Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Falling back into School! - Welcome!

Summer has flown by once again... I hope you all enjoyed some relaxation and laughter with family and friends to brighten your days this season. 

My summer was full of adventures. In June we listened to my husband's jazz band "Stolen Moments" perform in the Vermont Jazz Festival. My favorite gig was outside of Leunig's on Church Street! We traveled for my nieces wedding to Raleigh, North Carolina and from their traveled the long way home in order to see some great music in Nashville, Tennessee. 

We camped, hiked and boated in Vermont. I attended a 4 day Summer Music Educators Workshop at Carnegie Hall and performed show tunes in a Times Square "Pop-up-Concert" in a chorus with my son. The workshop was run by educators and musicians from esteemed schools such as Harvard and Juilliard. My colleagues came from all over the world, Cambodia, Brazil, Australia and Vietnam, just to name a few. In August we headed back down south for a big family (35 of us in one house!) vacation on the beaches of Emerald Isle, North Carolina.
Wycliffe Gordon teaching improv...
Singing in Times Square!
 Choral Technique with Dr. Ronnie Oliver.

Now refreshed and rejuvenated, I am looking forward to seeing everyone back in the NEW Mater Christi Music Room!! I am now located in Leah Easley's former room, If you haven't seen it please feel free to stop in and say "Hello!"

Looking ahead to the fall we have some exciting new changes to our schedule at the Middle School grade levels. We will be adjusting the schedule to alternate the Fine Arts classes. Each grade level, 6, 7 & 8, will have Music, Art or Maker space, twice each week as part of an 11 week rotation. All Elementary grade level classes PS/PK - 5th grade will maintain the same schedule as in previous years, meeting in all fine arts areas once per week for 42 minutes.

Mater Christi Concert Choir!

In order to foster continued growth in the performing artsthe Middle School Concert Choir will be rehearsing during study hall times on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Students may choose to attend one rehearsal per week or both. I look forward to a great year of singing!!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Springing Ahead!

Springtime in the Music Room at Mater Christi

We have had a busy winter full of learning and fun in the music room... 

Composer of the Month

All grades learned about our composers of the month: (Click on each composer to view the slide presentations.) Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Benjamin Britten and Duke Ellington.

Instruments of the Orchestra

The Elementary Grades explored the Instruments of the Orchestra, using Carnegie Hall's (click on the link to try it out!): Listening Adventures and Benjamin Britten's "Young Musicians Guide to the Instruments of the Orchestra" as a learning tool. 

Together we explored:

  1. The 4 unique instrument families of the orchestra - String, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion.
  2. How instruments within each family sound and play.
  3. How size affects the pitch of each instrument.
  4. Where each instrument sits within the orchestra and why.
In grades K - 3 we are now working on a choral selection for our Spring Concert that reflects some of this learning. The students are working so hard and have made great progress in very little time!!

Preschool, Pre-K  - 2nd grade have explored Jazz music using rhythm and improvisation with instruments and our voices. 2nd graders put together vocal improvisation collaboratively choosing different scat syllables to sing with melodic contouring.

Elementary Grade Level Recorder Unit

Grades 3, 4 and 5 have been growing their skills on the Recorder. We have mastered "Hot Cross Buns" and "Mary Had A Little Lamb" and have progressed to performing an arrangement of Mendelssohn's "Nocturne" from "A Midsummer Night's Dream"!...

The students have been working towards collaboration with the Vermont Youth Orchestra as participants in Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute program, "Link Up, The Orchestra Moves". In classroom learning included recorder practice, learning repertoire to be performed in the program and even some dancing! The students explored how music moves us aurally, physically, emotionally, imaginatively, (and ultimately, Spiritually!). Students played along on their recorders with the orchestra, sang, danced and listened to various orchestral and operatic works and composers that exemplified different types of musical movement. 

Middle School Ukulele Unit

Grades 6,7 and 8 have been growing their skills on the Ukulele. We have some novice Ukulele players and others who have been great peer leaders in the classroom. All students will complete the Ukulele Unit knowing the parts and string names of the Ukulele, How to play 5 basic Chords: C, F, G, Am, Em and how to play the song, "You Are My Sunshine". The unit will culminate with an independent song choice and collaborative or solo performance of the song for the class. It has been a fun unit so far. You may even hear a few Ukuleles during the Spring Concert! 

Learning the language of Music...

Understanding the foundations of music theory are essential to communicating through music. While Elementary level learners are exploring lines and spaces on the musical staff, students in Grades 3, 4, 5 and Middle level learners in Grades 6,7 and 8 are integrating comprehension of the language of music into their Recorder and Ukulele units. Students are learning the "alphabet" of music in order to begin or continue building the skill of "reading" musical notation on a staff. Concepts such as pitch recognition, accidentals and minor 2nd intervals/"half-steps" vs. Major 2nd intervals/"whole steps" are being practiced, listened to and written.

Middle level learners are applying these concepts as they work toward comprehension of interval patterns of a Major Scale vs. a minor scale and how these are reflected in the chords they play on the Ukulele.

ACDA Honor Choir

Mater Christi has 10 students who will be attending this year's American Choral Director's Association Honor Choir Concert. The students are preparing a challenging repertoire of choir music over the next few weeks. They will be joining musicians in Grades 6 - 9 from around the State of Vermont for rehearsal on Friday, May 5 and a culminating performance on Saturday, May 6, at the First Baptist Church on St. Paul Street in Burlington. Come support your fellow MCS musicians and hear the results of this amazing musical collaboration!

Spring Concert Dates!

Our Spring Concerts will be held: 

Thursday, May 17 @ 6:00 pm for Elementary Grades K-5


Tuesday, May 22 @ 6:00 pm for Middle School Grades 6 - 8

Concert dress will be 
Dressy slacks, skirts or dresses ~ Collared shirts ~ Dress shoes ~

* Please no jeans or sneakers

Happy Spring!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Celebrations and Christmas Cheer!


The Middle School Arts Night was a wonderful way to end the Mater Christi Art & Music Christmas  celebrations. The choral and band students gave outstanding, heart-felt performances! From the Rock Band to the K-3 Chorus all of the students worked hard and came together to produce some wonderful music. 

Through our Concert Reflection Form feedback I am hearing students learning the value of collaboration and listening to one another. Students are appreciating perseverance and one another's unique gifts and talents. It is so exciting to see this growth!

Meanwhile in the classroom...
Our composer of the month in November was Aaron Copland where students learned about Copland's musical depiction of America through Symphonic works such as his Ballet Suite, "Billy The Kid". 
December's composer of the month was Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Students are learning about the composer who brought us the story of "The Nutcracker" composed into the famous ballet we hear so often at Christmas time.

Upcoming events in Music....

* We are finishing rhythm and moving on to pitch and melody. 
* Middle School will begin a Ukulele Unit
* Grades 3-5 will begin a Recorder Unit called "The Orchestra Moves" in conjunction with the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association.

Vermont~American Choral Director's Association 
Children's Honor's Choir

2017 MCS Honor's Choir participants
Select students from around the State of Vermont in grades 6-9 will be gathering May 4-5 for the 2018 ACDA Honor's Choir Festival. I have chosen students from MCS in grades 6-8 that I feel may be interested and who have not participated in the past (so as to give equal opportunity). I have handed an information packet out to these students who should be bringing it home. **Please note that I have not seen all students for music class since the concert due to the Holiday schedule changes, so I will hand out the rest of the packets when we return from Christmas break. I will send an informational letter out to parents of the selected students. All registration information and monies are due January 26, 2018 if your child wishes to participate in this wonderful opportunity.
Thank you for your continued support of the Mater Christi music program. I appreciate the honor of teaching your children and fostering the discovery and development of their skills and talents. Working at Mater Christi with your children is a Christmas Blessing that I am most grateful for this Season. 
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Holiday Cheer is Here at Mater Christi!

