A message from our music staff:

Mr. Berger and Ms. Dudlak are glad you're here! Check back often for updates and info about our Westgate music program. Mr. Berger can be reached via email at gberger@sd25.org, and Ms. Dudlak can be reached at jdudlak@sd25.org. Follow Mr. Berger on Twitter! @WEMusic160

Friday, March 16, 2018

March Musical Madness!

Once again, it's been a busy month in the Music room! March is just cruisin' right on by! One more week and we're on Spring Break. Wow!

March is Music In Our Schools Month, and is a celebration of the impact that music education has on learning in our schools around the country. I, for one, am grateful for the wonderful music teachers I had growing up! How has music impacted your life? What would life be like without music? Think about it...

Here are a few highlights from the month~

Kindergarten: We continue learning music for our May concert performance! The K's are doing a great jog learning songs such as: Mumble Grumble, Three Cheers for the Red White and Blue, Yankee Doodle, A Good Old Happy Song, and Apples & Bananas.

First Grade: The students did a great job performing their concert on March 6th! It was fun to see them sing songs about Dr. Seuss, and add instrument sounds to the book, Gerald McBoing Boing.
Pictures from the evening can be found at this link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B6XsnWjrdjrWdGtXc2NtejJfSkE?usp=sharing
This week, we've been listening to Peter and the Wolf by Russian composer, Sergei Prokofiev.

MA 1/2 and 2nd Grade: We've been in a unit on the instrument families of the orchestra, and we recently finished the book The Remarkable Farkle McBride by John Lithgow. I shared a wonderful video in class of Mr. Lithgow reading the book along with a symphony orchestra.
Here's the link if you'd like to see the video with your family! https://youtu.be/oM5pmq5nr1Q
*I had the pleasure of seeing John Lithgow perform the book with the Chicago Symphony many years ago, and met him at a book signing afterward! I even have two signed copies!

3rd & 3/4 MA: Students continue work on the soprano recorder, and recently played a countermelody for a song from Trinidad called Four White Horses. We also learned an Irish folk song, "St. Patrick Was A Gentleman" and did an Irish group dance in class! Very soon, we will be preparing for our trip to the Elgin Symphony on April 11th. So excited!!

4th Grade: We've been focusing on Expression and learning about Tempo markings. Music uses Italian words such as: Adagio- slow, Allegro- fast, and Presto- very fast. We also learned a fun Australian chant called "How Do You Do-Tee" and did a group movement activity along with it.

5th Grade: Miss Dudlak is busy preparing students for their April 19th concert. It's sure to be good!

Have a great weekend, and a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, February 23, 2018

February Fun, Is Winter on the Run?

Hello, Westgate families! Hasn't this been a crazy month? It snows, it melts, it rains, it's 60, it snows, schools are closed, it rains, it's 55 & sunny...

Anyway~ here's a brief update on what we've been doing in Music class this month:

First graders have been working on their music for our upcoming concert. I sent out an information letter this week, along with lyric sheets for the kids to study at home. We look forward to performing for our Westgate families on Tuesday, March 6th.
Concert Information Letter

Our second grade classes have learned songs for Valentine's Day, and have experienced folk songs and instruments from both China and Korea. We also compared two different versions of the Olympic Fanfare: One by Leo Arnaud from 1972, and the more commonly heard version by John Williams.
Olympic Fanfare- John Williams

Third and fourth grades have been busy learning soprano recorder, and recently learned the note C. I also wrote a student friendly version of the Olympic Fanfare theme to honor the Winter Olympics!
Please encourage your student(s) to practice their recorder at home. Students in 3rd and 3/4MA classes should also go online to www.bearecorderstar.com to access their digital workbooks!

Many classes also experienced African American spirituals and Jazz to honor and explore African American History month.

That's all for now! Have a great weekend and GO USA!

Mr. Berger ./`

Friday, January 26, 2018

January Fun- Is this FLU all done?

Happy New Year! It's hard to believe that January is almost over and Groundhog Day is just around the corner. We've been busy this month in Music class, playing recorders in 3rd-4th grade, singing songs for New Years (Japanese and Chinese), playing rhythm instruments and Orff, and much more!

Our students in 1/2 MA classes did a great job in their concert last Wednesday, January 17th. I was out with the flu, so the classroom teachers and Mr. Walton took over and helped make it a success! We viewed the video in class, and the students really did a great job, even without their fearless leader! Special thanks to Dawn dalton and our other volunteers for your help!

Here is a link to some great pictures from the evening. 1/2 MA Concert Photos

Our first grade students are busy preparing for their upcoming concert, which will be March 6th. We're doing a Dr. Seuss theme, with fun songs inspired by the clever writing of this great author!

I hope all of our Westgate families can manage to stay healthy and beat this flu bug that's been going around.

Have a Musical Day!

Mr. Berger ./`