Jon's Weekly Update 4-28-14

posted Apr 28, 2014, 10:03 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Monday, April 28: Mazzi's RCO Fundraiser
Tuesday, April 29, 3:15-4:15: Ukulele Rehearsal
Thursday, May 1: Canopy Connections DAY Field Trip
Tuesday, May 6, 3:15-4:15: Ukulele Rehearsal
Thursday, May 8, 3:15-4:15: Ukulele Rehearsal
Tuesday, May 13, 3:15-4:15: Ukulele Rehearsal
Thursday, May 15, 3:15-4:15: Ukulele Rehearsal
Tuesday, May 20, Churchill High School Auditorium: Music Showcase
Thursday, May 22, 3:15-4:15: Ukulele Rehearsal
Thursday, May 22: End of Year Picnic and Outdoor Classroom Dedication
Friday, May 23, 5:30-8pm: Ukulele Performance: Aloha Friday at Cozmic Pizza
Thursday, June 5, 6:30-8:30pm: 8th Grade Graduation
Monday, June 9-Thurs., June 12: MS Adventure Trip to Honeyman Park 

Dear Middle School Family, 

One of the cool things about music, from an educational standpoint, is it covers all the bases:  

It's, fundamentally, mathematics in action, developing the students' ability to 'keep time,' and to play and sing different notes for different values of time strengthens their innate mathematical mind. Music puts math in their bodies. 

Music is also a scientific experiment. As we're learning new songs, and even rehearsing songs we know, each of us is testing and trying different pitches, different notes, different rhythms, different ways to make music. Not a single day goes by in rehearsal in class where at least one student doesn't ask, "What if we...?" 

Music develops a whole new relationship to our language. It helps us appreciate the percussive elements of certain words, the melodic nature of other words. Music makes language beautiful. It enhances and deepens meaning. It provides an emotional background to our understanding. 

Music is a social study. It is call and response. It is listening and responding. It is harmony and melody. It is cooperation and generosity. Humility. Even dueling banjos have to engage each other with such a high level of listening and empathy that one could argue that every disagreement should be settled between banjos. 

As far as Physical Education is concerned, mastering an instrument requires hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, muscle development and tuning, stamina, and body awareness in a way that blows almost any sport out of the water.   

This week, Tuesday, our Middle School students performed music on the Hult Center main stage in front of roughly 600 students and parents. We also performed in the lobbies of US Bank and Pacific Continental Bank. We performed in the Atrium building that houses many of the City of Eugene government offices, and the Lane County Government building. We performed another Lane County office for Senior & Disabled Services. We performed in front of the Eugene Public Library. We performed on the corner of 13th and Willamette in front of Perk Coffee Shop, across the street from the Fire Station. 

We performed a 'private' concert of Beyonce's song, "Halo," in front of the Lane County Building on Oak St. for Mayor Kitty Piercy! 

All in all, our students did an amazing job on Tuesday. We've worked hard. We've all grown as musicians this year. We all ended the day beaming, full of pride for a day's work well done. 
We have two more big performances ahead of us. One in the Churchill High School Auditorium on Tuesday, May 20, and another at Cozmic Pizza on Friday, May 23.   

Once again, these extra, after-hours performances require extra work, time, and dedication. Please check the calendar at the top of this email. Your student must be present at 4 of the 5 after school rehearsals on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting next week if they want to participate in these late May performances. We're going to be working on more complex songs we won't be playing in class every day. 

Here is a link to some video footage from Tuesday (I'll be adding a few more to the folder later this weekend.): 

We are so proud of these kiddos. We're all still glowing a bit from Tuesday's experience. 

Jon and Carrie