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, December 20, 2013

Our 3rd grade CSO field trip is coming soon!

This post is for families of 3rd grade students. Please see the attached reminder letter regarding our February 7th field trip to the Chicago Symphony.

3rd Grade CSO trip reminder

Friday, December 13, 2013

Westgate Upcoming Events- January 2014

Please see the list below for upcoming events at Westgate!

Monday, January 6th Students Return from Winter Break
Thursday, January 9th 5th Grade Robert Crown Parent Night at Dunton 7-8PM
Monday, January 20th and Tuesday, January 21st MLK Holiday Weekend NO SCHOOL
Thursday, January 23rd 5th Grade Robert Crown Parent Night at Dunton 7-8PM
Friday, January 24th Intermediate Movie Night
Wednesday, January 29th Book Fair
Thursday, January 30th Westgate OpenHouse
Saturday, February 1st Project Linus at Westgate 

What's Up In Music Class? December 9-13

Warm winter greetings from the Music room! Here's an update of what we've been up to lately~

5th grade: Students learned to play a recorder ostinato for Chanukah Catch- which included a new pitch- B flat. We also learned "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and played several ostinati patterns  on percussion instruments.

4th grade: Our fourth graders performed their concert last evening (12/12)! They did a great job singing and playing the recorder! We will soon view the concert video and reflect on how we did as a group, and as individuals. Congratulations to all of our 4th grade students!

3rd grade: Activities this week included a review of recorder fingerings and treble clef note names on an iPad app called Nearpod, and learning a winter song "Knock No More", which included an ostinato on the pitches G and A. A few of the classes will participate in the iPad activity next week.

2nd grade: Students listened to a wonderful winter piece called "Musical Sleigh Ride" by Leopold Mozart, the father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. We looked at a world map to find Austria, where the Mozart family lived. Students also looked at Music Express magazine and listened to an energetic piece of music titled "Bugler's Holiday" by Leroy Anderson.

1st grade & MA 1/2: We learned a lovely song called "Nose, Nose, Jolly Red Nose"and added a bordun pattern on Orff instruments while also playing a steady beat on sleigh bells.

That's all for now! Stay warm out there! :-)

Mr. Berger ./`

Friday, November 22, 2013

Music Happenings- Thanksgiving Edition!

Greetings, Westgate families! It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week, and that the first trimester of school is coming to an end.
Mr. Berger will be available for conferences on Monday, 11/25, from 9:00-11:30, and from 1:00-7:30, with an hour break for dinner. He will also be available on Tuesday morning from 8:00-12:00. Please feel free to stop by the music room if you would like to speak about your child, or just to say hello.

Here's a quick update on the music events of the week:

Many classes experienced songs and activities related to the autumn, Thanksgiving and Chanukah.

5th grade: Come, Ye Thankful People, Come, and "Chanukah Catch" a song performed as a three part round. For 'Everybody Counts!' week, we discussed famous musicians who had or have disabilities such as: Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Ludwig Van Beethoven, J. S. Bach, Justin Timberlake, and Kesha.

4th grade: Classes continued preparing for our December 12th concert. Lyric packets and recorder sheets have been sent home, as well as a parent information letter- linked below. Students can also access mp3 files of the concert songs by clicking on the "4th grade Concert Selections" page on the right side of this blog. These songs are for practice purposes only.

3rd grade: Students continued their introduction to playing B A and G on their soprano recorders, sang "Over the River and Through the Woods" and "Hanuka, Hanuka", and heard a humorous version of the Dreydl Song. We allowed them to take recorders home, but we ask that they bring them back asap after Thanksgiving break. Thank you!

2nd grade: We discussed FORM this week, listening to "Viennese Musical Clock" by Zoltan Kodaly, which is in RONDO form. (ABACADA). We also had a lively discussion of what a turkey would eat on Thanksgiving! (A few ideas were: Pizza, Pumpkin Pie, Chicken Stew, Cookies, and Turkey!) We finished the week with a dance about a Turkey Named Burt, who learned to dance so he wouldn't be eaten by the King and Queen!

First Grade: We learned and sang several Thanksgiving songs, including "Big Tall Indian" and "Pavo, Pavo"- Turkey, Turkey- a fun game song from Chile.

I enjoy doing songs about native americans, because it allows me to use the old campfire from my days in YMCA Indian Guides- 35 years ago! (My dad made it for our tribe- The Blackfoot Tribe).
Students enjoyed making a circle around the 'fire' and singing "Big Tall Indian" and "Lullaby Little Papoose".

