Welcome to Music With Hilary!

Welcome to a new school year at The Parish School! This is my fourth year teaching music and providing music therapy services to all the sweet students. It was a great first week seeing familiar faces and making new friends. We have begun singing songs, dancing, and playing instruments together. I will post throughout the year about our various music songs, activities, and upcoming performances. It is going to be an awesome exciting year of musical discoveries!

Zebras Instrument PlayPenguins Dance  Seals Creative MovementArmadillos Instrument Play       Penguins Instrument PlayOwls Instrument Play

Seals Instrument PlaySeals Creative MovementSquirrels Instrument PlayM. Seals Instrument PlayZebras Instrument Play

Posted in Armadillos 14-15, Ducks 14-15, Elephants 14-15, Frogs 14-15, Mustangs 14-15, Owls 14-15, Penguins 14-15, Rangers 14-15, Rockets 14-15, Seals 14-15, Squirrels 14-15, Wonderkids 14-15, Wranglers 14-15, Zebras 14-15 | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

“May There Always Be Sunshine”: Student’s Versions

As we progress in our study of Russia, each of class has created their own version of the song “May There Always Be Sunshine.” They chose something that they enjoy or like and want there to always be. So many students overall focused on games: Minecraft, Skylanders, Legos, Angry Birds, and video games. It really shows how focused and so interested in electronics they are. Several of the older students really thought about things that we need in order to live. Below are pictures of them and their pictures as well as a board with each classes’ chosen words.

RocketsExplorersPenguins  Turtles Mustangs Giraffes










Each student made a picture of their word and we are practicing singing the Russian song and then our own version with the student’s ideas. It is a great opportunity for self-expression, creativity, and opportunity to work together to create ideas for each person in the class. They are excited to share and sing for everyone at our Russia Party on March 11th!

Turtles      GiraffesZebras  ChefsBearsWranglersRocketsPenguinsMustangsExplorers

Posted in Bears 13-14, Explorers 13-14, Giraffes 13-14, Ladybugs 13-14, Mustangs 13-14, Penguins 13-14, Rockets 13-14, Russia, Song Writing, Turtles 13-14, Wranglers 13-14, Zebras 13-14 | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Bean Bags, Steady Beat, and Good Friends

The All-Stars and Ducks are focusing on friendship and teamwork in their classes. For a musical experience, we sung a little song and tossed bean bags with a steady beat to recognize the good friends around us. While tossing the bean bag from our own hand to hand, we sung:

I have a good friend, a good friend, a good friend.
I have a good friend, and their name is _______.
(toss bean bag to friend)

The students worked on making eye contact, choosing different friends, waiting, listening for their name, and hand-eye coordination. Through initiating contact with their classmates, they let them know that they are a good friend. The students felt really good when someone sang to them and told them that they are a good friend. They smiled and the person who threw it to them smiled back in return.Ducks

After the students were successful playing with one bean bag, I added another, and another, and another! This was to challenge the students’ ability to listen and be attentive for their name and watch out for bean bags that may be coming from any direction. In addition, we could toss it to the same person to recognize how great they are. Both classes did very well and we had about 8 or 9 bean bags tossed around the room at the same time! It was neat to hear the students all toss it between their own hands, making it sound like egg shakers with the steady beat. And then we all tossed to our friends at our own pace, with some students receiving more than one. That person really felt special when several friends sang to them in one turn! There is joy in having friends sing to you. They really enjoyed the activity and we played for about ten minutes where afterwards, everyone was happy with warm fuzzies about their friends.All-Stars

Each of the students worked to keep the steady beat by tossing it hand to hand, which in turn helps them attend, to sing together, and follow the directions of the activity while keeping an eye out for bean bags that may be coming from 8 different directions. It was a surprise to see where the bean bags would fly next! Developing and maintaining steady beat is important for predictability, focus, and helping students organize and coordinate movement with timing (running, jumping, walking, writing, using scissors). In addition, a steady beat helps develop better readers, become successful in math, and the ability to speak and read with a smooth cadence. Steady beat helps children to understand and organize their world, such as expressing to their friends, following directions, and throwing bean bags.


