a spoon dance from Ireland followed by a recorder and xylophone ensemble from China. Students were amazed to see their BAG pattern from "Hot Cross Buns" transformed into a spookier sound as we worked through the new pentatonic piece. Next week, students will continue using the pentatonic scale to compose their own recorder pieces.

    5th Graders

    We held our very first Willy Wonka Jr. production meeting. Students selected special backstage roles to help make our production a success. We learned about appropriate ways to give and receive feedback. Students used some of those strategies to help give their peers tips as they shared early scenes from the musical. Please check the note that went home recently about our parent work day. We would love to have some help creating set pieces and backgrounds!

     

     

     

     

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  • Week of February 27

    Posted by Sara Gillette on 3/2/2018 9:30:00 AM

    It's hard to believe March is already here. The year has really flown by! This week, we celebrated Read Across America Week in all grade levels. 

    Kindergarten

    We learned the Green Eggs and Ham  dance from Seussical the Musical. Afterwards, we played some new instruments that reminded us of rainstorms. We then met a Dr.Seuss character named Gerald McBoingBoing who had a special talent making sound effects.

    1st Grade

    We are preparing for our sing on Tuesday, March 6. 1st graders made fish to swim in McElligot's pool. Remember to arrive by 5:45 on Tuesday night for our 6:00 sing!

    2nd Grade

    Students experimented with using sound effects to enhance musical ideas. For the first time, students read their sounds off of a musical score. 2nd Graders also enjoyed meeting Gerald McBoingBoing and spent some time speaking to each other in sound effects. 

    3rd Grade/4th Grade

    3rd and 4th Graders spent the beginning of the week working on some strategies for making reading music easier. For the second half of the week, students worked in their Recorder Karate Dojos on their individual recorder music. It is amazing to see students learn to participate in a feedback cycle as they learn the recorder!

    5th Grade

    5th graders took a deep look into the script of Willy Wonka Jr.. They began thinking about the setting and are in the beginning stages of building set pieces for the musical on May 10th.

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  • Week of February 12

    Posted by Sara Gillette on 2/16/2018 9:00:00 AM

    This week flew by! 2nd graders were the STARS of the show on Monday with their amazing sing. Thank you for all of the parents and family mambers who came out to support the students. We all enjoyed your singing. 

     

    Kindergarten

    We are making special Peter and the Wolf scenes and character pieces. When completed, students will be able to use their knowledge of instruments and the story to act out the story.

    1st Grade

    We began working towards our special sing on WEdnesday, March 7th. Students will be performing an abbreviated version of Seussical the Musical to celebrate Read Across America night. Practice sheets will go home early next week.

    2nd Grade

    Fresh off of their amazing performance, students got back into the swing of things in music. We learned a new song from India called "Bandar Mama" (Uncle Monkey). Students are working towards creating and performing a rhythmic ostinato. Next week we will record our original songs to share out with the Red Oak Community.

     

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  • Olympic Theme (for Recorder)

    Posted by Sara Gillette on 2/14/2018 2:25:00 PM

    Here is the link to the Olympic Theme (Bugler's Dream) that we tried in 4th Grade music classes today. Move ahead through the video to select a slower or faster tempo (speed).

     

     

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  • Week of January 29

    Posted by Sara Gillette on 2/2/2018 9:00:00 AM

    Kindergarten and 1st Grade

    Kindergartners and 1st Graders began categorizing instruments. We used the story of Peter and the Wolf to help us hear specific instrument timbres. Students used their knowledge of high and low sounds to help them tell the difference between some of the instruments.

     

    2nd Grade

    2nd Grade is excited to share their talents with families on Monday, February 5th at 6:30pm in the Red Oak Gym. Students should be dropped off to the cafeteria at 6:10pm. Students are invited to wear fun, animal-themed clothing for the concert. This can include costumes, animal ears, animal print. The goofier, the better! 

    Our daytime performance is scheduled for Tuesday, February 6th at 8:44 during our Rocket Rally. Family members not able attend the evening performance are welcome during the day.

     

    3rd Grade

    3rd graders began learning the recorders. Students learned the notes A and B as well as proper playing technique. We will move slowly for the next two weeks while I work with students to make sure they are confident with reading the music notes and with playing technique. It is very difficult to re-learn bad habits and my goal is to minimize frustration later in the year and as far ahead in the future as 5th grade band. Once students have a good grasp on the first three notes, we will begin Recorder Karate which will allow students to move at their own pace. 

    If your student is practicing at home, they have access to all of our music, along with background tracks, through quavermusic.com. As you listen, please help your 3rd grader out by making sure they are playing with their left hand and starting each note with a "t" sound. If students start to hear high screeching, or squeaking sounds, remind them to check that they are playing with the flat pads of their fingers using a gentle stream of air. 

     

    4th Grade

    4th Graders shared their amazing compositions. I am amazed at the creativity and thoughtfulness behind their work! I am working on a way to share out audio files of these compositions so stay tuned...