 Have a great Thanksgiving Week!
Mr. Berger./`

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Few November reminders from Westgate

November 19-22 Everybody Counts Week

November 25th and 26th Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 27th - November 29th Thanksgiving Break

Friday, November 15, 2013

Week in Review- November 12-15, 2013

It has been a busy week in music class! Here are a few highlights...

5th grade: Students experienced their first music quiz on iPads this week! I used an app called Nearpod to take them through a quiz on major and minor tonality. After a failed first attempt in the music room, we moved to the commons for better internet connectivity, and had success! Students listened to six music selections and had to choose either major or minor.

Fourth grade: We continued working on our concert music, and started our recorder piece. Please make sure students bring their recorders to school- especially while we are preparing for the concert on December 12th. Thanks!

Third grade: Recorders!!! All third grade classes began learning how to play the soprano recorder this week! Some classes were allowed to take their instruments home, while others still need more instruction and practice. Be sure those recorders come back to school next week! Thanks!

Second Grade: We learned about Texture in music, and practiced thin and thick texture by singing several Rounds in class! 

First & MA 1/2 classes: We reviewed the Thankfulness song and learned a fun song about Playing in the Forest (while the Wolf is far away...). Students sang the song and danced around while the Wolf (Mr. Berger) had his back turned. When he turned around, they had to freeze like trees or rocks in the forest. If they moved, they had to go to the wolf's den! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Night at the theatre! WICKED!

Just had to share that my wife and I went to see WICKED this past friday night at the Oriental theater in Chicago! If you have ever seen this show, you know that the music is great, the costumes and scenery are quite breathtaking, and the actors are top notch! My wife and I really enjoyed the lead roles,  especially Elphaba, Galinda, and Dr. Dilamond. Below are a few pictures from our night at the theatre!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Week in review- Nov. 4-8, 2013

November 4-8, 2013

What have we been up to in Music Class?

First grade & 1/2 MA: Singing songs with sol-mi patterns and playing "Here We Sit In a Ring" game. Dancing and exercising to John Jacobson's "Pump Up the Pumpkin!" We also learned a song for Thanksgiving called "Things I'm Thankful For".

2nd grade: Watching the video from our concert last week and reflecting on how we did! Also singing a patriotic song for Veteran's Day and moving to "Pump Up the Pumpkin!".

3rd grade: Learning all about the recorder and meeting members of the recorder family! I shared two videos in class- one about how a wooden recorder is made, and one with a recorder ensemble demonstrating the many different sizes of recorders that are available. See the links below!
We will start recorders next week!!
I also shared the patriotic partner song "A Time to Remember/America" to honor Veteran's Day.

4th grade: We began working on music for our concert! Students will be singing songs about stars and lights, and are reminded to let their 'light' shine no matter where they are!

5th grade: We continued learning about major & minor tonality, preparing for a quiz next week. I also shared the "A Time to Remember/America" with them, along with a discussion of the different theme songs for each branch of our military. We later learned and played a Paiute Indian stick passing game.

I found a great medley of military themes on YouTube that I shared with many classes this week.

Special thanks and gratitude to all of our Westgate community who have served in the military, or who have supported loved ones who served. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Westgate events for November

Happy November! 
Listed below are a few important items to keep in mind for this month.

Fall Parent-Teacher Conference Sign up through SignUpGenius beginning on November 1st and ending November 22nd

November 11th NO SCHOOL Veterans' Day
    Thank you to all of our Westgate community who have served!

November 19-22 Everybody Counts Week

November 25th and 26th Parent-Teacher Conferences

*Specials teachers are available to meet with parents during this time. Please contact us to schedule a conference. 

November 27th - November 29th Thanksgiving Break

Friday, November 1, 2013

A book for Red Ribbon Week-

I shared this book with first and second grade classes today. 
Thought it would tie in very nicely with the theme of Red Ribbon week!

I had the kids chant and clap the rhythm of the words "Don't be a bully, Billy" as I read the book aloud to them. Since it's a cautionary tale, things don't end too well for Billy the bully. 
After I shared the ending, one student said "Well, that's not a very happy ending!"- He was right. 
It's also a great alliteration book!

Mrs. Petricca now has a music blog!

Good news! Our itinerant music teacher, Mrs. Petricca, now has her own music blog!
She teaches Mrs. Danley & Miss Redmon's, and Mrs. Darby's third grade classes, as well as Mrs. Abruscato's afternoon kindergarten. To view her blog, please visit the link below.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Westgate Music Happenings- Halloween Edition!!

