Thursday, November 6, 2014

November, Already?!?

Whew!  I can't believe it's already November.  With Halloween behind us, the music department now (unfortunately) does what all the retail stores do:  skip November and focus full-time on the Holidays!  The band and chorus have actually been in "holiday mode" since September, but we are shifting into full-time holiday mode now that the Kindergarteners, 1st graders, 2nd graders, and 3rd graders have begun work on our K-3 Holiday musical:  a musical by Teresa Jennings called "A Martian Christmas."  So far, we think it's out of this world!  Ha!  :)

The date for the 4-6 Spring Concert in May 2015 has been confirmed!  Please check out the concert tabs above for all the details.  We are really thrilled to be presenting a combined concert this year!  It's going to be so much fun!

Blizzard bags will be going home very soon, and the students have been briefed during class on what to do if the blizzard bag day falls on a day that they normally have musical activities:  music class, band, lessons, or chorus.  For your convenience, there is a link to my blizzard bag page above.

Chorus students:  the Chorus Practice Guide page has been fully-updated and is officially up and running with this year's holiday music!  Enjoy the chance to practice your chorus music at home!

As the days grow short and we all start to feel the hustle and bustle of the holiday season increasing the swiftness of our steps, I sure hope that everyone is still able to take some time to slow down, breathe, and bask in the glow of what really matters in life.  Happy Veteran's Day and a special thank you to all of those who have served and/or continue to serve our great country.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Mrs. Johnson

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Welcome to the 2014-2015 School Year!

Wow!  That was one fast and furious summer!  Despite its brevity, we sure did manage to pack a lot in, and I hope you all did, too!  Ethan is 3 and an endless bucket of energy.  This summer he enjoyed quite a few "firsts," and those ended up being the highlights of the last couple months.  We took Ethan on his first camping trip, his first (day) trip to Boston, his first jet ski ride (ours, too!), and his first trip to Portland to see his first live musical show.  We also spent plenty of time down at our beach and spent lots of cherished time with extended family, too.

Alas, the changing leaves and cooler nights remind me that summer doesn't last forever (sigh), and that the time to once again make music together is upon us. Remember that this blog is primarily a point of reference for you, my NDS and TCS students and parents.  With as much time as we all spend online these days, I figured it would be helpful to have a place online where you could check for important information at whatever time is convenient for you!  I have updated much of this blog with current information, and will continue to do so as the school year begins. 

Click on the tabs above to navigate to the information you are looking for.  If you think of a question that would be helpful to have answered on this page, or if there's information you are looking for that is not already posted here, please feel free to email me at  I check this email multiple times a day during the school year, and because I'm in two buildings during the week, it's often the easiest way to reach me!

Looking forward to a another great, music-filled year!

Kristin Johnson
NDS/TCS Music Teacher

P.S. If any of you participated in, were following, or were interested in what happened with Eric Whitacre's first Virtual Youth Choir (see this post from back in May for details), the finished product premiered on July 23rd in Glasgow, Scotland during the opening ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games on a 100-meter-long screen!  The official released version of the video/song is here.  (For some reason, it wouldn't let me post the video right here on the page.

The live premiere/performance from when it premiered at the Commonwealth Games is below.  Very, very cool!  I will let everyone know if and/or when Eric decides to do Virtual Youth Choir 2!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Be a part of Eric Whitacre's world-wide Virtual Youth Choir!!

Several years ago, renowned choral composer Eric Whitacre came up with the idea to "gather" people from all around the world to sing "together" using the power of technology.  He called it the Virtual Choir.  See him describe the basic concept here:

Since 2010, they have managed to do 4 different virtual choirs, and the most recent one (Virtual Choir 4), completed in July 2013, involved 5905 different singers from 101 different countries around the world!!  Wow!  See that video here:

Virtual Choir 3, from April 2012 and including 3746 different videos from 73 different countries, is equally impressive:


Eric's next virtual choir is for YOUTH ONLY - under age 18.  Very cool!  If you'd like to be a part of his first Virtual Youth Choir, visit the link below to find all the information you need to participate.  It doesn't cost anything!!  Here's what he has to say about it:

All of your questions should be answered on the "Get Started" page (with a Frequently Asked Questions section).
If you want to start learning the song right away, head over to the "Learn the Song" page.
What a great opportunity for all of us!  Be a part of this!  SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY MIDNIGHT OF JUNE 8, SO ACT NOW!
Mrs. Johnson  :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's concert season!!

