Thursday, May 21, 2020

                                                                                                  May 21, 2020

HI everyone!  Well, it's Memorial Day weekend...  so, I have made a short video for you to watch here.. in it I will explain this weeks assignment.  After you watch it... you can follow the directions below:


Here are the videos for you to watch.  To be honest.. this is a subject very "near and dear" to my heart.. I really love history and I had a difficult time choosing.  I hope that you all enjoy them.

1.     The American Revolutionary war was fought in the years 1775-1783.  Music became very important during that time.  Not only for keeping up the morale (mood) of our soldiers.. music was used to help them march together and to give messages even on the battlefield. Some of you will recognize this song.. it's called "Yankee Doodle"  Different songs would mean different things to the soldiers.. telling them to attack, or retreat (go back!)  This is a Junior Drum and Bugle corp in Colonial Williamsburg. These young people wear clothing like they did in colonial times and play the same music.  What you are seeing and hearing is just like what you would have heard if you had been alive back in 1775.

2.    This song should be very familiar to you.  It's our national anthem!  This song, also called the Star Spangled Banner... was written during a battle of the War of 1812.  The songwriter was watching the battle.. and it was so fierce.. he was really worried that the American's wouldn't survive the night.. and he wrote this song and his joy, when "by the dawns early light - our flag was still there".  This video shows visitors at Ft. McHenry (near Baltimore) helping to raise the flag.  If you go there someday, maybe you can help raise it as well!  I wanted to include this video as well.. as you can learn a lot about our flag and it's history here.  It's is a bit "cut up" however and didn't make a good video to have you hear the National Anthem. My family and I lived near Baltimore a few years ago and I was able to go to Ft. McHenry.  I hope someday you will all get to go as well! Look at how BIG the flag is!

The United States Civil war was fought between 1861-1865.  It was a difficult time for our country, but one that helped shape who we are today.  There were two side in that war, commonly called the North and the South.  We will look at a favorite song from each side.
 3. - The Northern side was just that, from the north.  This song was actually a mixture of a few, but when a lady named Julia Ward Howe wrote the words, the song came together and was a favorite of people in the North. It's called Battle Hymn of the Republic.

4.  The arrangement of the song that I found for you is actually a very short medly of TWO songs that were very famous in the south. They were sung in the towns and cities and also on the battlefields.  They are Dixie and Bonnie Blue Flag.  I hope that you like them.

5.   World War I was fought mostly in Europe from 1914-1918.  America entered the war in 1917 and many young soldiers went to fight.  (My grandfather was one of them.)  This song was always a favorite of his and his soldier friends.  During the actual war, it was a song sung all over America to get people worked up about the war.  Soldiers sang it even on the boats going over to Europe.  The song is called Over There.

*From now on, you will notice some changes in style.  Up until now, alot of marching was done to military music.. and that continued.  But, as times changed, the popular music did too...

6.   For the United States, World War II was fought between 1914-1945.  Before the war started, Glenn Miller was a famous band leader and musician.  He enlisted in the US Army at the beginning of the war hoping that he could be of some help.  He started to mix together the sound of his popular music with the marching music.  This is a classic example.  It's called St. Louis Blues March.  I hope you enjoy this one!

7.   The Korean was was fought between 1950-1953.  There are not alot of songs about this war.  This was one of the few that I could find.  It's called  God Please Protect America. 

8.    The Vietnam war was fought between the years 1955-1975.  The United States became officially involved in 1965.  Although the war brought many questions to many people.. music continued to be important.  The following song was used by the US Army to keep up the spirits of the fighting men and help in recruiting. It's called The Ballad of the Green Beret.  The beret is a type of hat, that is worn by soldiers that go through specialized training to earn them.

9.    America was involved in the Gulf War from 1990-1991.  This song was very popular then, it's called  I'm Proud to be an American.  My husband was in the US Navy during this war, and I can tell you that his captain played it daily on the ships loudspeakers!

10.    Operation Enduring Freedom officially started back in 2001 and is still happening today.  Although military marches are still used in formal military ceremonies etc.. this song is one that we written a few years ago to celebrate our soldiers.  It's simply called American Soldier.

In honor of those that have given their lives for our country.. this is a medley. A medley is a group of songs that are put together as one song.  This one is called  The Armed Forces Medley.  Each branch of our armed services has a special song that is just for them. This video was recorded at a special Memorial Day concert.  Please watch this.
The Coast Guard
The United States Air Force
The United States Navy
The United States Marine Corp.
The United States Army -  United States Armed Forces Medley

I hope you all have a good weekend!  I'm praying for you all! 