The Holidays are here and Mater Christi is filled with cheer! 

Mater Christi's annual Tree Lighting ceremony will take place before the December 14th Concert at 
5:30 pm

**All carolers singing at the Tree Lighting should 
arrive in the gym at 
5:15 pm 

Please bring a flashlight if you have one!! 


This year students will be performing & displaying artwork as Mater Christi Music & Art Departments combine to present a:

Mater Christi Arts Night

Many thanks to Laura Poirier for setting up the artwork and decorating our stage!


Concert details for the Performing Arts:

Kindergarten - 3rd Grade Chorus
and 4th & 5th Grade Chorus

Concert time is 6:00 pm, December 14th
(please forgive the error in the previous blog post)

**Arrival time is 5:40 pm. 

All students should report to their classroom teachers in the Elementary School (including 4th & 5th Graders).

Beginner Band, Intermediate Band, Intro. Jazz Band, Basic Drum line, and Rock Band 2 members please see information provided by Mrs. Heath!

Middle School Concert Choir (Grades 6-8)

Concert time is 6:00 pm, December 19th
(please forgive the error in the previous blog post)

Arrival time is 
5:40 pm

Advanced Band, Select Jazz Band, Sax Ensemble, Elite Drum line & Rock Band 1 please see information provided by Mrs. Heath!


Concert dress is formal dress - Church/Holiday attire
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Santa hats encouraged!
Please no sneakers or jeans! 

**Concert attendance is mandatory and part of all students Performing Standard grade as per the National Standards for Music. If your child cannot attend due to a conflict, illness or emergency please contact me via email.


May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with Joy and Peace!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

2017 Great Beginnings...!

September and October have brought great energy and engaged learning to our music classroom!

Musical learning in September began with... 

Composer of the month: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Learning about this classical music composer established a point of reference for which to compare other composers and compositional genres. Students in grades 4-8 began a listening journal with a reflective entry on Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525: I. Allegro.

Music Theory: Notation, Rhythm, Meter and Steady Beat are the foundational building blocks of the language of music. We learned about the evolution of this language as a means of communication in various cultures. Students began their own collaborative, project based learning creating a story using rhythm to communicate, which they will perform in small groups for the class. Additionally we have been growing individual musical language skills by sight reading and transcribing music at the beginning of each class.  I have been so impressed watching these skills grow each week.

Take a look & listen to the fantastic work happening in 2M...

Creative learning continued in October...
In grades 4-8, our foundational learning about the language of music continued to grow as we ventured into melodic transcription as well as trying more complex rhythmic transcription. Story through song using melody and lyrics became a theme in all classes. Students embellished stories with sound with great Halloween verses like "Five Little Pumpkins" in Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes. Halloween got extra spooky as classes in PS - Grade 2 added sound to a favorite music class reading of "The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything"!

Our learning established connections to the wonderful performance of "Schoolhouse Rock" put on by our 3rd-8th graders! 

Bows and well-deserved applause for a great performance of "Schoolhouse Rock"!
October's composer of the monthAndrew Lloyd Webber...

...not to be confused with the famous Andrew Gautreau!

 Grades 3 - 8 added to their listening journals and expanded their '70's dance groove repertoire with the theme song from Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar"!

Concert Preparation: Preparation has begun for the Christmas Concert in December! Emphasis began with instruction on healthy singing, posture and pedagogy around creating and blending sound as an ensemble. All grade levels are being challenged right from the start with harmonic singing from Kindergarten through 8th grade!

Dates for our Christmas Concert!

Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 6:30pm


Kindergarten - 3rd Grade Chorus and 4th - 5th Grade Chorus: 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 @ 6:30 pm


Middle School Concert Choir

(All students in Grades 6 - 8)

Concert attire: Holiday "dressy"! Santa hats welcome!
Boys: Dress pants, shoes, collared shirt - ties optional :)
Girls: Dress, skirt or pants - Skirts and dresses should be no shorter than 2" above the knee! 
- Please contact me with any questions or concerns. 

