Week 4 – First music classes and tuning uke’s

What’s happening in our pilot school?
Last week it was great to walk into Hepburn school and hear music. I followed the sound until I eventually came to a classroom of grade 1 students who were learning about patterns. The teachers creatively saw an opportunity to incorporate some music into the lesson. They were using some of the newly assembled Orff instruments (xylophones and glockenspiels) to play the patterns the teacher displayed to them.  It was an excellent way to use music to assist in learning and reinforce the lesson concepts.

Throughout these past weeks as I have unpacked boxes and assembled things as needed, teachers and students are using the new resources as quickly as I can have them ready.  It is exciting to see.

Today I will finish tuning the remaining ukuleles, which will essentially bring the elementary classes to full musical function.  Since I don’t know much about ukuleles I had to learn how to tune them.  Thankfully I was able to find a great website which helps one to tune ukuleles to which ever set of tunings you prefer.  This will be very handy for the teachers who, with their students, are learning and teaching ukuleles here for the first time.  Here is the website:


The high school resources are arriving in stages and currently we are about half way set up in the recording studio.  Today software is expected to be installed which will at least mean students can begin exploring the computer programming.  Once the remaining studio equipment arrives we will have maintenance assist with the necessary wiring that is involved to complete the set-up process.   We are all looking forward to everything being up and running!

Today I look forward to being a part of my first music classes here at Hepburn.  This afternoon I will be working with the Grade 1/2 teachers and students where we will be exploring the sounds of hand percussion.  We will be playing a sound for the students, and the students will need to go to the pre-planned music stations and find the instrument that matches what they have heard.  I am really looking forward to this experience and I hope it is a positive one for both the teachers and students.  Also this afternoon I will be joining the grade 7 class as they explore notation; why it exists, where did it come from, what did it originally look like?  They will also then move into creating/inventing their own notation for their own rhythmic compositions.  We will explore the question of what music is by playing samples that make music in unique ways, which we hope will help students question what music is, and how it can be made.  We hope this will spark creative ideas of their own for their own future compositions this year.

Schedule for this week is fairly open at the moment.  Here is what I know so far.  Any open areas are free to be filled if you need to meet with me at all, and if not, assume those times will be spent at the office in Warman.

Monday – Hepburn all day

Tuesday – Open

Wednesday – Warman all day

Thursday – Open

Friday – AM open, PM St. Johns Music (Saskatoon)

Afterschool time availability – Tuesday and Wednesday until 4:30 pm

Have an excellent week!