Dear Parents/Guardians,

Welcome to Mile Tree and Green Meadows Music! I am excited to begin this new school year as a member of the Mile Tree Elementary School and Green Meadows Elementary School families and I look forward to partnering with you in nurturing your child’s musical intelligence during these early childhood and elementary years!

Lifetime music-making ability, as well as the capacity to which one will be able to appreciate and be enriched by musical experiences, is uniquely dependent upon the musical experiences to which one is exposed during infancy and in early childhood. The years from birth to age 7 are critical to the development of the musical mind. Research shows that melodies experienced before the age of 7 through singing, playing, and moving provide the building blocks for the foundation of all future musical development. Music Class at Mile Tree and Green Meadows will focus on ensuring those essential building blocks, and on strengthening and scaffolding upon that foundation as your child's musical intelligence develops.

Experiences in the music classroom are designed to be fully engaging and fun, and to involve the whole child: body, mind, and heart. For the younger children, it is “Music for the pure joy of it!”, for it is in such an environment that the best and most enduring understandings can take root, and where the “vocabulary” and “syntax” of music can be naturally and joyfully acquired. Indeed, the children will learn music in much the same way that they learn language.

Because each child’s primary musical instrument is his/her singing voice, each of our lessons will have primarily a vocal emphasis, taking special care to nurture and encourage vocal exploration, in-tune singing, and proper and healthy use of the singing voice. Students will sing in small and large groups, and there will be many opportunities for solo singing and small group performances in class throughout the year.

Students will learn to perform a varied repertoire of traditional folk songs, dances, play parties, and singing games selected for age-appropriateness, richness of language, lasting value, and musical content. They will interpret music of great composers through movement. They will listen to songtales and reenact them with puppets and props, and they will improvise their own songs. Students will also explore classroom percussion instruments, both pitched and unpitched. Green Meadows' fourth graders will begin recorders. Through these experiences, musical memory will be stretched and strengthened, and an expanding vocabulary of melodies, of rhythmic and tonal patterns, will become the foundation for interpreting and expressing future musical thoughts and ideas.

Once musical ears are primed for music literacy, first graders will be introduced to the music notation symbols which represent the musical language they are beginning to internalize. Music literacy is taught sequentially through the Conversational Solfege Method of Dr. John Feierabend, which is based on the Kodaly philosophy of music education. By Fourth Grade, students should be able to read, write, and create simple melodic patterns using grade level standard music notation symbols. 

I would like to thank you all for your past support of Music at Mile Tree Elementary School and at Green Meadows Elementary School, and I ask for your continued support as we begin a new chapter together! I am grateful for the privilege of working to help ensure your children’s early childhood and elementary music education, and I look forward to meeting each of you!

Thank you for visiting!

Sincerely,

Diane M. Rodriguez, Music Teacher