Greetings from the Music Room! It's been a great couple of weeks here at Westgate, with Character Counts last week, (SPPRAK videos and CC! music), and Red Ribbon & Halloween this week. Here's a quick overview of what we've been doing in music class.

5th grade: Fifth grade students have been focusing on the concept of major and minor tonality. Students were asked to identify several pisces of music as either major or minor. They also created recorder ostinato's for "Ghost of John".

Last week we listened to the theme to the Addam's Family in their books, and I shared the original opening from the show, along with a fun spin on the theme used in an M&M's commercial.

This week, students listened to the spooky and exciting "Danse Macabre" by French composer Camille Saint-Saens, as well as singing "The Ghost of John". They performed it as a round, and at three different speeds at once.

4th grade: Over the past few weeks, our 4th grade students have experienced Theme & Variations form, and have learned to play a chord accompaniment on Boomwhacker tubes, as well as a recorder countermelody to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". We discussed dynamics and how a composer uses changes in the loudness or softness in music to make it more expressive.
This week, students learned the title song from the musical play "Little Shop of Horrors". We discussed different musicals that they have seen, such as; The Music Man, Annie, Wicked, Soussical the Musical, Bye Bye, Birdie, The Sound of Music, and High School Musical. We also talked about how musicals are sometimes inspired by books or based on films, and how they often become films after success on the live stage.
We spent time singing fun Halloween themed music from "Moans, Groans and Skeleton Bones"- Halloween lyrics set to childhood songs like "London Bridge" and Three Blind Mice".

3rd grade: The 3rd graders have been learning the notes of the treble clef. (FACE, EGBDF)- I shared a few videos from Music K-8 that help them remember the note names.
Every Good Boy Does Fine
FACE (Space Notes)
We listened to a creepy piece by American composer Henry Cowell, titled "The Banshee". He uses the inside of the piano to create the shrieking sounds of the Banshee- a fairy character from irish folklore. I also shared a YouTube video of a college student performing the BansheeThe Banshee
Classes will be beginning soprano recorders within the next week or two!

2nd grade: Our 2nd grade students have been working very diligently on their concert music for the past month! They performed their concert, Good Character: It Starts With Me! this past Tuesday evening, and did a fantastic job! I will be sharing the video of the concert with them soon as a way to reflect on how they did individually, as a class, and as a group. We also sang some songs for fall and Halloween to cap off our week!

1/2 MA and 1st Grades: We have continued working on the concepts of loud/soft, fast/slow and steady beat. Students experienced changes in Tempo within different musical selections. We also played a steady beat game "Pass the Ball", and added an accompaniment on Orff instruments.

Have a great Halloween, and a super weekend!

Mr. Berger ./`

Partner songs, concert music, sea chanties & more!

Westgate Music class 

5th grade classes have been focusing on Sea Chanties- songs sung by sailors at sea, usually led by a sailor called the "chanteyman". They learned about short-haul, long-haul, forecastle and capstan songs. 
Students pretending to raise the anchor and turn our makeshift capstan while singing "Shenandoah".

Friday, September 27, 2013

Music Activities- Week of September 23-26

Welcome to a new week here at Westgate! Listed below are some of the activities we have been doing in Music class this week. Can you feel the fun? 

5th grade: Our focus this week was listening to songs in Major and Minor keys. Students will soon be tested on their ability to hear the difference between major and minor tonality. We talked about major sounding happy, joyful, triumphant, and excited, while minor sounds sad, spooky, mysterious, or mournful. Students listened to "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" by American composer George M. Cohan (Major),  the American folk song, Erie Canal,  and a Venezuelan folk song, El Carite- in both major and minor. We are also learning to sing in canon form with Autumn Canon.

4th grade: Our focus has been canon singing, cowboy songs and playing a recorder ostinato. Students sang a three part round to the English tune, "Ah, Poor Bird", and learned a pattern to play as an ostinato with the cowboy song "Streets of Laredo"and "El Rancho Grande". Any 4th graders who haven't brought their recorders to school need to do so as soon as possible. Thanks!
Students singing a three part round (trio) to "Ah, Poor Bird". 

3rd grade: Last week, students learned a sea shanty called "John Kanaka"and played a bordun pattern on xylophones & metallophones while doing a partner dance. This week, we learned a new shanty called "Turn the Glasses Over", and played a cup passing game. I made a video to help our students learn the cup passing game. Here it is!

