Emblem Academy Blog for Parents

Dear Parents,

Welcome to your Weekly Report Blog!

Here you will learn about all that we have covered with your wonderful children during the week.  This blog is updated weekly.  Please check periodically for the updates.

Please be informed that we do a special performance for all the parents at the end of the school year, in May, at our Oksana School of Music & Art Grand Recital.  You may see the previous years’ recitals at this link:  Grand Recitals.

Please stay tuned for the next Grand Recital date, soon to be announced.

Also, please note: NO REFUNDS are issued after the program has started.

REPORT FOR WEEK 7 - PIANO - EMBLEM ACADEMY (MARCH 20, 2017)

The students reviewed their melodies on page 19, which were short fragments that tested their ability to sight read. After a quick review K-2 worked on pages 20-22 and grades 3-6 worked on pages 45 and 47. These pages focused on technique and ear training, to reinforce their ability to recognize rhythms and which finger to use on which key.

REPORT FOR WEEK 8  - VOICE  - EMBLEM ACADEMY (MARCH 21, 2017)

Today both of the groups combined for a single session of grades K-6. We began by doing vocal warmups, then reviewing "Happy" from Katt week then proceeded to the next song, "Hymn for the Weekend." This is one f the more complex songs of the book so I had them listen to the original a couple of times to get familiar, then start to learn the lyrics and melody one verse at a time. We focused primarily on the first verse and chorus. They were able to sing the first half of the song proficiently by the end of class time.

REPORT FOR WEEK 6 - PIANO - EMBLEM ACADEMY (MARCH 13, 2017)

Group K-2:  Began with review of the song on page 17 and proceeded onto pages 18-19, which involve more practice at playing melodies and improving sight reading skills.

Group 3-6:  Began with each student working on either the 1st or 2nd half of Sailor Jack and performing his part for the class. They got through that quickly so we were able to work through pages 35-45, which introduce white key notes and how to identify each note in the keyboard. We left off at the tune on page 45.

REPORT FOR WEEK 5 - PIANO - EMBLEM ACADEMY (MARCH 6, 2017)

Group K-2: Began with a review of the song on page 15, then proceeded to a group rhythm and ear training activities on page 16. After that, the students began working on the tune on page 17 and most were able to grasp it by the end of the session.

Group 3-6: Began with a review of the song on pages 24-25, then proceeded to "Old MacDonald" on page 26-27 followed by group rhythm and ear training drills on the next couple of pages. They left off on page 30, which is the first part of a very long song, "Sailor Jack" which we will aim to complete next week.

REPORT FOR WEEK 7  - VOICE  - EMBLEM ACADEMY (MARCH 14, 2017)

Group K-2: Reviewed "Can You feel the Love Tonight" and then focused on "Happy" for the rest of the class.

Group 3-6:  Reviewed "Can You feel the Love Tonight" and then went over "Happy" for a few minutes, but they all are familiar with the song so we had time for them to perform solos of any song they've learned this semester. The girls would offer constructive critiques of what they liked about each student's solo and what the student could improve upon.

REPORT FOR WEEK 6 - VOICE  - EMBLEM ACADEMY (MARCH 7, 2017)

Group K-2: Began with vocal warmups involving scales, triads, and octave slides. Then proceeded to review "Over the Rainbow" and then work on "America the Beautiful." The kids are all very familiar with these two songs so we got through them quickly and could spend some time going over "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," the 3rd song in their books. This one was more challenging because not all the kids are familiar with this song and the melody is more complex. We will continue working on it next week.

Group 3-6: Began with vocal warmups and their group warmup song. Then we reviewed their last week's song, "What a Wonderful World," and then learned "Amazing Grace" as a group. After singing it as a class a few times, each girl who wanted to do so performed a solo of her favorite song learned in class so far.

REPORT FOR WEEK 5 - VOICE  - EMBLEM ACADEMY (FEB 28, 2017)

K-2 mostly reviewed Over the Rainbow and Make New Friends/A Circles Round. We talked about silence and dynamics.

3-6, I was happy to learn, did their homework in listening to and selecting a song that none of them yet knew. By a vote, the group decided on "What a Wonderful World," which I've asked them to listen to and look over before next week's class. Otherwise we reviewed My Favorite Things and our round, Peace is the World Smiling. I also played them a song and we talked about it afterwards.

REPORT FOR WEEK 4 - PIANO - EMBLEM ACADEMY (FEB 27, 2017)

Group K-2: Began by reviewing page 14, then went on to spend the class working on the song on page 15 until everyone had a firm understanding of how to look at the written music and use their fingers to play the tune correctly. Playing this song correctly will form the foundation of the songs they will play for the remainder of the semester program, therefore we took care to make sure each child understood it well.

Group 3rd-6th: Began by reviewing last session's material, then proceeded to "Jolly Old St. Nicholas. The kids understood the concepts of rhythm and finger placement well enough to learn this song quickly, therefore we proceeded to learn "Old McDonald" and leave off on page 27.

