Making Music at Dommerich

There is still time to sign up for Spring Performing Groups. See descriptions below and download an application for your child!

Third Grade Chorus: Lion King (May 15 and 16) application 3rd grade chorus

  • Meets Wednesdays from 7:45 – 8:35am
  • Begins February 28

Orff Band/Drum ensemble (Spring term) – February 13 – May 15 application Orff Band

  • open to all 4th and 5th grade students
  • students play drums and other percussion
  • meets every Tuesday, 3:00 – 4:15, beginning February 13
  • performs at DES Celebrates the Arts (April 17) and Lion King (May 15 and 16)

Recorder Club (Spring) February 26 – April 17 application recorder club

  • open to all 4th and 5th grade students
  • open to 3rd grade students by audition
  • meets every Monday, 3:00 – 4:15, beginning February 26
  • Performs at DES Celebrates the Arts (April 17)
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Music live at the Bob Carr Auditorium!

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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Making Music at Dommerich

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.

Click below to download an application:

Chorus application

Orff Band application

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Music Makeover Complete!

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!

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.45.05 PM

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Summer Reading

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!

Children’s Brains Develop Faster with Music TrainingChildren’s Brains Develop Faster with Music

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Looking ahead

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:

Thank you and have a wonderful summer!

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Sing, Say, Dance, Play!

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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Celebrate Music in Our School!

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.

Happy singing!

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‘Tis the season to be jolly!

It is the time of year for joyful music making! You are invited to join us for these Dommerich holiday concerts:

Saturday, December 5 at 6:00: Dommerich Chorus performs for Maitland Season of Light at Lake Lily in Downtown Maitland

Tuesday, December 15 at 6:30: Dommerich Strings, Chorus and Orff Band perform on the Dommerich Stage.

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Here’s to a year of joyful music making!

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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