The Music Classroom

    The Music Program
    At Island Park Elementary School, we teach kindergarten through fifth grade general music 1-2 times a week for 40 minutes. Our main objective is to teach the love and enjoyment of music to every child in the music classroom. By doing this, we hope to instill a life-long desire to seek out music in my students' lives. We also focus on meeting the state standards in music education by teaching students how to read, write and understand music.

    We focus on the main musical elements in every grade level. These include melody, rhythm, form, harmony, and tone color. We also cover elements of dance, expressive elements, composers, and the study of sol-feg especially in the primary grades. To enhance the skill of reading and writing music, class piano is taught in the second, third and fifth grades with a major focus during the months of September through December. Fourth graders get additional music reading practice by learning to play the recorders. We also value teaching with the use of xylophones, metallophones, and glockenspiels as well as other percussion instruments using Orff Schulwerk arrangements and experimentation. By doing so, a variety of teaching tools to stimulate the children is incorporated. Students regularly sing songs, play instruments, dance and use creative movement to express music, listen to music, play musical games and complete worksheets to enhance their musical learning. For a more detailed look at our curriculum, please see our MISD K-5 music targets.  

    happy computer

    Second through fifth graders have the extra opportunity of accessing computers in the classroom. Laptops and iPads with music software are used to support music concepts being studied in class. Students expand their knowledge with the use of Music Ace Maestro, Sibelius, Garage Band and several other music technology choices. Students also have the capability to compose music via midi keyboard stations. I continue to research other music multi-media programs to enhance the study of cultures, composers, and music theory.

    Finally, as a vocal performer, I believe that one of the most exciting aspects of music is being able to perform. It is the culmination of all the hard work and discipline needed to perform music well that brings a sense of teamwork and community to a group. To enhance this, all Island Park students perform in several assemblies and/or concerts throughout the year. In addition, third graders perform at the Mercer Island Fine Arts Showcase, fourth and fifth graders have the opportunity to join the Island Park Concert Choir, and fifth graders can elect to join band and orchestra. And, yes,the fifth graders perform in the traditional Island Park Musical in early spring! Please feel free to contact me if you would like to volunteer your time in the classroom or for the musical.

     Extracurricular Activities
     Extracurricular music activities include: 

    Choir: Choir is open to all 4th and 5th grade students and is held before school on Tuesdays from 8:00 to 8:45 am at Island Park Elementary School. There is a Fall Session from late September to November, a Winter Session from late January through March, and a Spring Session from April to June.  Visit the Island Park Choir Page or contact Mrs. Hamp for more information.

    Musical: All fifth graders participate in the Island Park Musical - and this year, it will be in the fall! Rehearsals take place during the school day as well as before/after school for students with larger roles. Visit the 5th Grade Musical Page or contact Mrs. Hamp if you would like to help.

    Orchestra: Orchestra begins in 5th grade and is held before school from 8:15 to 9:00 am at Islander Middle School. Students can learn to play the violin, viola, cello, and string bass. District bus transportation is provided for Band and Orchestra students. More information, including dates and frequently asked questions, can be found on the 5th Grade Instrumental Information website. You could also contact Vicki White-Miltun, the 5-12 grade orchestra teacher.

    Band: Band begins in 5th grade and is held before school from 8:15 to 9:00 am at Islander Middle School or Mercer Island High School. Students can learn to play the fluteclarinettrumpet, trombonebaritoneFrench Horn, and percussion (note: there is limited space for percussion, percussion students do not attend before school classes until January, lessons are taken after-school instead). District bus transportation is provided for Band and Orchestra students. More information, including contact information, dates and frequently asked questions, can be found on the 5th Grade Instrumental Information.

    Classroom Expectations

    My expectation is that every student will choose to make positive actions and promote positive feelings in the music classroom. It is only when this happens that all students are ready and able to learn. To help promote this, the following rules and consequences are followed in the classroom. These responsibilities are discussed and posted at the beginning of the year.

                             Student Responsibilities 

    1. Enter and exit the music room in a quiet and organized manner.
    2. Be respectful to yourself and others.
    3. Be attentive so all may learn.
    4. Participate positively and safely in all activities.
    5. Try your best at all times.

    "Is it safe? Is it respectful? Does it help you and others to learn?"

     animated stop light!


    If a student chooses to disregard the class rules, 

    1. The student will receive a reminder.
    2. The student will receive a second reminder and their daily grade will be lowered.
    3. For the younger students, a third reminder will remove the student from the "circle". They go to the back of the room and think about their actions. When they feel ready to return and behave appropriately, they are welcome back. For the older students, a third reminder constitutes the loss of recess time and a chance to reflect. 
    4. If a fourth reminder is necessary, the student is removed from the class for the period. The learning of the other children must not be continually disrupted. The student will lose more recess privileges and the parents will be contacted.
    * If a student's behavior is repeatedly disruptive or dangerous, the student will not receive the first warnings but will move straight to time-out and parental contact.


    Students will receive a daily grade for participation and effort. They will also be graded on knowledge and skills learned throughout the year. Teacher observations as well as student written and performance assessments will be used to assess this knowledge. 


    C  =  Consistently observed (student consistently and independently meets expectations)
    G  =  Generally observed (student generally meets expectations)
    N  =  Needs Prompting (student meets expectations with assistance and redirecting)
    R  =  Rarely (student rarely meets expectations)


     4  =  Exceeding standard at the trimester
    3.5  =  Meets standard (Student working beyond level 3 but not consistently performing at level 4)
      3  = 
    Meets standard at the trimester (Student knows and applies the simple or complex information and/or processes that were explicitly taught. There are no major errors or omissions)
    2.5  =  Progressing toward standard  (Student working beyond level 2 but not consistently at level 3)
     2  =  Progressing toward standard
     1  =  Below standard at trimester
    NA  =  Not assessed this trimester
     Visit our Classroom
    music room picture 1


     Our classroom is set up in two general areas: one that features our fifteen electronic keyboards utilizing the Yamaha Music in Education (MIE) technology-based keyboard system and the other being open space allowing for movement, percussion instrument use, and other music activities. This is a view from the front of the keyboard stations.