Monday, December 16, 2013

The Concert Countdown Begins...

For today's post I'm going to link it up with Amy Martin's...

I'm going to share my Holiday traditions for all of you. Unfortunately, they are probably not quite as exciting at Amy's tradition. My Holiday tradition is to have LOTS of concerts. This year I have a total of 4 concerts (and only one is a repeat.) How does this happen? Well, that is the joy of working at two different districts and the holiday concerts being a must have at both.

Wednesay, was concert 1 of 4, so after that I count down for Christmas break with concerts. I know that sounds silly, but it is a chaotic time of year. I love concerts, but having so many close together sometimes makes my head spin. In the end, though, I always look back on it with good memories. :)

Wednesday's concert was A Holiday Moosical performed by my K-3 students at Fairview Elementary. It is always so much fun putting together costumes and seeing what the students look like. The dress-rehearsal in the morning is interesting, but nothing compares to seeing it all in its glory! The costumes just really add another element. This is only my second year adding costumes, but I don't think I'll ever go back to not having them. They are just so cute and fun.

The challenge of coming up with these costumes is finding people to help and coming up with ideas on how to create these costumes without sewing abilities. I got a helpful tip from Emily Quezda last year by reading this POST. She talked about using hooded sweatshirts for creating no sew costumes and this really inspired many of my costumes this year.

Here are a few of the costumes I came up with for this performance:
Christmas Trees:

This picture was taken the day before the performance, since I can never find time to take pictures the day of. So, that is why he is wearing jeans. The day of my trees wore brown pants and brown shoes to make it look like the roots and bark of the tree.


Candy Canes:

This is just colored duck tape covering cardboard. Very simple, but really nice effect.

Marta the Moose:
The moose costume took me quite a while, but it is my favorite costume I've made so far. I took a big foam piece and cut it to look like an antler, then I cut the piece into half so the antlers were symmetrical.

I used hot glue to cover the foam with white felt and then hot glued the antlers to the sweatshirt. Of course they were too heavy so they started drooping, so my solution was to hot glue a wire clothes hanger to the back. This helped stabilize the antlers and make them stay up. I finished by adding some fun garland around the antlers to dress her up for the holidays. This costume really stole the show! :)

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. How do you create costumes for your concerts? Do you have any creative ways of working around your budget? Do you have parents help make costumes for your productions or do you do it all yourself?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday Linky Party!

So I know it is Saturday and I am just finally joining the Thankful Thursday Linky Party, hosted by Aileen Miracle. I have been looking forward to this linky party, but it has been such a crazy week I just had the hardest time finding time to write my blog post.

On a personal level, I'm thankful for my family and my 'families.'

This is my immediate family - me, my sister, brother, sister-in-law, mom, dad, niece, and nephew. My brother and sister-in-law recently had a third child that was just born about two weeks ago. I am so glad to have a family that is so supportive and loving. My dad was diagnosed with stage four Kidney cancer in July of 2012. When my family found out it was devastating. I have always been daddy's girl and the last year and a half has been a roller coaster of emotions. However, I do believe it has brought us all closer together.

I have been blessed to not only have a wonderful family, but many people in my life that I consider my family. One of the schools I teach at only has one of each grade level. I have taught at this school for three years now, so the staff feels like a second family to me. They have been there for me through hard times and great times.

My third family is my church family. When I moved 30 minutes away from Green Bay (my hometown), it was kind of scary. I didn't know if I would find new friends or have people near me that would help me through the hard times. However after only a few weeks I started to get to know the wonderful ladies at my church. They are so supportive and I'm forever grateful for making me feel at home in the little town of Pulaski.

I'm thankful for my students and job!

I have the kind of job that I can do silly things like the picture above without being criticized for acting like a child. My students love that I am over dramatic. They love that I tell detailed stories and run around like a chicken with my head cut off. They are so much fun to be with and I can't believe that I have such a fun job. I actually decided I wanted to be a music teacher when I was 7 years old! This is just a dream come true for me. :)

I'm thankful for my new music teacher friends

Thanks to the Facebook Frenzy going on right now, I have met a lot of great music teachers who I can bounce ideas off of. These ladies are all so passionate about what they do it is hard not to be inspired by all of them. I'm so honored to be a part of there group even as a rather new teacher.