We are having a SNO CONE day at school on the 29th!  I will be there and hope to see many of you there as well! :)   Parents, you will be getting an email with all the details, but be assured, this will be a non contact event...  :)  You will stay in your cars and sno cones will be brought to you!!

Mrs. Durrell

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Hi everyone!!  

     I hope that you are all having a great week!   This week.. we are going to continue our idea of getting outside and making some music! I have two videos below.. the first one is of ME...  the second one gives you some more directions as to HOW to make some musical instruments yourself!  
     Use your imagination... have some fun!  But remember... always ask your Mom if you can use anything that might belong to her... be careful what you use as a "percussion instrument!"   
      Have fun!  

1.   -  Just me and Maggie on the porch!!  Come join us!  

2.   -  Some directions for how to make your own instruments! 

Mrs. Durrell  :)  

Thursday, May 7, 2020

May 7

        Hi everyone!! 
                     I'm getting this blog posted MUCH later than I had planned and I am so sorry!  Today I filmed a video for you!!  I went outside... and after much work.. we had a video...  but then, getting it to my computer.. and through the editing software... well...  Hopefully next week we can do the video.  I will keep working on it and as soon as it is ready, I will post it!  
                     I want you  to do something a bit different this week....  GO OUTSIDE and listen!  Do you hear the birds?  They have been singing like crazy in my backyard this week... it's been beautiful!  So much music out there!  
                    Last week, I posted a video about making homemade instruments...  I don't know if any of you did that... but if you didn't, I will post the link again....  My goal for this week is for YOU to make some music!  Will post some videos of examples.. but I really want you to go out and make some music yourself... not just watch others do it!    
          Here is the vide about how to make your own instruments:

 Some examples of homemade instruments:  
            Making a pan flute out of drinking straws! 

         Music with bottles!  

           UNBELIEVEABLE music with cups!!!!  


See what you can come up with!!  Meanwhile... I will try to get my video up and running!   Have fun, go outside and make some music!!   

Mrs. Durrell

Thursday, April 30, 2020

    Hi everyone!  Can you believe that we are almost to the end of April??  WOW.  I know that school has not turned out as we all thought it would... but I hope that being able to listen to some different kinds of music has been interesting for you... and fun!   I know, some of you will like certain kinds of music more than others... and that's ok!  That's the really cool thing about music... God gave us lots of different styles to choose from.
     Last week.. we looked at different sort of choirs... basically... singing in groups.  This week, we are going to do the same.. but with instruments.  We have already looked at large symphonies... but did you know there are many different "types" of bands or instrumental groups?   Listen carefully to the different styles and see if you really like any...  learning and instrument can be a lot of fun.. and something that you will be able to play all your life!!
       1.  Symphony Orchestra (once again.. as a refresher)             This is a great and FUN example of a YOUTH Orchestra....  See how you can do all sorts of fun things?   There is a youth chorus singing with them.. AND two (rather well known) guitar players/singers in front!  There is no shortage of fun you can have with music!!
       2.   Jazz band:                                                                           Another great example of young people making great music!  This is jazz... and it sounds much different than the symphony orchestras that we've been listening to.  What do you think of this one?   How about the solo's... (that's when one player is featured and plays alone).  What do you think of jazz???
      3.  Marching Band:       
Now, check this out!  How about playing an instrument...  memorizing the music you are playing AND marching in formation... having to know where you play.. when to march.. where to go.. all at the same time!!  Do you think this would be fun?  Do you think it would be too difficult?? 
     4.  Dixieland or Ragtime band: 
This is Dixieland!  Very similar in some way to Jazz.... lots of very tricky parts for each instrument to play... and notice the addition of a piano!  Dixieland jazz is a lot of fun to play and to listen to!  What do you think of this type of band??
     5.  Big Band:
The name of this type of band is a bit misleading.   The band itself is not that big... but the sound is big!  This type of music became very popular in the US during the 1930's and 1040's.  It's not only fun to play and listen to, it was often danced to at large dances.  Listen to the sound particularly of the saxophones and the trumpets!   The Trombones are featured here as well and are fantastic! What do you think of this kind of band?
    6. Polka band:
Polka music came from eastern Europe and is still very popular.  A lot of people like to play it and dance to it as it is a reminder of the areas in Europe that their family is from.  Polka Festivals celebrate other cultures and are lots of fun!
   ~   Believe it or not, there are MORE types of bands and music!  Have any that you've listened to sounded really good to you? Do any instruments interest you?  Think on that... listen to the videos and let me know!

