Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Learn to Play a String Instrument!!

The Vermont Youth Orchestra Association (VYOA) is launching a brand new beginner strings program. Prelude! is a year-long course for students in grades 2-5 who are interested in learning to play a string instrument. The cost of tuition includes students' instrument rental, method book, and instruction. Kathleen Kono, one of the area's premier string educators, will lead the course. Visit or email to find out more. Financial aid is available.
When: Sundays from 12:30-1:30 pm, September through April 
Where: Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michael's College 
Register online:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Play Your Drum

Following our Taiko Drum Residency, what else could we possibly do in Music Class but play drums!  We had a lot of fun setting up all of our drums, none of which are Taiko drums. Instead, we have quite an assortment. In order to have all students playing at once, we also added a wonderful, inexpensive option: bucket drums! Students sang and played a song called "Play Your Drum", by Konnie K. Saliba. In this song, students first observed spots where there are rests. Then those rests are replaced with different rhythm patterns. Students rotated to a new drum each time we changed the rhythm pattern. This was a lot of fun!!

Tubanos, gathering drum, floor toms, snare drums, and bucket drums (not pictured)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Time For Our Taiko Performance!!

Our Taiko Drum performance was tonight, April 13, 2017. We performed at Colchester High School in the Gymnasium. In order for four classes to perform simultaneously, we had to double the amount of drums available for students. We had a great teacher entourage after school to transport nearly NINETY (90) drums from Porters Point School to Colchester High School!!

Students arrived and Ms. Millham welcomed everyone to the performance.
 Paton Sensei also welcomed everyone, first speaking in Japanese!  Then he assured everyone that he also speaks English!
 Time for our performance to begin!

 Way to go, Porters Point School students!  Great job!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Taiko Residency Continues

Students are learning a lot!  And they are starting to sound good, too!  They have learned so much by watching Paton Sensei and learning all his cues. Playing Taiko drums is very physical.

Second Graders


First Graders

Friday, April 7, 2017

Paton Sensei is HERE!!!

We have been anxiously anticipating our Taiko Drum Residency with Stuart Paton. Students will call him Paton Sensei. He will be meeting every student every day for five days starting Friday, April 7, 2017, and continuing Monday through the following Thursday. This is such an exciting cultural experience for Porters Point School students!!!

During our Friday Morning Meeting, Paton Sensei was introduced to students.  He gave a brief performance and overview of what to expect during the residency. Then it was time to transform our multipurpose room into a Taiko drum studio, complete with approximately 40 drums, all made by Paton Sensei!

Two classes of students (approximately 40 students) at a time met with Paton Sensei and got right to the drums. One experience students really enjoyed was at the end of class. Students followed Paton Sensei around all the drums and got to play EVERY drum!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Preparing Students For Taiko Residency

Coming up in April is our Porters Point School Taiko Drum Residency with Stuart Paton!!!  Paton Sensei is such a great teacher, I know students will learn a lot from him and then we will have a performance on Thursday, April 13th.

In the meantime, each grade level will learn a Japanese song to present to Paton Sensei. If he likes our songs, students will perform them at our Taiko performance.  These are the songs:

Kindergarten:  "Haru Ga Kita"
First Grade:     "Deta, Deta"
Second Grade: "Sakura, Sakura"

We are having fun learning to speak in Japanese!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Broken Finger!

Well, this can certainly slow a music teacher down...

Back in January, I took my dog for a walk, slipped (but did not fall), grabbed onto a chain-link fence and broke my right hand ring finger. I just didn't realize that it was broken. IT HURT!!! But I thought it was sprained. Ice, Ibuprofen, and mind-over-matter. After all, I have a concert coming up with my other school. I really thought it was just sprained.

Then it did not get any better. And it felt a little twisted, too. I went to the doctor and found out it was broken! With vacation coming up the last week in February, surgery was scheduled. But that date was cancelled and so surgery did not happen until March 7th.

The good news is... I'm a lefty! So I was mostly able to function. But playing recorder was limited to B-A-G. Patience! It will get better...