Grade 6/7 - 8

May 7, 2019

Most classes are finished their dance units - there are few classes that have a couple students that still need to do their final performances. We're going back to MUSIC! Please make sure you have whatever applies to you and your instrument:
 - instrument
 - mouthpiece
 - band music
 - money to buy new reeds

As promised, you will have two full classes of playing and then we will have our (hopefully final) playing tests of the year (which I first put in the blog on February 13, and certainly mentioned in class several times) The dates are posted below...

6/7 Ohana: May 21 (date changed due to two funerals on Friday... sorry.)
7 Gladman: May 22 (date changed due to two funerals on Friday... sorry.)
7 Pivetta: May 21
8 Mulligan: May 16
8 Oprisan May 22

*Remember, if you need to do you playing test in private, please come before or after school (or recess) before your assigned test date.

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April 29, 2019


I'm re-posting an older post so that students can easily see what they will be tested on...

Our next playing test will take place after the dance unit. Please see below for what you will be tested on...

- Grade 6's or 7's from the split class who are new to their instruments: Song 31
- Grade 6's or 7's from the split who played their instrument last year: Song 90 (or for those who would like more of a challenge)
- Grade 6's or 7's from the split who joined band are welcome to do band music for their test instead


- Grade 7's from Pivetta and Gladman: Seafarer's Hymn
     Flute: bars 18-34
     Clarinet: bars 18-34
     Bass Clarinet: bars 18-26, 34-end
     Alto Sax: bars 18-34
     Tenor Sax: bars 18-26, 34-end
     Trumpet: bars 10 - 26
     Trombone: bars 10-26
     Baritone: bars 10-26
     Percussion 1: bars 18-34
     bass drum only: 18-26, 34 - end
     Percussion 2 - suspended cymbals: bars 6-26

     Percussion 2 - woodblock/cabasa: bars 18-34

- Grade 8's: In the Hall of the Mountain King (except trombones...)
     Flute: bars 26 - 30, 38-42
     Clarinet: bars 30 - 38
     Bass Clarinet: bars 2-10
     Alto Sax: bars 30-38
     Tenor Sax: bars 2-6, 34-38
     Trumpet: bars 50-58
     Trombone: bars 48 - 53 + 13-16 Over the Rainbow
     Baritone: bars 2-10
     Percussion: bars  50-66



The music room is still open at recess, and will remain open throughout the dance unit. Please feel free to take advantage and get help if you need it.


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April 12, 2019

Please see the dates for the final performance for dance below:

6/7 Ohana: April 29
7 Gladman: April 30
7 Pivetta: April 29
8 Oprisan: April 29
8 Mulligan: April 29

Any student who would prefer to do their final dance performance in private is encouraged to come before or after school. You can try to come at morning or lunch recess when I'm available, however as you may or may not be aware, my room is usually quite busy at recess time. Also, Spring Symphony auditions will be starting shortly which take place at lunch. Your best bet, is before or after school.

*Remember - if you are choosing to perform in private, it needs to be done before your assigned presentation day.

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March 22, 2019

We're well on our way through our final dance unit, so I just thought I'd give you access to a list of steps that you will be responsible for knowing, as well as some of the songs that we've used in class (for those of you who want to practice at home...) Below is a copy of the laminated chart that I carry around in my pocket that you've all seen me looking at. You will receive a hard copy of your grades steps and songs before the test in class. Please don't forget to check out the playing test excerpts which were posted on March 19 and February 13 (see below). Playing tests will begin after we are done with dance, so please make sure you keep on practicing!


Grade 7:1x Jive steps
   - basic in open
   - basic in closed
   - 1st and 2nd underarm turn
   - leader's underarm turn
   - tempo
   - style

Some Jive songs that we've been using....
   - Lollipop
   - Rock Around the Clock
   - Runaround Sue
   - I'm a Believer
   - Swing the Mood
   - Candyman

Grade 7: Waltz steps
   - basic box
   - forward box
   - underarm turn
   - basic turning box
   - tempo
   - style

Some Waltz songs that we've been using...
   - For the Nights I Can't Remember
   - Open Arms
   - It Is You (I Have Loved)
   - Misery

Grade 8: 3x Jive steps
   - 1st and 2nd underarm turn
   - leader's underarm turn
   - reverse turn
   - leader's behind the back turn
   - sugar push

Some 3x Jive songs that we've been using....
   - Baby
   - What Makes You Beautiful
   - Pretty Woman
   - Edge of Glory
   - I Want to Hold Your Hand

Grade 8: Waltz steps
   - advanced turning box
   - side box

   - underarm turn
   - double underarm turn
   - side by side flirtation
   - tempo
   - style

Some waltz songs that the grade 8's have been using are...
   - Kiss from a Rose
   - I'll Be
   - Hear You Me
   - Rainbow Connection



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March 19, 2019

This is just a friendly reminder that any student who achieved less than 7/10 on their playing test may request a re-test once they have practiced and fixed the things that I have suggested they work on. I will not chase after students to complete a re-test. If you are not happy with your grade, it is your responsibility to do something about it.