Students also experienced a partner song, putting "This Old Man" together with "Michael Finnegan" which created a nice harmony! A recorder order form was sent home, so please return it as soon as possible so we can place our order. Thank you! Recorder Order form

2nd grade: Our 2nd grade students are busy learning songs for their upcoming concert, which will be on October 29th at 7:00pm in the Westgate Commons. The theme is Character Counts, so all of our songs will be about helping others, being a good friend, and practicing good character.

1/2 Multi-Age and 1st grade: We have been learning all about LOUD (Forte) and soft (piano). I shared several listening examples, including "Morning" by Edvard Grieg, and students created movements that matched the music! Some were flowers blooming, while others were woodland creatures and birds. We also marched around the room to "The Parade Came Marching", and I read them the book "Suddenly!" by Colin McNaughton to practice loud and soft.

What a busy week we've had! And what beautiful weather, too! Enjoy your weekend.

Mr. Berger ./`

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

9/11 memories, Patriot Day, and Constitution Day 2013

This past Wednesday was the twelve year anniversary of the attack on our country that took place on 9/11/2001. Many people wrote posts on social media with their memories of that fateful day. I recall that I was driving in to school that Tuesday morning and I heard on the radio that a plane had hit a building in New York. I had been listening to a tape for most of the drive, so I had no idea what was going on. When I entered the school and went to the teacher's lounge, now Mrs. Harris' classroom, I was met by a large group of staff members who were watching the coverage on the tv.  Some were crying, most were in shock. How were we supposed to teach and have a normal day with all of this going on in our country? Well, we did the best we could under the grave circumstances. I remember assuring the kids that they were safe, and spending the day, and the following week singing patriotic songs in class.

We continue this tradition each year for Patriot Day, singing patriotic songs such as "This Land is Your Land", "America", "America, the Beautiful", "Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue", "You're a Grand Old Flag", and the "Star-Spangled Banner". I really enjoy sharing these great songs with our students!

Tuesday, September 17th marked the 226th anniversary of our United States Constitution! To commemorate this event, we discussed some of the rights and freedoms we enjoy in America, such as freedom of speech, the right to vote, and freedom of religion. I also shared the "Preamble Song" from Schoolhouse Rock! I still remember watching this and other Schoolhouse Rock cartoons on Saturday mornings when I was a child... :-)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

August 26-30: Safety, Name Games & MLK Activities!

Well, we completed our first full week of school! The kids and teachers are settling into routines, following school rules, and enjoying the new school year.  Our focus in Music for the week was Name Games, covering safety checklists, and experiencing songs about Martin Luther King, Jr.

Name games are a great way to re-aquaint myself with all of the students after a long summer, and to get to know the new students as well. We usually sing a song and each child has a chance to hear and sing/say their name. Be sure to ask your child if he or she did a Name Game song last week!

Here at Westgate, safety is very important. Each student needs to know what to do in an emergency, no matter where they are in the building. We covered what students should do in a soft lockdown, hard lockdown, shelter in place, evacuation, and relocation while in Music class. The main thing I want the students to do in any situation is to remain quiet and calm, and to listen to the teacher.

As you know, Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr's speech, "I Have A Dream." To help the students understand the significance of this event, we listened to and sang several songs that were either from the civil rights era, (We Shall Not Be Moved, Free At Last, Come Go With Me to That Land), or about Dr. King himself, (I Have A Dream, A Kid Like Me). We also found that he quoted the old spiritual song "Free At Last" in his speech! Attached below is a picture of students reading the song "I Have A Dream" by Teresa Jennings of Music K-8/Plank Road Publishing.

Have a great week!

Mr. Berger ./`

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Welcome back!

Here we are, at the beginning of a brand new school year! Welcome back to all of our Westgate families. I hope you had a musical summer! I know I did. Annie the Musical was so much fun, and it was great to see a few of our families who attended!

This year, we once again have three music teachers sharing music with our students. Mr. Berger remains our full-time Westgate music teacher, while Mrs. Henjum and Mrs. Petricca will serve as our itinerants. Mrs. Petricca is sharing her time with Dryden and Olive, so she will be very busy!

You might have noticed that there are no concert dates on the PTA calendar. What's up with that? Well, we decided to wait until the fall to schedule our concerts because we were unsure of who our itinerants would be, and at which schools they would be working. Coordinating three sets of concert obligations can be quite tricky! Not to worry- our Music concert dates will be sent home via Friday packet, and will soon be available in the shelving unit inside the main entrance. I will also post them here as soon as possible.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope to see some of you at Parent Night tomorrow.

Mr. Berger ./`

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

End of the Year Wrap-Up~ Have a great Summer!