Posted in All-Stars 13-14, Ducks 13-14 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Culture In Focus: Russia!

Every February, the Intra Curricular Activities Teachers (ICATs) team focus on one culture to learn more about in-depth. This year, as a salute to the Winter Olympics, we are learning about Russia! The Turtles, Giraffes, Chefs, Bears, Zebras, Wranglers, Rockets, Penguins, Mustangs, and Explorers will learn about Russian art, song, dance, instruments, costumes, stories, flag, games, words, and food.

We have begun using Russian words:
pree-vee-et: hello
pah-kah: good-bye
spah-see-boh: thank you
da: yes
nyet: no

In music, we are learning to sing “May There Always Be Sunshine,” a popular Russian  children’s song from 1962. Arkady Ostrovsky composed the music and Lev Oshanin wrote the lyrics. It is a song expressing the people’s desire for peace. To keep it simple, I am focusing on teaching and singing the repeated refrain that was composed in 1928 by four-year-old boy Kostya Barannikov.

Pust’ vsegda budet solntse. (May there always be sunshine.)
Pust’ vsegda budet nebo. (May there always be blue skies.)
Pust’ vsegda budet mama. (May there always be mama.)
Pust’ vsegda budet ya. (May there always be me.)

The Wranglers, Rockets, Penguins, Mustangs, and Explorers are learning how to sing it in Russian. It is tricky! All classes are singing the refrain together in English and creating our own version of what they want to may there always be. Below are the videos we watched in class as an introduction to the song and to create our own.

Posted in Bears 13-14, Culture in Focus, Explorers 13-14, Giraffes 13-14, Ladybugs 13-14, Mustangs 13-14, Penguins 13-14, Rockets 13-14, Russia, Turtles 13-14, Wranglers 13-14, Zebras 13-14 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Root-A-Toot-Toot” Story and Instruments

Thanks to the Houston Symphony, the Parish students had the opportunity to play real brass instruments (trumpet, trombone, and French horn) to our story, Root-A-Toot-Toot by Bernice Myers. After explaining how to pucker lips to create the embrasure and to blow into the mouthpiece, students picked a character and the associated instrument: bear with trumpet, fox with drum, skunk with trombone, and raccoon with French horn. In the story, the raccoon plays a tuba and I substituted with a French horn because that is what I had. With only four characters in the book, the other half of the class were the forest animals who said “too loud” and “play louder” in response to the musicians. We read the story two or three times to ensure each student had a chance to take turns to try out the instruments.

Bear Trumpet Fox Drum Skunk TromboneRaccoon French Horn

All the students enjoyed trying out the new instruments, working their lips around the mouthpiece, figuring out how to hold the instrument, and playing with such perseverance through bigger and bigger breaths to try to make a sound. It was a challenge for some students to control their lips and place it within the mouthpiece or to figure out how to control their breathing and support it while blowing out. After trial and error, many students face lit up when they realized they figured out to produce a sound. Success! Thank you to the Houston Symphony for letting us borrow their Instrument Petting Zoo!

Seals Seals Dolphins Dolpins Ducks DucksAll-Stars Giraffes  Giraffes Turtles Turtles Chefs Chefs Zebras Zebras Bears Wranglers Wranglers Rockets Rockets Penguins Penguins Mustangs Explorers Explorers

Posted in All-Stars 13-14, Bears 13-14, Book, Dolphins 13-14, Elephants 13-14, Explorers 13-14, Giraffes 13-14, Instrument Play, Ladybugs 13-14, Mustangs 13-14, Penguins 13-14, Rockets 13-14, Seals 13-14, Turtles 13-14, Wranglers 13-14, Zebras 13-14 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment