Thursday, December 20, 2012

4th Graders Study LeRoy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride"

Fourth Graders have spent the last few music classes studying the song, "Sleigh Ride" by American composer, LeRoy Anderson.  The song was ironically written during a summer heat wave in 1949.  Here is a video of The Boston Pops playing "Sleigh Ride":

We also learned that words were written for the song in 1950, and that it is the most licensed and copied holiday song in modern American music history.  Because of this, there are MANY different versions of the song, and listening to a few of them was also part of our study.  Fourth graders listened to versions by Ella Fitzgerald, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, The Ronettes, and a version from Bluegrass musician Cody Kilby from an album entitled "Christmas Grass."  There are countless versions of "Sleigh Ride" out there, which is YOUR favorite?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Funny Rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

Have you heard this version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas?"  It comes from Straight No Chaser, a men's a capella group.  A capella means singing without any instrumental accompaniment.  As you might imagine, this type of singing is difficult to do by yourself, let alone with a large group of people.  It requires a very good sense of pitch and excellent listening to the other singers around you.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Practice Makes Progress

The first time you picked up a basketball and tried to shoot a basket, did you make it?  Chances are the answer is no.  But now, years later, you have a pretty good chance of making that shot, don't you?  What's the difference between now and then?  PRACTICE.  You didn't give up.  You kept trying.  You kept PRACTICING.

Even professional musicians have to practice songs as simple as "Jingle Bells."  Take a peek at Wynton Marsalis (probably one of the best trumpet players of all time) and the JLCO (Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra) as they PRACTICE for an upcoming holiday concert.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Musical Joke

A friend sent me this musical joke.  PLEASE tell me if you can figure it out!

Congratulations Music Makers!

Wow - the residents of Trillium Place were very impressed with our Bluffsview Music Makers on Saturday as they sang some of their favorite holiday songs and carols.  Several residents approached me after the performance and said that they could not believe that our choir was from an elementary school - that we had to be professionals or something!  What a compliment!  That speaks to how well you paid attention, sang, behaved, and conducted yourself while in a new place.  THANK YOU to all the Music Makers who came out to sing at Trillium, and thank your parents for bringing you.  What a wonderful musical experience you had for yourself, but also shared with others.  That's what making music is all about!  I am so proud of you!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fun Rendition of a Holiday Tune

If you haven't heard of Jimmy Fallon and his house band, "The Roots," you're missing out on some really talented musicians.  Mariah Carey was a recent guest on the show, and Jimmy and the band jammed with Mariah, performing her most famous holiday tune.  Check out the video and the band playing on "classroom instruments":