March Activity of the Day

  • Activity of the Day!

    Happy Birthday to the famous composer Franz Joseph Haydn!

     Franz Joseph Haydn picture

     March 31, 1732 to May 31, 1809

     Haydn composer snapshot

    Now that you know a bit about him check out the links and the fun rhythm play-a-longs!

  • Activity of the Day

    What is a Symphony Orchestra?

    Symphony Orchestra

    A symphony orchestra is a large ensemble of musicians made up of of woodwind, brass, strings and percussion instruments. The woodwind instruments include flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoons. String instruments include harp, violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Percussion instruments include timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, and sometimes piano. Brass instruments are made up of French horn, trumpet, trombone and tuba.

    "People have been assembling different combinations of instruments for thousands and thousands of years. The origins of orchestras date back to Ancient Egypt. However, only during the last 400 years have musicians begun to form groups that are known today as orchestras. During Mozart’s time, around 1770, orchestras underwent a dramatic change. Composers, for the first time, began writing for specific combinations of instruments. During this period, the concertmaster or first chair violinist would lead the performance from their chair. As orchestras grew, musicians could no longer see the concertmaster and conductors were introduced. Conductors stand and still do, on a podium in the middle of the orchestra so they can be seen by all the musicians. Among the instrument families and within each group of instruments, there is an accepted hierarchy. Every instrumental group (or section) has a principal who is responsible for leading the group and playing solos. The violins are divided into two groups, first violin and second violin, and therefore have two principals. The principal first violin is called the concertmaster (or leader) and is considered the leader of not only the string section but of the entire orchestra, subordinate only to the conductor. It is interesting to note that the French horn, while technically a brass instrument, often acts in the role of both woodwind and brass."-

     Check out some fun games, videos, and orchestra links to learn about orchestras!

  • Activity of the Day

    Today we are celebrating Music in Our Schools Month!

    Music Changes Lives MIOSM


    Did you know that Hawes School in South Boston was the first school in the USA to have music class as part of the school day? Lowell Mason believed that learning music was so important that in October of 1837 he it taught it at Hawes school for free! The following school year music became part of the school schedule but it took many, many more years for the entire country to provide music education in every school. To recognize Lowell Mason here is one his songs "Oh, Music" and it is just one of over 1600 hymns that he composed.