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, 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.