REPORT FOR WEEK 4 - VOICE  - EMBLEM ACADEMY (FEB 21, 2017)

We did a lot of work on listening and focus yesterday.

K-2  Did work on phrasing in Over the Rainbow. We tried new entrances on our round Make New Friends/A Circle's Round. We sang through Shake it Off. I began to introduce Amazing Grace.

3-6 started with Peace is the World Smiling in individual entrances and used it to work intensively on listening and singing in a homo phonic style. Then we reviewed My Favorite Things. The kids asked to start something new, so we looked at Shake it Off.. I asked the kids to listen outside of class to a few songs from the book that they may never have heard, or at least don't listen to regularly. Next week we'll choose a song together that will be an area of growth for everyone.

REPORT FOR WEEK 3 - VOICE  - EMBLEM ACADEMY (FEB 14th, 2017)

Today in voice classes, we worked on listening and focus. Both groups did vocalizing and breathing warmups, with an emphasis on open ears.

K-2 revisited the round "Make New Friends/A Circle's Round" as usual, and worked further into "Over the Rainbow." We have now looked at the whole song. We also did subdivision practice through clapping and counting.

3-6 we talked about whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes briefly, and practiced clapping and saying these. We continued working on "My Favorite Things," experimenting with tempo and the density, texture, and style of our voices as a group, using it as a type of variable etude. We also sang our round "Peace is the World Smiling" but this time with each student holding their own on an entrance of the round.

REPORT FOR WEEK 3 - PIANO - EMBLEM ACADEMY (FEB 13th, 2017)

K-2:  Began with review of tune on page 11, then proceeded to the exercises on page 12-13, combining rhythm with technique. We worked through the ear training drill on page 14.

3rd-6th: Began with review of the song on page 15, then worked through the ear training and composition drills on pages 16-19.

REPORT FOR WEEK 2 - PIANO - EMBLEM ACADEMY (FEB 6th, 2017)

The younger group started by reviewing pages 8-9 and the general concepts of finger numbers and placement on the keyboard. They did some ear training drills to recognize ascending vs. descending pitch, then proceeded to learn pages 10-11, which include their first simple melodies.

The older group began by reviewing the general concepts of pitch, rhythm, and finger placement, then proceeded to learn the content pages 14-18. These included short songs and ear training drills.

REPORT FOR WEEK 2  - VOICE  - EMBLEM ACADEMY (FEB 7th, 2017)

Today, the K-2 class worked on the first few phrases of "over the rainbow" up to the lyric "once in a lullaby." We revisited the round I taught them on the first day "Make New Friends/A Circle's Round."

The 3-6 class is working on "My Favorite Things" which we sang through all of, but only did thorough work on up until the lyric "girls in white dresses." We also looked at the round that we're working on for that class, which is "Peace Is The World Smiling." I mentioned to them that they might like to watch "The Sound Of Music" over the week if they have the ability and the time.

A common theme for both classes today was breathing and body awareness, as well as building a working posture to enhance the physical cooperation of the voice. We worked on vocal warm ups and did vocalizations which specifically encourage the most natural state of the vocal folds, in an effort to get students in touch with a comfortable, safe, natural vocal timbre.

REPORT FOR WEEK 1 - PIANO - EMBLEM ACADEMY (JAN 30th, 2017)

For the first class, K-2, we got up to page 8 in the Piano Curriculum Book, emphasizing proper finger use and awareness of ascending versus descending pitch.

Grades 3-6 worked through page 14 of the Piano Curriculum Book, finishing Unit 1, learning the essentials of finger usage, pitch on the keyboard, and basic concept of rhythm.

Please have your children practice the above mentioned pages at home so no one is lagging behind.

REPORT FOR WEEK 1 - VOICE  - EMBLEM ACADEMY (JAN 31st, 2017)

Grades K-2: we worked on vocal breathing exercises, vocalises exercises, matching pitch to an instrument, basics of counter-point.  We started learning 'FROZEN' from the voice curriculum book.

Please have your children work on memorizing the lyrics so they come prepared to the next class.

Grades 3-6:  we worked on vocal breathing exercises, vocalises exercises, matching pitch to an instrument, basics of counter-point.  We started learning 'My Favorite Things' from the voice curriculum book and we worked on a round called 'Peace is The World Smiling'.

Please have your children work on memorizing the lyrics so they come prepared to the next class.

Please note:

We do offer private, one-on-one music lessons in the comfort of your home.  So, we suggest to continue your children’s training with one of our outstanding instructors so they don’t have a long gap between lessons, and therefore hinder their progress.

Thank you very much.

Oksana and Staff

www.oksanaschoolofmusic.com


Please watch this TED Ed video on YouTube to understand the importance of music lessons:

Original video is posted on TED Ed - Lessons Worth Sharing!