Well, here we are... the end is at hand. Today, Wednesday, June 5th, we say goodbye to another school year, and hello to summer. It has been a great year here at Westgate! So many memories have been made... so many experiences we'll never forget. Here are just a few musical memories that I will take with me into this summer:

*All Westgate students had the opportunity to perform on stage in a music program. Themes ranged from Healthy Habits, to Instrument Families of the Orchestra, and from Winter Fun to Tropical Island music. I know Mrs. Henjum, Mrs. Ziemann and I really enjoyed watching each of our students shine and gain confidence on our stage!

*The Westgate Variety Show- What a talented group of kids we have here at Westgate! The students once again knocked us out with their clever and entertaining acts!

*Second grade iPad "Songify" projects- This was a fun way to review the instrument families of the orchestra, and to utilize the technology we are fortunate to have here at Westgate. 

*Playing Orff instruments- I really enjoyed hearing our students play chords, melodies, or accompaniment patterns on xylophones, metallophones, recorders, and glockenspiels. We worked on keeping the beat steady, using good mallet technique, and working as a team. 

There are so many other memories I could share, but I'll stop for now. 

Thanks to all of the Westgate parents who have encouraged me and assisted me throughout the year. You make my job much easier! Thank you also for the wonderful end of the year gifts!! I always feel so very blessed that families remember me and take the time to send a note. THANK YOU!!!

I hope you will all have a great summer! Please come and see me and my wife in Annie if you have the chance. 


Monday, June 3, 2013

St. Baldrick's update- Thanks for your support!

Last week, Westgate students helped us to raise $250.00 for St. Baldrick's Foundation! Thank you all so much for your support! Today- Monday, June 3rd, the entire school came to the commons to see me have my head shaved. Dr. Jerome and Mr. Badynee got in on the action, and we had a special visit from Tank- the dog who will play "Sandy" in the musical Annie this summer. See pictures below.
My head feels kinda funny now, but it's for a good cause, and for a great summer musical!
The kids- excited to see Mr. B get a 'new doo'!
Mr. Badynee & Dr. Jerome help out!

The rear view- reverse mohawk!
The front view of the 'new doo'!

What a fun time we had this morning! Thanks again to the Westgate community for your support!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Big Bucks for Daddy Warbucks- Fundraiser this week!!

We are collecting spare change this week for St. Baldrick's foundation! This foundation raises money for childhood cancer research. Each classroom has been challenged to bring in spare change throughout this week. The classroom that raises the most change will have the opportunity to choose a pattern or special style to be shaved into my head! I have to shave it for my role as Daddy Warbucks, so I thought, why not raise some money for a worthy cause? The shaving will take place in front of all of our students & staff on Monday, June 3rd, at 9:10 am.
Donations can be made at: http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/jtbdaddywarbucks
Come on out and join the fun!!

First Grade and Kindergarten Concerts = SUCCESS!

Last week, our first graders and our kindergarteners put on music concerts. The first grade students performed "Healthy Habits"- with songs all about choosing to be strong and healthy. They were so excited to perform, and they really did a great job! I shared their concert video with them in music class, and I could hardly keep them from moving and singing along!
The AM Kindergarten students performed their concert on Wednesday morning, and the PM students performed on Thursday afternoon. Mrs. Ziemann directed the morning concert, and had her students singing, playing instruments, and moving to the beat of some fun music selections! I had the privilege of directing the PM students and they did a super job as well! Congratulations to all of our Kindergarten and first grade students for a job well done!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week- Thank You!!

Thanks for the lovely door decor! We loved it!

Mr. Berger, Mrs. Henjum, and Mrs. Ziemann want to send a big "THANK YOU" to Mrs. Tassi's class for taking sure great care of us last week during Teacher Appreciation week. We had delicious treats and a wonderfully decorated door!! Thanks for making us feel so special and appreciated!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

First Grade Concert is coming- Tuesday, May 21, 2013!!

We're going to be singing songs about being happy and healthy! Please see the information letter below for all of the details. See you there!

Mr. Berger

Notes from the Music Room

To: Parent(s) of Westgate students in first grade
From: Mr. Berger
Subject: Information for upcoming concert
Date: May 9, 2013

Dear Westgate Parent(s),

Happy Spring! Isn’t it great to see the green grass and the lovely flowers again?  This letter is to inform you that your child will be performing in a music concert on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the Westgate commons. The theme this year is “Healthy Habits,” and our students are excited to sing songs about living in a healthy way.  Classes involved in the concert are: Mrs. Gogliotti & Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Walsh, and Mrs. Carney.  Please review the following information and expectations regarding our concert.