    4th Grade is moving on to our recorder unit. We finished off the week by reviewing the recorder. As a former band teacher, I am being very strict with students on their hand position and how they produce their notes. Many students were able to quickly dust off their recorder chops. while some will need a little more time. Next week, 4th graders will work on recorder duets in partners or small groups in order to continue developing our understanding of ensemble.

     

    5th Grade

    The Willy Wonka Jr. Cast has been announced and is hard at work beginning to block the first few scenes. All students will receive a personal copy of the script next week. It is very important that students take care not to lose their scripts as we do not have extra copies. The rehearsal schedule for next week is posted on the Google Classroom.

    During 5th Grade music classes, students are working on their Commercial Projects. Student groups are responsible for creating an ad copy, live backing music, and a composed jingle for a fictional product of their choice. There are some amazing things happening with these projects and I can't wait to hear the final product during the week of February 12th!

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  • Week of January 22

    Posted by Sara Gillette on 1/26/2018 9:00:00 AM

    Happy Bingo Friday! There is so much happening in the music room right now. Here's what our week in music looked this week:

     

    Kindergarten

    We began looking at loud and soft sounds. Students really enjoyed moving around the room to our special Monster song while making their bodies show the loud and soft sounds. Next week we will continue to focus on loud and soft sounds in music and all around us.

     

    1st Grade

    We began our Instrument unit with Percussion instruments. We sang a song called Mouse's House that let everyone explore the three types of percussion sounds: hit, scrape, and shake. Students also began learning one of their songs for their March 5th performance. First graders will be featured performers during the Red Oak Read Across America night.

     

    2nd Grade

    2nd Graders are hard at work perfecting their songs for their performance. All classes have completed their original songs and can't wait for the world premiere! Studnents should plan to arrive to the cafeteria by 6:10pm on Monday, February 5th for their sing. In honor of our crazy critter theme, students may where any clothing, animal ears, or costuming that is animal-themed. The sillier the better! I can't wait to meet all of the 2nd grade families on February 5th!

    3rd Grade

    Recorders should arrive any day now! Students are very excited to begin our first sounds. We worked a bit on remembering to place our left hand on top and keeping a gentle air stream. Once recorders arrive, we will dive head first into our recorder unit!

    4th Grade

    4th Grade is wrapping up their composition unit. Students will share their compositions with the class at the beginning of next week. I am so amazed at all of the original ideas that students have put together. I can make MP3s available to any student or family who would like a copy of their composition.

    5th Grade

    We wrapped up auditions for Willy Wonka Jr. early this week. The entire audition committee was truly wowed by the amount of talent in our 5th grade! Casting offers will be sent to student emails by Saturday afternoon. Students will then need to respond to the offer by joining the Willy Wonka Jr. Google Classroom using the class code 3du25w. Rehearsals for some cast members will begin early next week.

    All students who auditioned should feel proud of their courage and accomplishments! Willy Wonka Jr. has an amazing amount of fun and challenging parts. Due to the number of parts we needed to cover, many students did not receive their top choices of part. However, please help students understand that being cast as a part that is not a top choice is a reflection of student versatility and not a consolation. On behalf of Ms. Larson, Ms. Tiehen, and myself, I can say that we are all truly excited to work with this group of 5th graders! 

    Any parents wishing to volunteer either with sets, costumes, or front of house, please email me at sgillette@nssd112.org. It's always fun for the students to see adults show off their special theatrical skills!

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  • Week of January 15

    Posted by Sara Gillette on 1/19/2018 8:00:00 AM

    Happy Friday, Red Oak families! This week whizzed by so fast! There is so much going on in the music room right now including preparing for the 2nd Grade sing and auditions for the 5th Grade Musical.

     

    Kindergarten

    We finished our unit on fast and slow. Students have loved interacting with some of our fun Promethean board games relating to fast and slow. Some students even demonstrated some things all around us that start, move fast, then stop! Next week we will begin a three week series on Loud and Soft. 

     

    1st Grade

    First grade is begining to understand how pitches function on a staff. We are using a two line staff to recognize high and low pitches. I am in the beginning stages of labeling these high and low pitches "sol" and "mi" to prepare students to become proficient at reading music using solfege hand signs and pitch syllables. This is an excellent way for students to practice reading skills such as reading ahead, using context cues, and recognizing patterns.

     

    2nd Grade

    This week we focused on creating our original songs for the February 5th 2nd Grade Sing. Students worked in flexible and collaborative groups to experiement with sounds, phrases and rhythms. Most songs are nearly complete. Students should continue practicing their other performance songs at home. 

     

    3rd/4th Grade

    3rd and 4th Graders are using sequencing and composition software to create original compositions for specific purposes to adress our three composing standards. Most students have finished their first draft and our learning to give and receive feedback to strengthen their compositions. I hope to create a playlist of all of these wonderful compositions to share with families at the end of the unit. I'm sure you will be impressed!

     

    5th Grade

    Students were given class time this week to prepare for auditions for Willy Wonka Jr.. Many students began a brainstorming process for the production elements (sets, props, costumes) for our musical. Auditions will continue into next week to accomodate students who were absent this week or could not fit an audtion into their lunchtime schedule this week. We hope to have all casting decisions finalized by January 29.