    Until next week....  I'm praying for you and love you all!  Take care!!

TO DO=>                                                                                              For next week...  make at least ONE of these instruments!!!  We need to make some music!!  (for younger students... PLEASE get help from your parents or a sibling!!) 

Mrs. Durrell

Thursday, April 23, 2020

      Hi everyone! 
           I hope that you all have had a great Easter and then week off!!  Hasn't the weather been wonderful?  I hope that you have been able to get outside a bit and listen to the MUSIC that God gave us in nature!!  WHHAAATT?   You don't know what I'm talking about?   On the next bright, sunny, breezy day...  go outside... find a comfortable place to sit … and just... LISTEN.    You might hear birds.... squirrels...  the wind rustling the leaves in the trees....  dogs barking....  there are all sorts of sounds that you can hear outside.  And I believe that sounds that we hear like that...  are a kind of music too! 
            This week, we are going to shift our focus from the Orchestra... to Choirs.  And there are many different kinds of those!  Listen to these different types of choirs... sing along if you want and think about which kind you like the best....

      1.   SHOW CHOIR:  This is an example of kids YOUR age performing in a choir... with a slight difference.  this is a  "show choir".   A show choir combines singing and dancing!!   Let me know what you thin k of this!!
      2.  FORMAL CHOIR:   In this video...  the entire hall, which in this case is the Royal Albert Hall in London, is full of choir singers!  Listen as they sing praise to God with orchestra playing along!!
     3.   JAZZ CHOIR:   I really hope that you like this one.   This is a small choir singing an example of jazz music for voices.  Notice the different style... the harmonies etc...   what do you think of this style?
     4.  MALE CHOIR:   Some of you might recognize this song from a movie. This choir is made of entirely of men.  What I want you to pay attention to is the deep harmonies of the male voices.  Do you like the sound of this?
     5.  FEMALE CHOIR:    An all girl choir.  This is a more formal example... they are singing in church and the words to this song are in a different language than we normally hear.  But, what do you think of the different girls singing different parts?
    6.   BOYS CHOIR:   This choir is all made up of young boys.  They are from the country of Russia.  What do you think of their sound?
   7.   GIRLS CHOIR:   These little girls are all from the country of Armenia.   They are singing one of my favorite songs from my favorite movie?  Does anyone know what movie it is?   They are singing in different parts as well... do you think that would be easy or difficult to learn to do?
   8.  CHILDREN'S CHOIR:   This is the African Children's Choir! They came to my church a few years ago and we loved them!  Their music was excellent and their enthusiasm was fun!  I hope you enjoy this video!
  9.   VIRTUAL CHOIR:   This may be something you have seen over the past few weeks.  Alot of Choirs are recording their singing in their homes, and then putting the videos together in a virtual choir!  The results are amazing!!   This particular video is of the United States Naval Academy Men's and Women's Glee Clubs.  The pictures they show are of Annapolis, Maryland... that's where their school is!  I hope you enjoy this one!!
10.  CAT CHOIR:    Just for fun... I found this as I was looking for boys choirs.  This is a boys choir.. but singing a song in total "meow"!!   Enjoy!!

Remember... get outside when you can... and listen to the sounds all around you!  God gives us music everywhere!  And don't forget to SING!! 

I love you and am praying for each of you! 

Mrs. Durrell

GAMES:  There are many different games on the following link.  Some of these things we have not gone over yet.. but we will be getting to them this year when we get to the classroom and for sure next year!  Go ahead and try them out!

and... the one we can't stop playing at my house!!

 Have a great week you guys!   If you or your parents need me... you can email me or text anytime!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

*Note:  Sorry there is no video... my computer has been acting up a bit...:(

 Hello everyone!!   Happy Easter this coming Sunday!!   I hope that you are all feeling good! Before we get into our lesson, which will focus on some Easter music...   If you are wondering what all this Easter stuff is really all about...  take a look at this short video:

  One thing that we have been talking about, is how music can help us to FEEL things.  Music can make us happy...and it can also help us to be serious about something.   We all know that Easter is a happy day.  It's the day that we celebrate that Jesus is alive!  So, music about Easter is usually very happy!  But do any of  you know, what happened three days BEFORE Easter?   If you said Good Friday, you were right!  On Good Friday, we remember the day that Jesus  died.  The music that helps us remember that day, isn't really happy...  in fact, it can be serious and even sound sad.  But.. it's all part of the story and makes that Easter music even happier!!   Let's listen to some examples and as you listen to each one... think about how the music makes you feel...