Student arrival time: Students should arrive at 6:45 p.m. and report to the LMC for line-up and final instructions. We will need at least one parent volunteer from each class in the LMC. Thank you.

Student Dress code: Students should dress as if they are going to the gym for some exercise. Shorts, athletic shirts, and gym shoes are acceptable. Our stage tends to be very warm, so I would suggest that students not dress in heavy clothing.

Volunteers needed: Family members are needed to help with video taping, taking pictures, handing out the programs, and LMC chaperones.  Please email or call Mr. Berger by Monday, May 20th if you are willing to help.  Thank you!

Concert etiquette: Prior to the concert, please speak to your child about proper behavior while on stage.  Remind him or her to smile, have fun, keep talking to a minimum, and to follow the director. If they can do these simple things, our concert will be great! Thank you for your help with this important area of performance readiness. 

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Mr. Berger at: gberger@sd25.org or call (847) 506-6999, ext. 7433.

Thank you, and have a great week!
Mr. Berger
Westgate Music Teacher

Note: Individuals with disabilities should notify the building Principal if they have a disability that will require special assistance or services. Please give the building Principal advance notice of 24 hours. Thank You. (Board policy 8:70)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Auditions for Annie the Musical!

The sun will come out, tomorrow! In NYC--- You're never fully dressed without a smile!

These are just a few of the wonderful songs from the hit musical, Annie.

This week, I shared with our Westgate students that my wife and I will be performing in a production of Annie this summer. I will be Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, and my wife will be Grace. We will once again be performing with Overshadowed Theatrical Productions, in Elk Grove Village. I also shared audition information with students who would be interested in trying out for the role of Annie, or any of the other characters in the show. Auditions for girls will be next Monday and Tuesday, May 6 & 7. The  information I shared is listed below, and will also be in the friday packet information at the end of the week. Please feel free to contact me (gberger@sd25.org), or go to the Overshadowed website for full audition information. Their website is www.overshadowedproductions.com

Auditions for Annie
Overshadowed Theatrical Productions announces auditions for their summer musical, Annie.
We will be casting children for the role of Annie and her orphan cast of up to 12 girls, ages 6-16. The casting of understudies and swings will also be explored.
Additionally there are excellent roles for adults ages 16 and up.
Children who are auditioning for the role of Annie should come prepared to sing the final 22 bars of “Tomorrow” (memorized). All other children should prepare to sing the first 20 bars of “A Hard Knock Life” (memorized). They should also be dressed appropriately to dance.
Adults should prepare and memorize 24-32 bars of a song from the show. And come dressed prepared to dance.
Everyone should be ready to sing and dance and act.
The roles of Daddy Warbucks and Grace Farrell have been pre-cast. (Mr. Berger, Westgate music teacher, and his wife are playing these roles!)
Be prepared to fill out a conflict sheet at auditions. Make sure you read over the rehearsal and performance schedule below before committing to the show. Click here for a detailed performance schedule.
Audition dates and times:
: Monday, May 6 & Tuesday, May 7
 3:30-8:00 PM
 (Audition appointments required
)   Call 630-250-7518
: Saturday, May 11 from 9 AM-noon
 & Monday, May 13 from 7:00-9:00 PM
   Appointments not required
Callbacks – Callbacks for girls and adults will be on Tuesday, May 14 from 6:00-9:00 PM
Auditions and performances for Annie will be held at 777 S Meacham Rd. Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
**Performances of Annie will run July 12-August 3.
Visit www.overshadowedproductions.com for full audition and show information.

Friday, April 19, 2013

This week in Music class~Jazz and concerts and water, oh my!

This week we spent time exploring various types of Jazz for Jazz history month. Students heard examples of Dixieland, Swing, Bebop, Big Band, and Latin Fusion. I also shared video examples of great jazz musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald & Mel Torme scat singing, and Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie playing their trumpets. (They enjoyed seeing those giant puffy cheeks!) I have included the Louis Armstrong video link below. He's singing the old favorite "Hello Dolly".

Our second grade concert was held Tuesday evening, and was a success! Students performed songs about springtime, and each class played a song on Orff instruments. Congratulations to all of our second grade students on a fine performance!

How about that weather this week? It reminded me of the old jazz song, "Into each life some rain must fall"! Ella sings that one so well!
Anyway, I happened to be sitting in the music room after school on Wednesday when I heard a 'drip... drip...' coming from the ceiling. Yep! It was a leak. With all of the rain, the roof just couldn't hold all of the water. Thankfully, the rain stopped and the roof is repaired.

