Helmers Elementary 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.

Please Note: There are NO REFUNDS ISSUED after the start of the program. No Exceptions.

REPORT FOR WEEK 6  - HELMERS ELEMENTARY (MARCH 2nd, 2017)

Today marks the last day of classes for the Helmers Elementary after school Voice Classes program.

In the K-2 class we started with breathing exercises with the addition of hissing/exhaling three times per second; this helped students better locate their diaphragms.  We then moved on to a series of vocal warmups including pitch/vowels, range, and sirens.  We then sang "Let It Go," "Lean on Me," "Amazing Grace," "America the Beautiful," "My Favorite Things" (new), and then some students really wanted to sing "Shake it Off," so I let them sing it while the rest of the class was packing up.

In the grade 3-6 class we started with the same breathing exercises and vocal pitch/range/vowel warmups as the previous class and even did the hissing/exhaling three times per second for the diaphragm.  We sang "What a Wonderful World," "My Favorite Things," "Stand by Me," "Lean on Me," "Over the Rainbow," "Imagine" (new, with modified lyrics to make them more child-friendly), and we ended with "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" (new).

REPORT FOR WEEK 5  - HELMERS ELEMENTARY (FEBRUARY 23, 2017)

Today in the grade K-2 singing class we started with the same breathing and vocal range/pitch warmups that we did last time, however, this time we added the siren exercise (start by singing high and go low in one long breath).  We started with "Lean on Me" and incorporated clapping during the bridge.  We had to go over the structure of the piece which took some time; we had to review the musical symbols such as the coda and sign.  We then ended with "Let It Go" and had one student sing the first verse by herself.

In the grade 3-6 class we did breathing and vocal warmups and incorporated the siren exercise too.  The first song we rehearsed was "Lean on Me," and since this group is older they went through it pretty quickly and got the clapping down no problem (I intend to have both classes perform that song together if possible).  One of the students did a descant style vocal with improvised solo; I might have her do that during the recital.  She took great interest in exploring this.  We then sang "Stand by Me" and "What a Wonderful Word."

REPORT FOR WEEK 4  - HELMERS ELEMENTARY (FEBRUARY 16, 2017)

Today in the grade K-2 singing class we did breathing warmups.  There were fewer shoulders going up which means an improvement in breathing technique.  We also did vocal exercise for pitch and range.  We opened the songs with "Let It Go" from Frozen and had some students sing solos/duets in front of the class.  We then worked on "Amazing Grace" and then "America the Beautiful".   We had students sing solos and duets for those two songs too.  Next class we will start "Lean On Me" which we might have both classes do together for the recital.

In the grade 3-6 class we did breathing and vocal warmups just as in the first class.  We started with "What a Wonderful" world and then did "My Favorite Things."  We then did "Over the Rainbow."  We will work more on the choreography for that song next week.  We then did "Stand by Me," and everyone knew exactly when to snap fingers/clap during the intro.  We ended with "Lean On Me" which we will start again next week.

REPORT FOR WEEK 3  - HELMERS ELEMENTARY (FEBRUARY 9, 2017)

Today in the grade K-2 singing class we did breathing warmups.  Students remembered the word "diaphragm" since we had introduced that term last week.  We also did vocal exercise for pitch and range.  We then worked on "America the Beautiful" followed by "Amazing Grace."  Finally we added "Let It Go" the track from the movie Frozen.  We will start next class with that last song.

In the grade 3-6 class we did breathing and vocal warmups similar to what was done in the first class.  We started with "Stand by Me."  The students had the rhythm down better this time around.  One of the students remembered the word "melisma" which we had introduced last week.  We then did "Over the Rainbow" and incorporated some theatrical movements with the lyrics in order to make the song more heartfelt.  We ended with "My Favorite Things" and "What a Wonderful World" which we will revisit next week.

REPORT FOR WEEK 2 - HELMERS ELEMENTARY (FEBRUARY 2nd, 2017)

Today in the grades K-2 class we started with breathing techniques.  Students were instructed to remain relaxed and to not let their shoulders go up.  I taught them the word "diaphragm."  We also did some vocal warmups for both vowel pronunciation and pitch/range.  We focused mainly on learning the melodic contour of "Amazing Grace."  Toward the end of the class we started on "America the Beautiful" and "Imagine."  Next week we will focus on "America the Beautiful," then we will review "Amazing Grace."  The new selection for next week will be "FROZEN".  I also told students to sing loud and proud so that they can be heard.

In the grades 3-6 class we started with breathing techniques.  Since this was an older and smaller group I made sure to answer questions about where the diaphragm is and what its function is.  I also focused a lot on technique such as holding long notes and stagger breathing in a group as well as taking a "mini breath" versus a full breath.  We did vowel and pitch/range warmups.  We then focused on "Over the Rainbow" since two of the students really loved that song, but then after I added "Stand by Me."  I taught the students how to feel the beat and snap their fingers on beat 2 during the introduction.  I taught them what a coda and a sign is.  Next week we will focus on "Stand by Me."   I gave students the acronym "STAR": Sit or Stand Tall And Relaxed.

In both groups I reminded the students of the recitals and let them know that we need to work on getting the songs down.  I also went over some sections of the pieces one by one.

 

REPORT FOR WEEK 1 - HELMERS ELEMENTARY (JAN 26, 2017)

Voice Group Class K-2

Our first class was our introductory class - students got to meet the teacher and vice-versa.  We talked about singing posture, breath control and melisma.  We also discussed also what Melodic Phrasing is.  We started off with two well-known songs, Amazing Grace and America the Beautiful.

We suggest that the children rehearse the verses at home.  The goal is to have them memorized.

Please make sure your children bring their curriculum book to the next Wednesday class!

Voice Group Class 3-6

Our first class was our introductory class - students got to meet the teacher and vice-versa.  We talked about singing posture, breath control and melisma.  We also discussed also what Melodic Phrasing is.  We started off with two well-known songs, Lean on Me, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Stand By Me.

We suggest that the children rehearse the verses at home.  The goal is to have them memorized.

Please make sure your children bring their curriculum book to the next Wednesday 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!