Music Notes

The Ice Cream Social found happy students celebrating being back to El Toro. Back to School Night was a huge success and now it’s time to get into the rhythm of our school days and begin . . . music!

  El Toro students will be having music each and every Tuesday throughout the year, beginning on Sept. 17th. We will study composers, music theory, and sing, sing, sing! But, before we begin, a bit about me.

  This will be my 43rd year teaching. I graduated from Cal Poly then did my California Credential work at Westwings Elementary on Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Viet Nam War was looming and we watched as our service people would deploy. From this experience came my passion to teach Patriotic songs to our youth.

  I have been married for 49 years to a rocket scientist – no joke! Before his retirement, Steve worked at United Technologies. We have two children, Brian is a mechanical engineer and Diane is beginning her 17th year in the classroom at Placerville, Ca. She teaches those amazing 7th graders! As a Language Arts teacher, you’ll find her grading essays of 156 students on the weekends.

  I am also active in our Morgan Hill community. Girl and Boy Scouting have provided me with wonderful opportunities and cherished friends. Freedom Fest’s Patriotic Sing, now in its 32nd year, enables our community’s youth to sing and perform the traditional songs of our country. I am very proud to have been named “Woman of the Year” by Morgan Hill’s Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented, as a surprise, right in Portable 30 with some of our darling students as an audience. Mr. McDonald assumed the role of cheerleader! (No surprise there!)

 Music and children go hand in hand. Children demonstrate this when they bang on pots with wooden spoons or sing nonsense songs as toddlers. I am fortunate to be able to refine their efforts to become percussionists and opera singers!

  Music truly is a magical and lifelong companion. It provides solace to aching hearts, energy through the use of tempo, and it is a mirror of our history. Confucius once said, “If you want to learn about a civilization, listen to its music.”

  Our fifth graders will be receiving recorders in October. These instruments, which cost $2.85, are invaluable in teaching notation, rhythm, and tone. Our fifth graders will learn to read music! We will have several chances to demonstrate our skills at programs throughout the year.

  Fourth graders will learn songs relating to our very own California. All students will study the instruments of the orchestra and compare and contrast lives of great composers. Our TKs and Ks will learn rhyming songs and play rhythm instruments.  And, of course, all of our students will learn songs reflecting health and science and perform on our stage.  

  We have an El Toro Elementary School Choir. We sing at various community events, at Valley Pines, and journey to Stanford to sing the National Anthem. Choir is made up of 4th and 5th grade singers, there are no auditions or fees to participate in choir. We will meet each Tuesday after school. I will be asking for help with snacks and clerical tasks once we begin. Last year, we had 46 singers in our amazing melody, and harmony, makers!

  Please be watching for additional information. As you know, Mr. McDonald is diligent about including music in his communication with parents.

With a song in my heart, Karen Ann Crane                           allthecranes@netzero.com