Our 5th grade students took a quiz on Voice Ranges, (Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Bass), and Third graders had a quiz on the notes of the Treble clef. I also shared a few rhythm games from the website TMI- The Music Interactive. The website to download these free activities is www.themusicinteractive.com. We did JamaMambo, Rhythm Blocks and Rhythm Dictation. Staff Wars is also available on this site. Check it out!!

Mr. Berger ./'

Monday, April 15, 2013

Looking for Kindergarteners! From the Westgate Office...

We are looking for new kindergarten students and new first grade students for the 2013-2014 school year!

Parents do you know a parent of a kindergarten age student? Do you know a parent of a current kindergarten student attending a full time program in another school? Do you know parents who are thinking about transferring their children to Westgate?

If so, please motivate these parents to contact Westgate's office and talk with Robyn or Debbie. We need to secure student numbers to plan homeroom sections and teacher staffing. The number of homerooms within a grade-level and teachers are dependent on our student population. 

Please help us contact parents who may be interested in attending Westgate!

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Annual Variety Show was a huge success!!

Congratulations to all of our Westgate students that participated in the Variety Show last Friday night. We had 30 acts this year, and the talent was great! There were dance numbers, comedy, musicians, singers, and even poetry! The commons at South Middle School was jam packed with family members, which makes us wonder if we need to move the show to an even larger venue next year! Could Rolling Meadows High School be next? We'll see! Special thanks to our Variety Show committee- Coach K, Mrs. Belesiotis and Miss Goldstein, and to our helpers, Mrs. Collins, Mr. Badynee, Mrs. Klarner, Mrs. Wood, and the Westgate PTA for selling yummy concessions!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The 1/2 MA Concert has been rescheduled!

Good news! The 1/2 Multi-Age concert, originally scheduled for February 28th, has been rescheduled to Thursday, April 11, 2013. Students should arrive at 6:45 and report to the LMC. Concert time is 7:00-7:45p.m. 
Students will be singing selections from Luigi's Baton and the Orchestra Family Reunion. We did a study of orchestra instruments and families back in February!
Mr. Berger will send a letter via Friday packet with more concert details. Thank you!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Concert Information- 4/5 & 5th Grade

Hello! Attached is the parent information letter for the upcoming 4/5 and 5th grade concert. I am also sending a paper copy home tomorrow, and it will be posted in the friday packet.

We are really excited to perform for our community on Tuesday, March 12th!

Mr. Berger


To: Westgate Parent(s) of students in 4/5th MA and 5th grade classrooms
From: Mr. Berger, Mrs. Henjum & Mrs. Ziemann
Subject: Music Program Reminder and Information
Date: March 7, 2013

            Greetings from the Westgate music room! This letter is to remind Westgate families that our 4/5 & 5th grade music program will be Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 7:00. The students in these classes have been working very hard on their music, and are excited to share a wonderful performance with all of you!

            Please carefully read the information below and feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or if you or any family members are willing to help with the concert. Thank you!

Student call time: Students should arrive at 6:45p.m., and report to the LMC. (We need one parent from each class to assist in the LMC.)

Dress Code: We have chosen not to have a specific color scheme for this program. Students should look nice, neat and comfortable. Please avoid heavy clothing, since the stage area can become quite warm.

Recorders: Students in Miss Kent and Mr. Lamich’s classes need to have their soprano recorders at school the night of the concert. No loaner recorders will be provided.

Concert expectations: Students are expected to attend and participate in the concert program. Each class is performing a special piece, so every child is needed. If for some reason your child will be unable to attend, please contact his/her music teacher prior to March 12th. Thank you.

Volunteers needed: Please contact Mr. Berger if you are able to assist in any of the following areas: Video, set-up/clean-up, stage helper, programs,  & LMC helper.  Thank you for considering being a part of our team!

Thank you! We look forward to seeing you Tuesday night!


Mr. Berger (gberger@sd25.org)
Mrs. Henjum (nhenjum@sd25.org)
Mrs. Ziemann (cziemann@sd25.org)
Westgate Music Staff

Please note: Individuals with disabilities should notify the building Principal if they have a disability that will require special assistance or services. Please give the building Principal advance notice of 24 hours. Thank You. (Board policy 8:70)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Something to ponder this week...

In all things, (especially ISAT's), we should always try to:

Have a wonderful week, and remember: If it ain't Baroque, don't fix it! :-)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Music this week... What did we do?

