Evolution of Music in Recording

It’s that time of year- back to school!  This afternoon we put the finishing touches on our classrooom’s bulletin board in anticipation of tomorrow’s Open House.  We are calling it the “Evolution of Music in Recording,” and a lot of the material is based on the infographic found above.

We’ve had a blast hot gluing records and cassette tapes to the chorus bulletin board, and we are anticipating the “What is that?” questions that will come Monday morning when students see an 8-track for the first time.  We actually expanded the timeline to include prehistoric recording (the human ear), 2,000 B.C. stone tablets inscribed with notation, and the printing press.  On the other end of the timeline, we added Napster, Pandora, and the cloud.  At the end of the timeline is a stick figure with a thought bubble that says, “What’s next?”  There have been so many advancements over the last 25 years in digital recording, making music accessible to all people like never before.  In our lesson the first week of school students will dream up what they think is next- we are excited to find out their thoughts.

Interested in Joining Chorus?

Thanks for checking out the Rising Starr Middle School Choral Department! Maybe you are a 5th grade student or parent trying to learn more about what it is like to be in chorus in middle school…. or maybe you are a current middle school student realizing that you should have signed up last year and are interested in joining this year!  Either way, the RSMS Choral Department is thrilled that you are considering joining our program.

Want to know what it’s like to be in chorus?  The students next door at Starr’s Mill made this recruitment video to give you insight into why it is important to be a member of chorus during your time as a Panther in the south complex!


Frequently Asked Q&A’s

Q. Do I need prior singing experience to join?

A. No!  You aren’t born knowing how to solve algebra problems are you?  The same is true with music.  Singing is a learned skill that you have to practice- anyone can learn how to sing.

Q. What about after school rehearsals?  I play sports….

A. You are not alone!  Over 80% of the members in chorus at RSMS participate in school or intramural sports.  We only have a couple of after school rehearsals a year- all other practice happens during the school day.

Q.  What is the financial commitment for chorus?

A.  Students will need to purchase a uniform, either $70 new or $35 used.   We also ask for students to participate in the annual poinsettia fundraiser and/ or make a donation to the choral department’s annual budget.  This helps pay for music, instruments, field trips, accompanists, and technology.  Of course if your family cannot afford a uniform, just let Mrs. Todd know.  A student is never turned away from chorus, and we can provide a uniform through the generosity of the guidance department for students in need.

Billie Jean

When I ask my students what songs they would like to perform on Rock Friday, Billie Jean is always a popular request!  Although we tackled it in class a few years ago, we are bringing it back this week as part of our Rock Friday lesson.  Access the chord chart and song structure here!  Billie Jean – Rock Friday Simplified

I love using Blendspace from time to time to post lessons.  This allows me to reference photos, documents, and videos in an easy to use gamification format.  Just scroll from one square to the next to access the next part of the lesson.  In this lesson you can access the song chart, how to play piano chords video, how to play the running bass line on the piano, and a class activity to practice the main drum beat of the song.  Utilize these resources by visiting the Billie Jean Blendspace lesson we created.

A “Thrilling” RockFriday

Today’s Rock Friday got the kids into a frightening mood with Michael Jackson’s Thriller!  The class divided into three parts- singers, pianists, and sound effects.  This arrangement was super easy, and it took the kids about 15 minutes to pull together the video below.  Next year, we will start working on it a little earlier so we can have the whole song ready for Halloween!  This is a great assignment, as a student can participate at many different levels- singing, playing the piano, or by simply touching a button to play sound effects.  The app we used is called “Halloween Sound Shelf.”  Enjoy!

Recruiting Strategies for Choral & Instrumental Programs

This post is for music educators that attended the session “Recruiting Strategies for Choral & Instrumental Programs” at the 2016 Georgia Music Educator’s In-Service Conference.  This link takes you to a shared google folder, where you can view and download copies of documents referred to in the session, as well as access a PDF of the prezi presentation.