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, September 30, 2016

What's Up in Music?

Happy End of September/Beginning of October!

Here's a quick recap of our music activities these past few weeks:

5th grade: Fifty Nifty United States, Patriotic music, playing bells and Orff contrabass bars on a Song of Peace, and a fun warm-up song called "Proper Cup of Coffee"made popular by the group "Trout Fishing in America." The 5th graders enjoyed singing this song as it gets faster and faster!
Here's a link to Trout Fishing in America performing the song.

Proper Cup of Coffee Song

Students also began discussing our upcoming December 8th concert and gave ideas about the theme.

4th grade: We spent some time on the Song of Peace, with bell and Orff accompaniment for the international day of peace last week, and started learning the Cup Song this week.

3rd grade and 3/4 MA- See Miss Hennessy's blog for details! mshennessysmusicroom.weebly.com

2nd grade: Our students began learning music for their November 2nd concert! The theme will encompass Halloween, Election Day and Veteran's Day. They have also been playing a fun game called "Bow Wow Wow."

1/2 Multi-Age and 1st grade: These classes have been working on 'bulls-eye' solo singing with a few singing games.

Kindergarten: We have been learning new songs, working on remembering where we sit, and playing echo patterns on hand drums!

Have a great weekend, and GO CUBS!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Star-Spangled Banner: Smithsonian style

Greetings! Thanks for stopping by to see what's going on in the Westgate music room.

Last week, our students in 4th grade studied about the history of our national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner. I shared the following website in class, so I thought I'd post it here as well! The Smithsonian Museum of American History has an amazing exhibit on the history of the flag that inspired the writer, Francis Scott Key, to draft a poem that later became our national anthem. My family had the privilege of visiting the exhibit this past summer, and it is amazing! Here is the link to the interactive Star-Spangled Banner activities on the Smithsonian website:
Star-Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian

Have a great week! More updates to come later.

Mr. Berger ./`

Friday, September 9, 2016

Week 2 Music Happenings~


Greetings! It's been a busy week here at Westgate. Thank you to all of the families who came out to Parent Night on Thursday. If you missed the PE, Music & Art presentation, or if you have questions about our programs, please feel free to contact Coach K (ekirschner@sd25.org), Mrs. Miller (bmiller@sd25.org), Miss Hennessy (ahennessy@sd25.org, or myself (gberger@sd25.org).

This week we have been singing Patriotic music in class, as well as reading rhythm and playing classroom instruments in our intermediate classes. Primary classes played a singing game called Old King Glory- practicing steady beat and singing with good tone. Kindergarten classes are working on 'name game' songs and singing a song called "I'm So Glad to Be Here".
5th graders "synergize" to play rhythms with "This Land is Your Land"

Reading rhythm and working together
On a personal note: I had the honor of singing the National Anthem at Arlington Racetrack last Friday afternoon. My wife and I auditioned in the spring and were chosen to sing, but, due to a schedule change, I had to sing the anthem by myself. It was such a great experience, and was fun to have a few Westgate families there to support me! Mrs. Dalton and Mrs. Repak were kind enough to video the performance, so I have included it below. Enjoy!


https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6XsnWjrdjrWUnZJYXBuWHBYNlE

One more thing... I am performing in "Horizons of Gold" over the next four weekends, and I would like to invite Westgate families to come and see the show! It's family friendly, with a great musical score and a message of hope, overcoming trials in life, and the power of love. Please visit www.overshadowed.org for ticket information.


Have a great weekend!
Mr. Berger ./`

Friday, September 2, 2016

WELCOME BACK!!

Hey Westgate family! Welcome back to the 2016-17 school year! I hope you all had a great summer!

We have a brand new music teacher joining the Westgate community this year. Her name is Ms. Hennessy, and she will be teaching all of our 3rd grade classes, in addition to our 3/4 MA, one kindergarten class, and one 4th grade class. She is full of energy and fresh ideas!

I had a musical summer~ starting with a Ukulele class, then a trip to Washington DC and New York, and I'm currently performing in a musical play "Horizons of Gold" with Overshadowed productions in Medinah! Below are a few pics from our trip.

Standing near the Washington Monument. It was hot!

The iconic gate at NYU.

Lady Liberty- That's as close as we got!

The Gettysburg museum- Music instruments of the Civil War. 




Seeing Les Miserables on Broadway! So great!

A quick pic with the star- John Owen-Jones. He was amazing!