Mater Christi Bands will be integrated into these same concert dates/times. 
Please look for announcements from Mrs. Heath. 

I am looking forward to many more musical moments in the coming school year!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sounds of Summer

Music & Fun in the Summertime Sun!6359814757378347981554907373_summer.jpg

Summertime Reflections...

I hope you are all enjoying a FUN summer!! Thinking back on 2016-17 school year I am remembering all of your wonderful smiles and energy.  I am looking forward to hearing about all of your musical adventures this summer ~ even if it is just hanging out listening to music with friends! While you are enjoying the sunshine I will be getting our music classroom ready for your return at the end of August. In the meantime, here is a little bit about what I have been up to this summer and some music room news...
Mrs. Marino’s Musical Moments this summer...
This summer I have had the privilege of hearing some great music. My husband’s band, “Stolen Moments” played during the Burlington Jazz Festival with my son stepping in as a guest singer. My family heard some fun small bands at the Jazz Fest as well. The bands were visiting from Boston, Montreal and New Hampshire.  At the Flynn Theatre (where the Mater Christi 3rd, 4th and 5th graders played recorder with the Vermont Youth Orchestra!), we were able to see Diana Krall live in concert.  She is an amazing musician!  On August 6th my family is going to a beautiful concert venue set in the woods of Massachusetts, called Tanglewood. Tanglewood is where the Boston Symphony Orchestra plays in the summer, among many other musicians. We will be seeing a famous cello player named Yo Yo Ma play with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. If you have the opportunity you should listen to Yo Yo Ma and Diana Krall if you have not heard them perform.


Exciting things happening at Mater Christi in the music classroom in 2017-2018...

We have some new classroom instruments this year that I can’t wait to share with you. For the elementary school musicians we have some personal xylophones that we will be using together as a class. Just arriving in the building for the middle school musicians we have beautiful new Ukuleles with cases! We will be learning the Ukulele as part of our project-based learning for the year! I know some of you are experts already - I can’t wait to hear you play :) That’s all for now. Look for a supply request from Mrs. Rock soon. Enjoy the rest of your summer!!! - Mrs. M. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Spring Concert Details and our week in Mrs. M's

This week in music Kindergarten - 8th Grade students spent hours of class time preparing for our concert on Tuesday. Students worked on • memorizing music • proper performance posture • listening to one another as they sing and • communicating a message with their song interpretation! Whew!!! I am excited to see all of this hard work pay off in a fun musical presentation on Tuesday!

Our concert will be held on Tuesday, May 16th at 6:30 pm!!

Please have your students arrive by 6:15.

Concert dress for Tuesday evening should be: 

Kindergarten through 6th Grade:
• Dresses and skirts (no shorter than 2" above knee)
• Dress pants with dress shirt 
• Dress shoes 
• Ties are great! (but not mandatory).  😎  
Please do not wear jeans, sweatpants or sneakers.

7th & 8th Grade Concert Dress:
7th Grade: Spring Dress-up!! 
Honoring the student-directed nature of the 7/8 concert presentation, 7th graders voted on and should wear: 
• Spring Dresses & Skirts (no shorter than 2" above knee) 
• Dress pants, dress shirt 
• Dress(ier) Shoes. 
• Ties are great! (but not mandatory). 😎
Please do not wear jeans, sweatpants or sneakers.

8th Grade: Honoring the student-directed nature of the 7/8 concert presentation, 8th graders voted on and should wear: 
• Casual/dressy black or navy on bottom 
• White top 
• Black or dark shoes.
Although we are more casual please do not wear jeans, sweatpants or sneakers.

Thank you all for supporting your children and all of the hard work they have done this year in music.  Please contact me with any questions you may have about the concert.

Meanwhile ~ the students in Preschool and Pre-K focused on welcoming Spring (and some sunshine) with song!! Ask your little one to sing you a cheery Spring song today!

I hope you all enjoy a restful and fun-filled weekend!!