El Toro Music Note
The students truly increased their “oral tradition” in December. Many songs were added to the list of songs they are capable of singing without needing songsheets or charts. We sang “songs of the season” and performed for our Standing Room Only audiences! Thanks to all of you who attended our Holiday Concerts. Our choir collected cozy socks, mittens and caps for youngsters here in Morgan Hill. We had a mountain of donations – thanks so much!
Our choir also “took our show on the road” and headed to Valley Pines to entertain the residents. We gave each resident a Santa hat and spent time singing traditional Holiday songs. I am so very proud of our choir members. They are encouraged to talk with each of the residents. It is quite heartwarming to see our youngsters engaged in happy conversation with the elderly!
We studied the life of Peter Tchaikovsky. We listened to excerpts from “The Nutcracker.” These selections are holiday traditions and it’s fun to know a bit about their composer! Our fourth graders discovered Tchaikovsky was nine years old at the time of the California Gold Rush. While he was writing ballets in Russia, sailors were singing Sea Chanteys as they headed around the Horn to the California gold fields!
All of our grade levels had successful Holiday Concerts. The children made it perfectly clear they loved singing “If I Were a Reindeer” and “The Sounds of Santa’s Workshop!” And, playing the Kazoos was a real hit! Thanks to those of you who attended our Concerts. Our students love to perform! Thanks, too, to Mr. McDonald for being our amazing emcee and leading us in our traditional “12 Days of Christmas!” Turns out, with our 4 Holiday Concerts, he sang the “48 Days of Christmas”!
Our older youngsters celebrated the Holidays and sang the treasured songs of the season, including “Silent Night”. I like to include this song in our studies because of its historical significance as well as its global popularity. And, of course, we sang Hanukkah songs and learned a Spanish lullaby. Ah, so many songs, so little time!
Our fifth graders are doing so well with their recorders. They have a good understanding of note values and dynamics. Our Afterschool Choir will resume with Stampede on January 21st. I am accepting new, interested 4th and 5th graders to choir.
January will find our younger students learning “Penguin Polka”, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, “The Months of the Year”, “Uno, Dos, Tres” and so many more! We will be discussing the keyboard instruments and listening to compositions by Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart.
Our older youngsters will be learning songs from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Peace Rallies. We will sing “We Shall Overcome”, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”, and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.” We will discover the impact music has on social causes. Music can unite the human spirit, bring comfort, and lift your heart.
Karen Ann Crane