Quarter Notes: The Music Newsletter

By Westlawn Music Department Staff
November 22, 2022


by Ahnika Emery

Strings students are off to a great start this school year! The 5th & 6th graders are preparing for our Winter Concert on December 13th. Students in 5th & 6th grade who learn to play Jingle Bells by memory and receive my approval will have the opportunity to participate in the Jingle Bells Caroling the morning of December 16th. The 4th graders are learning the basics of playing their instruments and reading music. We have just started playing with the bows which is exciting! All Strings students should be practicing their instruments at home and completing their practice charts each week. The current goal is to practice 10-15 minutes a day for 5 days in each week.

Ms. Emery and students


by Paul Erickson

BAND NEWS!  We are deep in the midst of concert preparations!  Students should be practicing at home to maintain their skills and build on what we learn in class.  At a minimum, they should practice 10 minutes a day with a goal of doing 20 minutes a day in mind.  For the concert, beginners should be working hard on pages 7, 8 and 9 in the book.  The line numbers we will do for the concert are 17 (Hot Cross Buns), 19 (Jingle Bells), 23 (Good King Wenceslas) and 25 (Dreydl, Dreydl).  Advanced Band students should be hard at work on Winter Wonderland and Reindeer Boogie as well.  In addition, any student that can memorize #19 (Jingle Bells) can participate in our Jingle Bells stroll around the school on Friday, December 16th during specials!  I can’t wait to see the students perform on the 13th!  Let me know if you have any questions!

Mr. Erickson and students

General Music

by Jon Hamilton, Emma Pivetta, and Rosalyn Crews

In General Music this year we toured different cultures. We began with patriotic music returning from summer. Songs like This Land is Your Land, the Stars & Stripes, and Yankee Doodle were incorporated into the classes with movements and instrument playing. Next, we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month across all grades with songs and dances from all over Central and South America. Younger students danced La Raspa from Guadalajara, Mexico while older students learned about the impact and music of Gloria Estefan, the “Queen of Crossover.” November brought us into Indigenous People’s Month and we looked at how different influencers use their platforms to share the dances and songs of their heritage. -Mr. Hamilton

Hamilton's class

At the start of the school year, students in the lower primary discovered their voices through vocal exploration, echoed sol-mi patterns, identified melodic direction, and played untuned percussion instruments on cue. Upper primary students performed simple rhythmic patterns, enjoyed singing games, engaged in movement activities, and began using the Curwen hand signs during sight singing practice. In recent weeks, my youngest learners recognized that graphic notation could represent the shape of a melody, they improvised vocal responses and sang sol-la-mi songs. They also distinguished between men’s, women’s, and children’s voices. My upper grade students identified the treble clef and staff, identified the vocal ranges for soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone/bass, and began lessons on the soprano recorder, reviewing pitches B, A, and G. All students are singing a range of songs, to include seasonal and patriotic songs, which reinforce skills. -Ms. Crews

Crews' students


by Emma Pivetta

On Friday, November 4th, members of the Westlawn chorus shared the honor of singing our national anthem at Falls Church HS with the rest of the Falls Church choral pyramid. The chorus represented our school well and enjoyed singing for such a large audience.

Chorus students at the football game

Winter Concert

The winter concert will be on Tuesday, December 13, 2022.

  • 8:50am: Warmup and Tuning
  • 9:00-10:00am: Performance for School (Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6)
  • 10:10-11:10am: Performance for School (Grades K, 1, and 2)
  • 6:00pm: Arrive for Warmup and Tuning in the Gym
  • 6:30pm: Concert for parents, friends, families

Daytime concert dress is the blue music t-shirt. Evening concert dress is white tops (plain white with no pictures or writing), black bottoms (nice pants or skirt), and black shoes.

Students in band shirts