Happy friday! It's March, and things are moving quickly here at Westgate. The 1/2 MA concert had to be canceled this week because of the big snowfall on Tuesday. We are still working on a new date for the concert, so stay tuned!
The 4/5 and 5th grade students continued working on music and activities for their March 12th concert. We will be having a rehearsal on Monday morning to see how all of the different classes will come together. It's going to be a great concert!

The title page.
One of the highlights of the week was using an IPEVO camera to display a book on my whiteboard. This made it easier for students to follow along and see the illustrations in the book, "The Composer is Dead."

The IPEVO camera in action.

I also shared a funny and entertaining video from YouTube, called "Classical Music in the Key of Comedy". I linked the video below. Enjoy!
Classical Music in the Key of Comedy

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Concert is canceled for 2/26/13

Due to inclement weather, our 1/2 MA concert has been canceled for this evening. We will advise parents as to the new date for the concert.

Let it snow!!!

Mr. B

Monday, February 25, 2013

Check out this survey!

I've been asked to share the following information regarding the Illinois 5Essentials Survey. 

Dear Parents,
Your participation in the Illinois 5Essentials Survey will help us understand the conditions at your child’s school and guide improvement. Your identity and survey responses will be kept completely confidential and will never be connected to you or your child.

Please visit https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/ to participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Parent Survey. The survey must be completed by March 31, 2013, but we encourage you to complete the survey as soon as possible.

Have a great week!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow Day? No Way!

There was a winter storm. Schools are closed. After school activities are cancelled. Children are rejoicing...

Yep- we didn't hear any of that here is District 25! I was glad that we had school today, because I had a special concert rehearsal planned and we really needed to get it done. The rehearsal went very well, and our MA-1/2 students are almost ready for their concert on Tuesday.

One of the other highlights of the week was singing 'presidential' songs in honor of President's Day. I shared "Rap of the Presidents" with many classes, and the first graders had the opportunity to sing solo with "Who Chopped The Cherry Tree Down?".

Have a great weekend!

Mr. B.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Post Valentine's Day Post

The day after Valentine's Day. Friday. Sunny outside. All of this adds up to a crazy day here at Westgate! All of my classes today were high energy, so I did my best to channel that energy in a positive direction. Below are a few pictures of the activities we did.
Fourth grade classes continued learning about African American Spirituals with "Wade In The Water", and "Dry Bones", and we also started listening to the Lemony Snicket story 'The Composer is Dead" for our orchestra instruments unit.
Students in our 4/5 classes continued work on their concert music, while third graders listened to four different examples of spirituals, and played their recorders with the spiritual "Train is a comin'".
Our primary students sang Valentine's day songs, passed beanbags to the steady beat, played a bordun on Orff instruments, and enjoyed doing the "Valentine's Dance" a German folk dance that's a real favorite! Whew! What a busy day!
Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy President's Day.

Mr. Berger
2nd graders playing a simple bordun.

Passing the bean bag to Valentine, Valentine.

1st graders dancing to "Valentine's Dance".  Fun!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Got Swords? We do!

Our students in Mr. Solarz' 5th grade class are learning a special dance for their upcoming concert. It's called North Skelton Sword Dance. I first learned this activity in my graduate studies at VanderCook College of music in 2007. The students use 'swords' and work in groups of 5 to do the various different movements that make up the dance. The ultimate finish is to lock the swords into a star and present it to the audience. These 5th graders have proven themselves to be up to the task, and are doing great!

Students begin with 'high basket'.

The big finish! The Star.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Welcome to the Westgate Music Blog!!

Hello! Welcome to the new Westgate Music blog. Please check back from time to time to see what's going on in the music room at Westgate!

We have a few concerts coming up. The MA-1/2 classes will perform on Tuesday, February 26th, and out 4/5 and 5th grade classes will perform on March 12th. Both grades have been working very hard to prepare great music! Please plan to attend.

The second graders just finished a unit on Instruments Families of the Orchestra, which culminated in a cool group project using the iPad app 'Songify'. I'll try to post some audio if I can figure out how to do it!

Third grade classes just finished a unit on American folk instruments. We studied about the Banjo, Appalachian Dulcimer, Fiddle, Hammered Dulcimer, Harmonica, Acoustic guitar, and Accordion. YouTube was a great resource for seeing and hearing authentic recordings of these wonderful instruments!

The district 25 Staff Variety Show was last Saturday night, and it was a big success. I had the pleasure of singing "Bring Him Home" from Les Mis, as well as playing World Music Drums with my fellow music teachers and playing electric guitar on "Forever Young"- the Dylan tune. It was a blast, and was very well attended!

That's all for now!
Mr. B