Holy cow, who pushed the fast-forward button?!?  How did it get to be the end of April?!?

We've been awfully busy in the music department lately, and all of the 4th-6th grade performing groups are now bracing for the spring concert season that begins as we return from April vacation.

Please take the time to re-visit the concert tabs for dates and concert reminders.  Concert reminders for each school are also posted in the Newsletters tab on this site and have been included in the most recent school newsletters being sent home prior to vacation.

In the Band tab, I have posted copies of the Concert Exchange program notices in case the hard copies get misplaced.

Over vacation, I will try to get a practice guide assembled for 4th grade recorders in the Classroom Music "Stuff" tab - keep your eye on that page for now, and I'll announce to the kids when it's up and running.

Band students should be practicing their music at home (and NEED to at this point...), and NDS chorus members can work in the NDS Chorus Practice Guide tab to keep their pieces fresh.

I hope everyone has a restful and rejuvenating vacation.  It's gonna be mighty busy when we return!

Mrs. Johnson

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Is it spring yet??

Boy, I don't know about you, but I am certainly ready to be done with winter!!  Thankfully, it's feeling a bit more like springtime in the music department as we shift into more spring-like activities.

4th Grade Parents:  PARENT RENTAL NIGHT for students interested in starting a band instrument will be held NEXT MONDAY EVENING, MARCH 10.  You should plan to attend EITHER the 5:15pm meeting held at Ossipee Central School OR the 7:00pm meeting held at Crescent Lake School in Wolfeboro.  At this meeting, representatives from Music & Arts in West Falmouth, ME will be available so parents and students can rent instruments, purchase lesson books and supplies, and even have an old/used instrument looked over by a certified instrument repair technician.  Please refer to the 2 notices sent home last month for more information, and find copies of those notices here on the blog on Instrumental Lessons AND Instrument Rentals tabs above.

5-6th Grade Instrumental Parents:  As the 4th graders start their band instruments, "veteran" band students should expect a change in their lesson schedule beginning next Tuesday, March 11.  We will hopefully settle into a new schedule relatively quickly, but thank you all for your patience and flexibility as we work to find a schedule that will fit our program from now until June.  Band students should be hard at work on their band music right now.  We have familiarized ourselves with most of the pieces in our folder, but now comes the real work:  the nitty-gritty, roll-up-our-sleeves kind of work that is required to LEARN the pieces now (instead of cramming for them at the end of April!).  Please make sure you have a reliable practice routine in place at home, especially while we are getting to be in between sports seasons at the moment!

NDS Chorus Members:  The lyric sheet for the spring concert pieces is finally finished and you should have received your paper copy this week.  I have also just linked it to the NDS Chorus Practice Guide tab, too, so if you lose your paper copy, you can find another one there!

Think spring, everyone!  Think spring!!

Mrs. Johnson  :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy 2014!!

Well, January is almost over, but things still feel like the new year in the music program!  Band and chorus are both busy sight-reading and getting acquainted with new music, and the general music classes are all settling back into a more "normal" routine following a very busy holiday concert season!

With winter in full swing, that means we're headed toward band instrument season.  The 4th grades at both schools are currently enjoying the "Band Instrument Petting Zoo," where they get to learn to hold and make a sound out of the wind instruments offered for band instruction.  4TH GRADE PARENTS, PLEASE WATCH THE NEWSLETTER AND YOUR CHILD'S BACKPACK FOR TWO SPECIFIC AND IMPORTANT NOTICES REGARDING THE START OF THE BEGINNER BAND PROGRAM IN MARCH.  I'll do my best to get copies of those notices posted here on the blog, too, for your reference.  I'll plan to post that information in both the "Instrumental Lessons" and the "Instrument Rentals" tabs above.  PLEASE contact me with any questions you might have about our beginner band program.

NDS 6th Grade Parents:  After the new year, information was sent home about this year's fine arts field trip to Boston on Thursday, March 27.  Permission slips are due along with a deposit of at least $14 by Friday, February 7th.  The remaining $13 (for those who did not pay the $27 up front) will be due by Friday, March 14.

Stay warm - this winter's been a cold one!!  Brrrrrrrrrr!!!
Mrs. Johnson