Our next playing test will take place after the dance unit. Please see below for what you will be tested on...

- Grade 6's or 7's from the split class who are new to their instruments: Song 31
- Grade 6's or 7's from the split who played their instrument last year: Song 90 (or for those who would like more of a challenge)
- Grade 6's or 7's from the split who joined band are welcome to do band music for their test instead


- Grade 7's from Pivetta and Gladman: Seafarer's Hymn
     Flute: bars 18-34
     Clarinet: bars 18-34
     Bass Clarinet: bars 18-26, 34-end
     Alto Sax: bars 18-34
     Tenor Sax: bars 18-26, 34-end
     Trumpet: bars 10 - 26
     Trombone: bars 10-26
     Baritone: bars 10-26
     Percussion 1: bars 18-34
     bass drum only: 18-26, 34 - end
     Percussion 2 - suspended cymbals: bars 6-26

     Percussion 2 - woodblock/cabasa: bars 18-34

- Grade 8's: In the Hall of the Mountain King (except trombones... we'll discuss...)
                        Grade 8 Trombones: Over the Rainbow bars 13-16, Mountain King bars 48-53


The music room is still open at recess, and will remain open throughout the dance unit. Please feel free to take advantage and get help if you need it.


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February 28, 2019

Congratulations to the 6/7 class who have officially made it through the 57 songs in the Essential Elements book that was our goal for the year!

Next class they will be starting band music! 


I'm so proud of all your hard work this year! I hope you're proud of yourselves!

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February 13, 2019

All classes are working at their own pace through the various materials (Essential Elements 2000 books, or band music depending on the class). We will continue to play instruments until March break. Upon return from March break, we will be doing our term two dance unit. Once dance is finished, we will be playing instruments for most of the rest of the year. Students are expected to continue practicing (either in my room at recess, or at home, or both) even while we are doing dance. Students have already been informed as to what their next playing test will be, however the test will not take place until after our dance unit (hopefully this will help motivate students to keep practicing.)

Just in case you've forgotten what the next playing test is, I'll post it here...

- Grade 6's or 7's from the split class who are new to their instruments: Song 31
- Grade 6's or 7's from the split who played their instrument last year: Song 90 (or for those who would like more of a challenge)
- Grade 6's or 7's from the split who joined band are welcome to do band music for their test instead


- Grade 7's from Pivetta and Gladman: Seafarer's Hymn
     Flute: bars 18-34
     Clarinet: bars 18-34
     Bass Clarinet: bars 18-26, 34-end
     Alto Sax: bars 18-34
     Tenor Sax: bars 18-26, 34-end
     Trumpet: bars 10 - 26
     Trombone: bars 10-26
     Baritone: bars 10-26
     Percussion 1: bars 18-34
     bass drum only: 18-26, 34 - end
     Percussion 2 - suspended cymbals: bars 6-26

     Percussion 2 - woodblock/cabasa: bars 18-34

- Grade 8's: In the Hall of the Mountain King (except trombones... we'll discuss...)
                        Grade 8 Trombones: Over the Rainbow bars 13-16, Mountain King bars 48-53

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January 15, 2019

Here are the dates for your first playing test of the year, as discussed in class:

Ohana: January 28, 2019
Pivetta: January 29, 2019
Gladman: January 28, 2019
Mulligan: January 29, 2019
Oprisan: January 29, 2019

See below for what you're playing for the test...

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January 8, 2019

Okay kids! I've been informally telling you about playing tests since we started playing our instruments, and that time has come for me to officially announce it on the blog. It's going to get a little messy, so make sure you check which test is for you.

Grade 6's from the 6/7 split who are NEW to their instruments: Song #14 from the book
Grade 6's from the 6/7 split who played their instrument last year: Bb concert scale (ascending and descending)
Percussionists from the 6/7 split: page 40, song 1

Grade 7's: Bb concert scale (ascending and descending)

Grade 8's: Seafarer's Hymn
     Flute: bars 18-34
     Clarinet: bars 18-34
     Bass Clarinet: bars 18-26, 34-end
     Alto Sax: bars 18-34
     Tenor Sax: bars 18-26, 34-end
     Trumpet: bars 10 - 26
     Trombone: bars 10-26
     Baritone: bars 10-26
     Percussion 1: bars 18-34
     bass drum only: 18-26, 34 - end
     Percussion 2 - suspended cymbals: bars 6-26
     Percussion 2 - woodblock/cabasa: bars 18-34

* as always, if you need to do your test in private, please come before your test date. Before or after school works best.

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January 7, 2019

The sign up sheet for band has been printed! If you're interested in joining the band, please see me to sign up. We will rehearse on Day 3's at lunch time.

Our first official band practice of the year will be on Thursday, January 24. 

We're going to start off with the Bb concert scale, and then try to sight-read our way through all the pieces.


The music has been ready since last June... please see me if you need music and haven't received it yet.

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December 6, 2018

Our dance presentations are almost done! (We just have to do a few more for students who were away on performance day.)

We are moving on to INSTRUMENTS! (yay!) Please make sure that you bring your instrument, mouthpiece and/or money to buy a new one if that's the route you're going. Be prepared! We're starting next class!