And just as a reminder, the Facebook Frenzy is going on until 8:00 pm EST - December 9th. You can find great freebies like the one above. Just click on the picture above to go to my facebook page. Then click the penguin tab and collect the freebie. Don't forget to follow the snowman all around to get 17 FREEBIES!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Quick Giveaway!

Just a quick blog post before I head to bed! Making Music Memories on Facebook has finally reached 50 likes! In honor of this I'm doing a very quick giveaway. I'm giving away the Christmas/Winter Ta & Ti-ti Rhythm Activities Set from my TpT store:


The giveaway is open until Thursday, December 5 at midnight Pacific Time. To enter just like the facebook page about the giveway (posted below):

If you enter and win, but you already have this item, I will allow you to choose another item from my store that is of equal value.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

TPT Cyber Sale & Facebook Frenzy

I have been really productive this break! I have created several files that I have added to my Teachers Pay Teachers store, plus I have gotten a lot of school work done for this week. With that being said, the next three weeks are super hectic with 4 School Christmas Concerts, plus 2 performances of my own! So, if you don't see many posts that is why.

Anyways, just a few reminders about some exciting things happening this month...

First, Monday and Tuesday TPT is having a HUGE cyber sale. Everything in my store and many other teachers stores will be 28% off! This is a great time to get all those items on your wishlist. I have updated my store with several Winter/Christmas themed items that I think you should check out:
Christmas/Winter Ta & Ti-ti Rhythm Activies - this kit helps young students practice their basic rhythms by categorizing words into one sound and two sound groups. It also comes with a simple composition for students to continue practicing these rhythms.

Christmas/Winter Ti-ri-ti-ri, Ti-ti-ri, & Ti-ri-ti - same as the above kit, but geared towards more advanced students. This kit is not labeled with ti-ri-ti-ri, but just uses generic symbols so anyone can use it whether they say ti-ka-ti-ka or something else.

You can also save by buying both as a bundle!

I'm also working on some cute Color by Solfege Packs for each solfege syllable. So far I have So-Mi and La done. My students really enjoy these for practicing solfege.
Winter Color by Solfege Packs:

If you are interested in these color by solfege pages you should make sure to check out this weekend's Facebook Frenzy!

If you are unfamiliar with a Facebook Frenzy, here is how it works:

1) Start on a participating Teachers Pay Teachers Facebook Page and look for the tab that has this picture:
Frenzy Tab
2) Click on the picture and if you don't already like the Facebook Page click like.
3) Click the freebie to download and then click the Snowman to continue on to the next Facebook Page. Make sure you keep continuing or you won't be able to get all the freebies.

I checked out the clip art Facebook Frenzy last month and it was a lot of fun. I'm really excited to be a part of this month's facebook frenzy and I will be offering an EXCLUSIVE pack of Winter Color by Solfege pages. This pack will NOT be offered in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store, so make sure you don't miss out! I know for a fact that the music teachers have some great things to offer. If you want to be ahead of the game, make sure to like my facebook page HERE! It will save you a step later.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday

Wish List Wednesday: All I Want for Christmas

Monday and Tuesday Teachers Pay Teachers is having a huge Cyber Monday sale! In honor of this sale, everything in my shop is going to be 20% off, plus Teachers Pay Teachers will take an additional 10% off. This means you will save 28% on everything in my store! It is a great time to put together a wishlist of items. That is why I'm joining Lindsay's & Rebecca's Wishlist Wednesday Linky Parties.

Here is what I currently have on my wishlist:

Lindsay's - Trim the Tree Rhythm Game

This time of year is so crazy, but this is such a cute game that I know I could easily throw in even during Christmas Concert preparation time. It would be a great way to keep rhythms fresh in students minds, while still practicing for the upcoming concerts.

Ink n Little Things - Winter Clip Art

I just love cute clip art and this clip art is darling!

Amy Martin's - Recorder Stations

I read Amy's blog post recently about her recorder stations and the activities she has would be really helpful with some of my beginning recorder players.

I'm also currently working on several Christmas and winter items that I'm hoping to have in my shop by Monday. Definitely stop by and check for them.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

2/4 Tuesday - Concert Costumes & Color by Solfege

I have begun to love Tuesdays, just because of the 2/4 Tuesday linky party hosted by Steph!