                 - this is an small orchestra playing a very pretty arrangement of an old hymn  "Alas and did my Savior bleed and die".   Not a happy title... but they do a beautiful job with the song.
                   -  Some of the most beautiful classical music written for a Choir was written by a man named George Handel.   He was a Christian and used bible verses as the words for this music.  It was part of a large group of songs he called "Messiah".  The words for this song come from the book of Isaiah  "Surely He has borne our griefs".

                  -  Sing along with this one!
          Listen to these... music can help tell the story of Jesus!!   Listen to them with your families and see which one they like the best!
                 -  Remember the man George Handel I wrote you about?   He wrote this one too... it is all about the first Easter when people first knew that Jesus was alive!  This video was filmed in a department store!  Have you ever heard of a "Flash Mob"?? That's when people start singing together in public to surprise others!   This is one of my favorite videos!!!  What do you think?

                -  Here is a great example of an Easter Hymn...  "Christ the Lord is Risen Today"  This isn't a full orchestra, but you have quite a few instruments and singers... and a handbell choir!  Do you feel the joy in this song?!  I hope so!

                -  Finally,  here is a song sung by my church here in North Carolina!  This is an example of what we call a contemporary worship song.  No orchestra...and the style is much more relaxed than that of a full choir.  But the message is the same... Jesus is alive!    I hope you feel the joy of knowing that as you listen to this one!

Your only assignment this week is to listen to the songs I've posted... and really think about how the music helps you to feel...  notice which songs make you feel the happiest... do any of them make you sad??
I am going to post some more games for you all to play...  I hope you have a great Easter at home... and a great week next week!  :) 

I'm praying for each of you!!!

Mrs. Durrell




In case you don't have one in your home... have fun playing the piano!!!



Thursday, April 2, 2020

Week 3

Hi everyone!  I hope that you are all doing well!   Does anyone have any cabin fever yet?   We have awhile to go... but just for fun.. I found a whole song about Cabin Fever... take a listen here:

As I said in my video lesson...  my goal for the next few weeks is to show how big and wonderful God's gift of music really is!  Music can bring joy.. and there are so many different types of music out there!!  Last week, I shared a video introducing the orchestra and opera.   If you haven't had a chance to watch them.. please check them out. 

Take a look at this week's assignments... if you have any questions about any of them.. or if there is anyway that I can help you.. just email me  ( or you can call me (919-935-1891)

Orchestra Music: 
             This week, we are going to start looking at some different styles of music for orchestras.  Some styles require a large orchestra with many different instruments playing together.  Some styles of music require only a few instruments at a time.  This week, we are going to be listening to the SYMPHONY.   A symphony needs lots of instruments and can be long pieces of music with different sections, some fast and some slow.  Some symphonies have become very famous.

  ~  1.

  ~  2.

  ~  3.

     I would like you to listen to all three... email me and tell me which is your favorite and why?  Did you recognize any?

Choral Music: 
            Choral music is when a group of singers will get together to sing songs.. They will have different parts and blend together in a pleasing sound we call harmony.  You can have a choir with all men, all women or mix them up. Sometimes the choir will sing alone, without any instruments at all.  Sometimes just one or two instruments, but they can also sing with an entire orchestra!  Don't be surprised if they sing in different languages too!  Here are a few examples:

  ~ 1.     sometimes we can put a symphony orchestra AND a large choir together!  By the way, the language here is Latin.  They are singing "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" which means "Glory to God in the highest!"

  ~ 2.    This is the United States Naval Academy Mens Glee Club singing in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  What mood do you think the singers are trying to show?   They are singing at a memorial to sailors that died there during WWII.

  ~ 3.  This is ladies group from Norway.  Have any of you heard them in a movie lately?  You can hear them in the movie FROZEN and FROZEN 2.

    Did you like any one of these more than the others?  Email me and tell me which one you liked the most and why.  Pay attention to the different ways the songs might have made you feel.

      K - 2nd:    Music Block Game:

      3rd - 5th:    Incredibox: 

Hey guys... put a song in your heart!  God is in control!  The bible says we are to "sing to Him a new song"... so go ahead... sing! :)  Love you all and can't wait to be in school with each of you!!

Mrs. Durrell