James Foster Elementary Blog for Parents

Dear Parents,

Welcome to your Semester Reports!

Here you will learn about all that we have covered with your wonderful children during this semester.

Foster Keyboard class report:

The students learned how to play popular songs using notes from A-G and recognizing different octaves of G. They played the first 8 songs from "Ode to Joy" to "Deck the Halls" and "The Farmer in the Dell" and worked to proficiency in each song. The older students learned more about the rhythmic duration of notes, and how to determine the length of a note by looking at it. We also emphasized the idea of assigning a different finger for each key in the five-finger C position. The last few songs went outside the 5-finger position, and they learned how to move outside the basic hand position. As can be expected, the older children had a better handle on these concepts that the younger ones, but even the Kindergartners and 1st-graders were able to identify the correct notes to play each song, they just played at a slower pace than the older students. For each song, I asked them to play the song 5 times with the left and 5 times with the right hand, as piano requires the ambidextrous use of both hands. I also had them continue practicing and reviewing previous songs to get better at them and to build up the fluency, rhythm, and tempo to where they sound like the original songs. For the most advanced students, I had them try playing with hands together for an added challenge when the songs became too easy. The class showed satisfactory progress throughout the term.  ~Teacher Lilia

Foster Guitar class report:

The students learned how read tabs and play some basic chords. They used tabs to play popular children's songs like "Rain Rain Go Away," "Twinkle Little Star," "Hot Cross Buns," and "Happy Birthday." A couple of the more advanced students also learned basic chords like D and G, that are used in a lot of popular songs in various genres. We emphasized proper hand position, efficient use of the fingers, and the ability to pick the correct string at the correct time. At first, they had some trouble moving from one feet to another, but after some weeks of practice they developed proficiency and confidence. The students were given a sheet with fret numbers to know where to place their fingers, and they played the rhythm by ear. On the last day, each student took a test to see how well they played each of the songs we covered in class, and they all were able to play them and pass the test. The students made a great deal of progress through this 8-week class.  ~Teacher Bruno


Here is a summary of what we covered during the course.

First, I taught the kids how to properly close their hands as to not hurt themselves when they punched. Then they learned how to take a fighting stance, do a twist punch, a step-and-punch, and a back-fist. After that, we went over how to properly kick without hurting their toes or falling. They learned how to do a reverse front kick and a round-house kick. They also learned three basic blocks. Once they got used to their basic techniques, they learned three kihons (basic combinations that put different moves together). They also worked on timing punches and kicks, which are used to stop the attacker. Other than karate curriculum, we stretched to improve flexibility and prevent injuries as well as played games that are designed to help them develop athletically, while being fun. At the end of each class, we talked about the Student Creed and what it means, and how to avoid and best deal with bullies. I will write the Student Creed below so the parents can see what kind of character traits we promote.

Student Creed:

  1. I will develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that could reduce my mental growth or physical health.
  2. I will develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others.

3. I will use what I learn in class constructively and defensively to help myself and others and never be abusive or offensive.

Sense Shannon

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


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!