Remember... one cannot learn an instrument well if you're only playing it twice per week (not to mention breaking for two months over the summer, a month for dance in term two and the written unit/dance unit for term one...) Many students have been practicing their instruments since September. Please make sure you are taking your instrument home and playing it outside of the school day. Regular practice is your music homework.

If you need any help, please don't hesitate to come in at recess... as long as you're prepared to work, I'm prepared to help.

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November 27, 2018

Dance Presentations will take place on the following dates:

Ohana: December 3
Gladman: December 4
Pivetta: December 3
Oprisan: December 4 (tech must be shared with me by the end of class on December 3)
Mulligan/Feitler: December 6 (tech is due on December 3)


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November 7, 2018
I would like to order the mouthpieces, reeds and drum sticks soon, to ensure that they are here in time for the start of instruments for the beginning of December. If you are planning on ordering through the school, please make sure your order is placed before NOVEMBER 16, 2018.



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Friday, November 2, 2018

All students have been assigned an instrument and letters went home earlier this week. Starting next week, all classes are moving on to dance (most classes have already started it). Our various dance units will go for the entire month of November with presentations taking place during the first week of December. Please make sure you have appropriate footwear, as dancing in boots is not ideal.

We are aiming to begin instruments during the last two weeks of December. If you are planning on renting an instrument, please make sure that you have it at school for your first music class after your dance presentations. If you are purchasing a mouthpiece, please do so ASAP, as sometimes it can take a while for the orders to come in.


If all goes according to schedule, presentations will take place on the following dates:

Ohana: December 3
Gladman: December 4
Pivetta: December 3
Oprisan: December 3
Mulligan/Feitler: December 3

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018


*This post is for the 6/7 split


Most of the class has finished with with the Notation unit, we will use the next few classes to discuss instruments. I will be showing the students all the instrument choices and discussing with them the various challenges that each of them pose. Once students have learned about all of the instruments available, they will write down their top three choices and I will decide what instrument they are going to play.


Although grade 7 students will have the opportunity to change their instruments, it is STRONGLY recommended that they stay on their old instrument. Students who choose to remain will be able to help grade 6's therefore allowing us to progress faster than we would, which will in turn allow us to get to band music earlier. They will also be better prepared for the material next year.


I make my decision based on their choice, the other students choices, how they did on their notation test, the challenges the instrument poses, and what kind of student they have shown me that they are up until now (and other things such as size, instrument availability, maintaining a balance of instruments, etc....) Students will be playing these instruments until they leave Bakersfield (and hopefully continuing in high school), and I don't take this decision lightly. You will receive a letter in the beginning of November regarding instruments which will officially begin in January. (Although if possible, we would like to try to begin in the last two weeks of December... we'll have to see how our dance unit goes. So far, we've been ahead of where we were at this time last year.) 😊

After the instrument lessons, we move on to our first dance unit of the year.


I am in the process of making the dance groups for each class. Students are welcome to come in at recess or before or after school to help or give constructive suggestions.


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As discussed and voted on in class, I am estimating that the written test for this unit will take place on the following dates:

6/7 Ohana: October 18, 2018
7 Pivetta: October 18, 2018
7 Gladman: October 25, 2018 (changed due to the bus EVAC training on the 19th)
8 Oprisan: November 2, 2018 (we will re-visit this vote on October 19th to see if people would rather do the test on October 26)
8 Mulligan: October 24, 2018 (this was changed on October 11th, as students voted to not have review, but get an hour to write the test)

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September 15, 2018

The students of Ms. Mulligan's class asked me to post this...




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September 13, 2018


Below are links to some websites to help students better understand note and rest values.

website with lots of music games: 


Re-create the rhythm:

More rhythmic dictation:



As you know, we have been working on reading notes on the staff. Below are some links that may help you practice at home. Enjoy!













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September 12, 2018

This seemed to help a lot of the students in Ms. Oprisan's class today, so I thought I'd take a picture and post it... Notice that the hyphen/dash stays with the eighth note.



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September 4, 2018
The following information only pertains to the grade 8’s…
I thought it might be useful if I post the tentative dates for the “Composer of the Month” presentations. For most of the dates, I picked the earliest date in the month that has your hour long class. We all know that stuff happens throughout the year that I can’t predict this early (field trips, assemblies, illness etc.), so these dates aren’t written in stone, however assuming that nothing crazy happens, please be ready to present on your date. Also, don’t forget that individual journals are due the class after the presentation (so that you can reflect on how your presentation went).

September 18 - J.S. Bach
October 1 - Handel
November 19 - Haydn changed due to the written test and mathletes 
December 6 - Mozart
January 7 - Beethoven
February 4 - Joplin
March 7 - Chopin
April 2 - Tchaikovsky
May 6 - Brahms
June 6* - Wagner (this is a 40 minute period - please see me if extra time is required)

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Long Term Approximate Schedule:
  • September - beginning of November: Notation
  • November - December: Group Dances
  • January - March Break: playing instruments
  • March Break - May: Ballroom Dancing
  • May - June: playing instruments