I just have to share how cool this is! As you may know, I didn’t graduate in music, so I’m learning so many things as I try to teach music, including how to notate music online. I did it for the first time today for our last little song. You can go to and write your own songs! There are video tutorials to show you how. It is so easy! And fun! I hope each of my students will give it a try this summer!


Harvest’s Here


We had a great rehearsal today! The children are doing so well with their new song, Brother John. I’m excited that they are learning it so well. They played it in a round, and it sounded great.

Here is the new song we started learning in class: Harvest’s Here. (Click on the link to print out the sheet music for it or play along with the recording or learn the lyrics. This song is the duet part to Apple Seed. It sounds a lot better than when you play Recipe with Apple Seed!) 🙂

We will play the two songs together in our concert (May 8, 7 pm; call time 6:15 pm), and then Brother John in a round.

Next week is our LAST after school class for the year!

I need to know by next week who is committed to taking Intermediate Orchestra next year. We will meet Wednesday mornings at 8 am. For the summer/fall, you will need to purchase two music books (Essential Elements for Strings, Book One with CD  and Basic Fiddlers Philharmonic: Celtic Fiddle Tunes. See the links that follow). Be sure you get the one for your child’s specific instrument (Essential Elements: violin, viola, cello; Fiddlers-Celtic: violin, viola, or cello)! You’ll need it right away so they can begin working on it as soon as orchestra class finishes. I will also give you a little summer assignments packet to help your child be ready for the fall. It is all very do-able stuff, and your private teacher should be able to  integrate it into her lessons easily. (Remember, if you don’t have a private teacher already, you need to get one. If you’d like any recommendations, just ask!)

So please let me know if you are planning on continuing next fall by next week. (You can text or email me today if you want.) 🙂

Our FINAL rehearsal will be at 8 AM on Thursday, May 8. Remember to wear your orchestra shirt that day! Our performance will be that night.

Thanks so much! I’m getting excited for our performance!!

Brother John (Frère Jacques)

This is our last song for the year! Frère Jacques (Jacques means “John” in French, and “Frère” means “brother”) is a traditional children’s song. You can learn to sing it in either French or English.

Here’s the song sung in French: 

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines, Sonnez les matines
Din, dan, don! Din, dan, don!

And in English:
Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Brother John? Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing, Morning bells are ringing,
Ding, ding, dong! Ding, ding, dong!

Here is the Solfa:

drmd drmd mfs mfs slsfmd slsfmd ds,d ds,d

Here is the rhythm notation:







You can print out the sheet music for the key of C major (do=C) here.

You can print out the sheet music for the key of D major (do-D) here.

You can learn to play it on the piano from this website.

Here is the sheet music for the resonator bells (with Solfa and without).

Once you have learned the notes to the song on your instrument, you can play along with a violin or cello recording at 40 bpm, 50 bpm, and 60 bpm. (I will hopefully get these made soon!!)

Once you have learned the notes of the song and can play along with the recording, then try playing along with it, beginning after the first two measures. This means you will start playing the beginning of your song when the recording is at mi-fa-sol (the first “Brother John”).

It’s Recital Time!

I am SO excited for our first recital in Beginning Orchestra! We have planted a bunch of great seeds in our minds this semester, and we’ve been nurturing them with our practicing. We have been able to see the seeds sprouting a little, and that is SO exciting!

We aren’t musical “trees” yet––we have some time to go yet, but we are growing in that direction.

I recently watched this video of a 13-year old who has been playing violin for some years now. She has worked very hard. She gets up very early and practices day after day after day. Her mom helps her, just like in our apple seed, although she doesn’t help her practice every day like she did when she was first starting to learn.

I hope you know how important recitals are. Recitals aren’t about playing perfectly (it’s wonderful when that happens once in a blue moon!). They are about sharing our progress. We need to share our progress so that others can celebrate our hard work with us, just like that potluck picnic we talked about, when everyone brings something to share that they have grown from their garden.

I am proud of each of you for trying to learn to make music better this semester. Thank you for each day that you practiced! Thank you for coming to class whenever you were able to. I hope that the last weeks of orchestra, we will work extra hard to learn “Brother John.” Together, we can do it!