On Thursday, October 5, all Dommerich 3rd, 4th and 5th graders will go on a field trip to hear the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. We are grateful for this wonderful opportunity, which is provided to all OCPS students, with funding provided by OCPS and United Arts of Central Florida. This helps fulfill the mission of the OCPS Arts team. We believe that all students, regardless of ethnicity or socioeconomic status, deserve equitable access to the highest quality arts education.
The concert will includes pieces from the 1700s up to music of modern times. One thing we learn as we listen to music from different eras is that even music written 300 years ago sounds familiar! It is just as fun to listen to the Royal Fireworks Music by George F. Handel as the Star Wars theme by John Williams. Some composer’s music is well known, even though their names are hard to pronounce. Tchaikovsky’s music is often heard at Christmas time when his Nutcracker Ballet music is played everywhere. But he also wrote heroic and patriotic music, such as the 1812 Overture, which included an actual canon to supplement the instruments of the orchestra. We will also hear music from famous operas, including the Toreador song from Carmen.
During music class, students will learn about instruments of the orchestra, composers, and how music is used to tell a story or convey an image or feeling. We will move to music, listen and analyze musical elements, and even sing songs related to the works on the program. Then, we look forward to hearing the music in a live performance on October 5!
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Music performance groups for the fall term are starting soon! Dommerich music groups practice after school every week and perform concerts at Dommerich and in the community. Chorus meets on Thursdays and Orff Band practices on Tuesdays. Both groups are open to all 4th and 5th grade students; no audition required! Chorus is for students who love to sing and perform. Orff Band students play instruments like xylophone, recorder, and drums.
Students who sign up are making a commitment to attend all rehearsals and the concert. Here are the important dates for the fall term:
Application due: Tuesday, September 5
First practice: Thursday, September 7
Concerts: Saturday, December 2 and Tuesday, December 12.
Application due: Friday, September 29
First practice: Tuesday, October 3
Concert: Tuesday, December 12.
In the spring term there will be Recorder Club, Orff Band and a musical performed by Chorus. Third grade students can audition to perform in spring term performance groups. Applications for the spring term will come out in January.
The Dommerich Music Room is new and improved thanks to an investment by the PTA. They purchased new Orff Instruments and accessories so all children can use a quality instrument and the entire class can play at the same time. This equipment empowers children as they use their imagination to sing, move, play and create great music!
Thank you Dommerich PTA!
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Summer is a time to enjoy family and friends as we take a break from the structure of the school year. I am in the mountains at Skyland Camp for Girls where I teach Musical Theatre, but also go on hikes, tubing in Deep Creek and sing lots of camp songs. I did take time to read this latest article on research that proves what I have observed for many years: music makes kids smarter!
At the end of the school year, teachers start packing our rooms, making plans for the summer and looking forward to some R&R. In spite of the break ahead, one part of our teacher brain is already planning bigger and better things for next year. I value your opinion! To give me ideas about Dommerich performing ensembles, please complete this survey:
Carl Orff was a musician and composer who was a visionary educator. When I say we are going to play the “Orff” Instruments I often get blank stares. When I elaborate by saying “its the xylophones and other percussion instruments” I’m still not doing it justice. This short video shows the creative thinking, teamwork and cognitive skills that go into an music class using ideas from the Orff philosophy for teaching children.
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Everyday joyful music can be heard in the Dommerich Music Room. Students express themselves, think outside the box, and collaborate with others. This would be enough by itself, but click here to see 20 Important Benefits of Music in Our Schools.
To learn about the after-school ensembles at Dommerich click on the Orff Band and Chorus tabs.
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At the beginning of the school year there are many energetic teacher trainings to motivate and inspire us for the year to come. Facebook is filled with quotes about how music study affects the lives, brains, and psyches of young students. The following quote from Oliver Sacks, the well renowned neurologist and best-selling author who recently passed away, points to the research linking music study to academic gains:
“What is beyond dispute is the effect of intensive musical training on the young, plastic brain. Although a teaspoon of Mozart may or may not make a child a better mathematician, there is little doubt that regular exposure to music and especially active participation in music, may stimulate development of many different areas of the brain.”
Every day, as I teach children aged 5 to 11 in music class, I get to witness the energy they display as they move around the room in response to musical rhythms. And often, I can see the look of joy on their faces when they hear music they know and love. However it’s not always joy that they exhibit. Sometimes I see the look of frustration as they try to master a musical instrument. Sometimes it’s sadness that gets invoked when they hear a plaintive melody.
To me, music class is about more than making children smarter. It is about more than raising their test scores or helping them develop spatial intelligence. Don’t get me wrong. I am thrilled that music study does these things! But the aspect of music study that is the most thrilling to witness is when a child gains confidence after he or she finds his or her own particular, musical voice.
Here’s to a satisfying year of music making at Dommerich!
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As my first year at Dommerich draws to a close, I am celebrating the end of a terrific year and reflecting on what the music program means to me. Every day I see the joy, struggles, enthusiasm, and triumphs of children as they sing, play instruments, move to music, and share their creative ideas. I appreciate the value music has in our society. When the 5th grade students, their parents and teachers stood and sang the Star Spangled Banner at the 5th grade awards ceremony it was a joint expression of pride in our school and country. In the last week of school, as students created music out of thin air for our music class “Talent Show” I witnessed creativity, collaboration, and outside of the box thinking. When I read heart-felt thank you notes from students telling me how much music means to them, it reinforced my feeling that I have the best job in the world! There are so many reasons to celebrate music in our schools! And then I found this article, which reminds us that music is connected to many other academic skills.
Summer is time to play and swim and bake cookies and squirt your brother with the hose. I hope in between the fun times, children will still be singing and making music. If you are inside on a rainy day, here are a couple of web sites that offer ways to explore and learn about music.