As promised, last week, I am going to talk about how I let parents know about costuming for my concerts. After picking students for speaking parts and thinking about what I am capable of supplying for concerts and what I am not, I can let parents know what their child should wear for the upcoming concert. The sooner I can let parents know, the more prepared they can be. I hate burdening parents with costuming, but sometimes it is just not possible for me to supply all elements of the costumes.

In order to make it simpler for me and for parents, I send home slips with students about when the concert is, what part they are playing, and what they should wear for the concert. Here is my template that you can alter for your own use:

(Click the picture above to be brought to the dropbox file)

For more concert tips check out my other 2/4 Tuesday Posts - Preparing Students for Try-outs, Try-Outs, & Picking Speaking Parts

My latest work has been on creating Color by Solfege worksheets. I needed a fun way to get my students to continue practicing their solfege even during the Holiday Concert season. My little ones (2nd Grade-5th Grade) have really been enjoying this and are very excited to color the sheets next week.


If you like the Color by Solfege worksheet you should make sure to like my Facebook page HERE. I will be participating in a Facebook Frenzy through Teachers Pay Teachers the beginning of December and I will be giving away at least one Color by Solfege Christmas/winter worksheet.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Activities Like... Note Reading Stations

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' today for their We're Thankful For Linky Party. Each day they are writing about something they are thankful for as teachers. Wednesday's theme is Activities Like...

If you would like to join the fun click the link below to find their post and/or read other posts written by other teachers. I especially recommend reading Mrs. Miracle's blog posts. She has been linking with them all week!

The last couple weeks I have begun the preparation of my 4th graders for playing recorders. They already had some experience reading notes on the treble clef thanks to Freddie the Frog, Music K-8 Kids Videos, and a basic introduction in 3rd grade. However, I really wanted students to get a lot of experience with note reading before I actually put the recorders in their hands. To aid in this process, I created stations around the room for note reading (and a few for rhythm work, since that is also important for recorders).

Here are the stations with information on where to get these materials online:

1) Apples and Oranges - Word Matching Game


This is a pretty simple matching game that I bought from Teachers Pay Teachers. How it works is a small group of students sort the apples and oranges by trying to match the words on the apples with the words on the oranges. For example the apple will have the word FACE written on it and they have to find the orange card that spells face on the staff.

I have been a little creative with this station and have also come up with some other ways to use these cards. I have the students play a game of memory with them. (This is a bit more challenging, but is great for my high achieving groups.) I also have them race against each other to see who can get the most matches. You can get this original game HERE as part of a bundle. The bundle includes Sandwich Match, which I'm going to talk about next, and it also includes some other activities I use with other concepts.

2) Sandwich Match - Letter Matching Game


This game is just like the Apples and Oranges game, but instead of whole words you just match a letter. This one is a bit easier to play as memory and many of my students prefer to work at this station that way. Again you can get this HERE.

3) Classics for Kids - Treble Clef Note Reading Game


I allow students to play this on my Smartboard by taking turns identifying the note and creating the words. You can find this game HERE.

4) Ladybug Game


You can find this fun game HERE. Susan has a lot of great games and you should check them out while you are there. All you need to do is print out the pdf she created and create playing pieces. For my playing pieces I used big buttons from Walmart with cute bug stickers on them. More specific directions are on the site, but the basic idea is students pick cards from the deck one at a time and move to the closest space of the letter they choose. Whoever makes it to the end first, wins. Students should take turns and if students draw a card that says bee sting or other things like that they should follow the directions on it.

5) Fly Swatter Game


This is another game made by Susan. I have seen games like this, but how this works is you print out the cards onto cardstock. Then, one student holds up a card while the others find the correct note as quickly as possible and swat the correct answer on the poster board. (You could also write your answers on the board.) Whoever gets the note correct first gets to take over the cards and the other two students become swatters. You can find this game HERE.

6) Fall/Thanksgiving Rhythm Composition


For some rhythm work I had students working on a Fall/Thanksgiving Rhythm Composition. The top of the worksheet students figure out which note each word should get based on the amount of syllables each word has. For example they put a quarter note with corn and four sixteenth notes with cranberry sauce. After finishing the top part they can create their own Fall/Thanksgiving Rhythm and create their own rap. They fill in each blank with a word from above and add the corresponding rhythms with it. It is a fun way for students to practice their rhythms and use their own creativity. You can get this activity at my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE.