A message from our music staff:

Mr. Berger and Ms. Hennessy 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. Hennessy can be reached at ahennessy@sd25.org. Follow Mr. Berger on Twitter! @WEMusic160

Friday, January 31, 2014

The 3rd grade field trip to the Chicago Symphony is next Friday!

Next Friday, February 7th, is our exciting field trip to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra! The concert is titled: Alien Invasion- Orchestra form the Planet X, and will feature mime from guest artists Magic Circle Mime Company. How fun is that?
Magic Circle Mime Company
Our Westgate 3rd grade students have been preparing for this outing by learning about the composers and viewing clips on YouTube of the pieces they will hear next week. All of the music selections we'll experience at the CSO are by American composers!
I have shared a few of the links below so you can enjoy this great American music at home! (I apologize for the pop-up adds.)

Scott Joplin- The Entertainer

Aaron Copland- Appalachian Spring (Simple Gifts)

Aaron Copland- Hoe-Down from Rodeo

Leroy Anderson- The Typewriter

We have also been talking about proper audience etiquette. This includes: Entering the Symphony Center in an orderly and respectful manner, Listening to the guide as they help us find our seats, using the washroom before the performance begins, staying quiet and respectful during the concert, and applauding at the appropriate time. If you are the parent of a third grader, please take a few minutes to reinforce what good audience etiquette and behavior looks like. Thank you for your help!

Mr. Berger ./`

Friday, January 17, 2014

This week in Music Class...

Greetings from the most musical place in the building! Here's a recap of our week in Music class:

Our 5th grade students are doing a short unit on voice range- being able to identify singers as Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Bass. To help them learn more about each vocal range, I shared a clip from the CSO website in which professional soloists sing in Italian, along with the CSO and Symphony Chorus. See the link below for the full performance. The portion I shared begins at about 33:00, and continues until about 38:00.
Verdi Requiem:Chicago Symphony Orchestra

One of our very creative and humorous 5th graders made this statement during class on Wednesday. We had just been watching a video clip of Ricardo Muti conducting the Verdi Requiem at the CSO.
Student:"I feel sorry for anyone who has a conductor for a dad!"
Teacher: "Why?"
Student: "Because if he made you a sandwich, it would be really messy!"
We all had to laugh at that one! Mr. Muti is very expressive in his conducting style, so imagine him trying to spread peanut butter or mayo on a slice of bread!


Fourth grade classes are learning about Tempo, including Italian terminology, such as Largo (Very Slow), and Presto (Very Fast). I shared a fun video from MusicK8kids.com called Presto / Largo.
Presto / Largo video

Third grade classes learned a singing game that will allow me to assess their singing voice. They also had fun singing and playing a recorder counter melody on G & A to "Rockin' Robin" from their Making Music textbooks.

Our 2nd grade classes started a unit on instrument families of the orchestra. I shared the wonderful book "The Remarkable Farkle McBride" by John Lithgow, and they were introduced to "Luigi's Baton- The Orchestra Family Reunion" in Music Express magazine. These two resources are great for helping the students learn the sounds of the orchestra!

MA 1/2 and First grade classes continued learning the songs for their upcoming concert. They are off to a great start! The concert is February 25th.

Have a great weekend!

Mr. Berger ./`

Monday, January 13, 2014

Upcoming Events at Westgate- January Edition


Monday, January 20th and Tuesday, January 21st MLK Holiday Weekend NO SCHOOL

Friday, January 24th Intermediate Movie Night

Wednesday, January 29th Book Fair

Thursday, January 30th Westgate OpenHouse

January 29th (3:30-5:30PM) & 30th (6:00-8:30PM) Westgate Book Fair

Saturday, February 1st Project Linus at Westgate 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ice, Ice, All Around!

Here's a pretty COOL video that was shared by Mrs. Opitz, the music teacher at Ivy Hill.
Nature gives us many ways to make music! 


Looks like a fun way to enjoy the chilly outdoors.

**Note to parents: The video is great, but you want to stay away from the comments below. Some of the folks are not very careful about their language! :-(

Mr. Berger ./`

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Third Grade Chicago Symphony Trip Update- Permission Slip

Welcome back and Happy New Year!
The permission slips for our third grade field trip to the Chicago Symphony are going out either today or tomorrow. I have attached a copy below for your convenience.
We are looking forward to a great trip, and some high quality music!!

CSO Field_trip_Permission_Slip