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  • 5th Grade Musical

    Posted by Sara Gillette on 1/11/2018 12:00:00 PM
    It's time for Pure Imagination! Thanks to a generous grant from our Red Oak PTA, 5th Grade students will again have the opportunity to produce their very own musical. This year we have selected Willy Wonka Jr.. The big performance will be on May 10. 
     
    This week in music, students familiarized themselves with the show and received some helpful audition tips. Audition packets are being sent home Thursday and Friday. Please look over the packet with your 5th grade student and decide together if taking on a role in the musical is a commitment that works for your family. All students will be involved with this production in some capacity. Once a student returns a signed audition form to school, they will sign up for a time for their audition. Auditions will take place during lunch and recess all next week. Please make sure that your child has a peanut-free lunch on their auditions day. In order to increase educational opportunities for all students, some parts will be split between day and evening performances. 
     
    Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I can't wait to work with this talented group of 5th graders!
     
    Due to an error, some audition packets went home with last year's dates. The date of this year's performance is May 10th. The afternoon performance will be at 1:30pm while the evening performance will be at 6:00pm. Thank you for your understanding!
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  • Week of January 2nd

    Posted by Sara Gillette on 1/5/2018 9:30:00 AM

    Happy New Year and Welcome Back, Red Oak Families!

     

    We really hit the ground running in music this week and have a lot of fun opportunities coming up. I can't wait to see what 2018 will bring!

     

    Kindergarten

    We learned about Tempo-that is the speed of the music. Kindergarteners enjoyed moving around the room in showing the tempo changes. We also played a fun game on the promethem board where we got to see different animals move a train at different speeds. 

    1st Grade

    We are starting to label our notes and rests. We practiced making quarter rests with our bodies and learned that silence and sound both have value in music. Starting next week, we will be working through our Orff Xylophone unit. Students will have an opportunity to accompany and improvise to to some of their favorite songs.

    2nd Grade

    It's hard to believe that our sing is only one month away on February 5th! We began two new songs for our sing and dusted off a couple of our old favorites. We also had time to begin exploring the concept of dynamics (the volume of music). On Friday, we began our composer's workshop. Each class is working hard to compose and original musical piece based on a fun animal poem to present at out sing.

    3rd Grade

    Our recorder unit is right around the corner! Please make sure your third grader brings in $5.50 to purchase a recorder or returns the note that was sent home on THursday indicating that your child will bring a recorder from home. I do have clean sanitized recorders in the music room to assign to students as well as some scholarships available for students who need help axquiring a recorder. Please contact me if you have any questions about this. All N112 students use recorders in 4th and 5th grade as well.

    3rd graders also began exploring a new program called Quavers Marvelous Musical World on their chromebooks. There are a lot of games and resources on the site (quavermusic.com) that students can use to practice note reading in anticipation for starting the recorder.

    4th Grade

    4th Graders explored characters in music. We learned about how composers in the Romantic Period incorporated motifs in their music to help tell a story with music. In honor if iRead, students will put all of their reading to good use in music and will begin composing motfs based on a favorite character or setting from a book that they have read. I am so excited to hear what students come up with!

     

    5th Grade

    5th Grade started their unit on musical theatre in anticipation for auditions during the week of January 15. This year the musical is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. We discussed elements of a good audtion and played a few fun improvisational games. We will continue to practice some of our favorite Wonka songs so everyone feels ready to take on the task of presenting an amazing production this coming May!

     

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  • Week of December 4

    Posted by Sara Gillette on 12/8/2017 9:00:00 AM

    Congratulations to the 3rd grade STARS! You were amazing during your performances! I am so proud of what you accomplished with all of your hard work!

    Kindergarten

    This week we began to learn rhythm. We learned a new train song and played a pattern on the drums while we sang. Sometimes our rhythm matched the sound "chug" and sometimes it was faster and matched the sound "choo choo." We reviewed a lot of our favorite songs that we have been learning in music class. Next week we will write our very own song about gingerbread!

     

    1st Grade/2nd Grade

    We are continuing to work on high and low sounds. This week we labeled our high sounds "sol" and our low sounds "mi." We learned that a melody is a pattern that is made up of both pitch and rhythm. Students worked in pairs to create spcial melodies using their rhythms and the pitches sol and mi. It was so amazing to see them put pitch and rhythm together so thoughtfully!

    Student Composes

     

    3rd Grade

    What can I say? These students were rock STARS this week! Now that our performance is behind us, we will finish off the week learning about the Baroque Period. Next week we will have a little time "ornamenting" some of our favorite tunes in the spirit of the Baroque.

    After break, we will begin learning the recorder. Please plan to send $5.50 in with your student in an envelope marked with your child's first and last name. I hope to place the group order by early January so we can start up our Recorder Karate Dojo.

     

    4th/5th Grade

    4th and 5th Graders continued with their Ukulele Unit. Students began to learn the C Major scale and practiced some short finger dexterity exercises to build coordination and technique. Ukulele music is really reinforcing our understanding of pitches and rhythms. Many students are becoming amazing note readers! 

     

    That's our week at a glance. Next week will be just as packed as we finish out 2017!

     

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