Monday, October 13, 2014

WOHE 2nd Presents - Lights, Camera, Action!!!

Come join WOHE 2nd grade on Thursday, Oct. 23rd at 7:00 p.m. as they present this fabulous show sure to be a crowd hit!  You won't want to miss it!  Students that do not have an assigned costume (predetermined ahead of time w/ Mrs. Kuchta-these students already know of their arrangements) should wear their black Wednesday WOHE "Get In The Game" T-Shirts!  Can't wait to see you all there!!!  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Welcome Back 2014

Wonderful WOHE!!  Welcome back!!  It's going to be another GREAT year!  I've attached a copy of the latest Music Room Newsletter, "Music Notes."  Click here to be taken to a PDF link of this printable newsletter.  This is the same newsletter that is going home with every student at Meet the Teacher Night and Kindergarten Welcome Day!!  Important information such as grade level music program dates and so much more is included in this newsletter so you'll want to stick it on your refrigerator so you'll be sure to see it EVERY day!!!

Be sure to check out Mrs. Kuchta's Corner; An Elementary Music Wonderland Facebook Page as well.  Make sure you "like" it while you scoping it out! :)  This page will be another venue for keeping up-to-date with the latest music room news!

Be sure you are a follower/subscriber to this blog as well as the Facebook page mentioned above so you can be sure not to miss any important announcements/updates!  As a follower/subscriber, you'll automatically receive any posts as they happen.  What better way to stay informed!

Mrs. Kuchta's "Music With Friends" Bulletin Board waiting to greet the
students as they enter the building to begin the new 2014-2015 school year.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mrs. Kuchta, Featured Teacher Author on TpT

I was so excited to see that I was selected to be a featured seller today on Teachers Pay Teachers.  It's the little things that can add sparkle to ones day!!!    

Friday, June 6, 2014

Perfect Poolside Planning: Summer Blog Hop

Even though summer has officially begun and is in full swing, my type A personality paired with those creative "elementary music teacher juices" can never fully shut down to take that much needed vacation.  You just can't escape those middle of the night "light bulb" moments no matter what time or season of the year it is!!   

I am so thrilled to have the wonderful privilege and opportunity of being a member of a group of fabulous music teachers from all over the world that have come together via various networking connections/communities.  We have recently teamed up to bring this blog hop event with the purpose of sparking some ideas and helpful hints that you can hopefully find useful in your music classrooms.

When deciding what I wanted to blog about, the topic of "how to incorporate larger thematic music units of study" into your music curriculum and lesson planning came to mind.  Along with this topic also comes the question of how to decipher what music topics are age & skill appropriate for the grade levels you teach.   So, without further delay, here it goes!!

Over my 13 years of teaching, these units have proven time and time again to be the "traditional" ever faithful favorites!!   I certainly don't have time to squeeze EVERY single one of these units listed into my planning EVERY single year.  Many times, as you well know, we are hammered with so many expectations of not only fulfilling our daily lesson plans and curriculum but we are also expected to produce wonderful, elaborate grade level music programs/productions at some point in the school year as well (along with being ready to handle many other "hats" that are thrown our direction at any given moment throughout the school year :).  These units listed below are ones that I have used and rotated throughout the years.  I will list them for you by grade levels as this is how my brain functions and this helps me to sequentially process my long-term linear planning as I am a Kodaly certified music teacher and that is how most of us "Kodaly Types" roll!! :):)

Kindergarten - 

  • Basic Beginning Elements of Music (high/low, loud/soft, fast/slow, long/short, jerky/smooth, steady beat, etc.) - these elements coincide with my sequential Kodaly curriculum.
  • Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales in Music Unit

First Grade - 

  • Peter and the Wolf (I usually revisit this with deeper details in 3rd grade as well)

Second Grade - 

  • Carnival of the Animals 

Third Grade - 

  • Instruments of the Orchestra Unit 
    • Luigi's Baton Series by: John Jacobson's Music Express Magazine is a GREAT resource that I have used the past several years to help supplement this unit. 
    • Another gem of a resource that I've recently discovered and have started using to help supplement this unit, which happens to be created by a fellow colleague who is also a member of this music teacher networking group, Mrs. Sara Bibee, is her Instrument Resource Packets.  You can find her on Teachers Pay Teachers. She has created/published these EXCELLENT packets that are loaded with SO MUCH great information, media, etc.  Thanks Sara for making this unit a blast to teach!! 
  • Peter and the Wolf (I use this as a follow up to the Instruments of the Orchestra Unit as a review and testing the student's understanding/knowledge of what they've just learned).

Peter and the Wolf - Smart Notebook Title Sample Page, Mrs. Kuchta's Corner (TpT)

Fourth Grade - (The "spooky" music year :) 

  • Danse Macabre (I cover this unit in October around Halloween time)
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • Peer Gynt   

Fifth Grade - 

  • Spotlight on Broadway
  • Show Tunes
  • Careers In Music
  • Experimentation w/ Non-Traditional Music (STOMP, Virtual Music, Etc.)

Sixth Grade - 

  • The History of African-American Music and It's Influence on Our Music Today (A Study on Genres from Slavery to Present Day)
  • The History of Rock & Roll

Other Units That Can Be Covered Over A Span of Grade Levels or By A Yearly Rotation Schedule - 

  • The Nutcracker Suite - (I usually split this unit over a 3 year time frame among my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade classes as there is usually not enough time to cover all the details as in depth/detail as I would like, especially since these grade levels are typically preparing for their grade level musicals/programs during the fall semester and into Christmas time).
  • Composer(s) of the Month, Quarter, Season, Etc.
  • Music from Around the World

Please keep in mind, these units are just general suggestions and can be tweaked to fit the needs of you and your students.  They have been successful, fun, and engaging units for my students over the years.  I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and success stories!!!!  

You can find me and follow me on my Teachers Pay Teachers site, my Facebook page, my Pinterest page, and this Blogger (be sure to follow me on this blogger by subscribing - you can also grab my blogger button to add to your feed on your website :).  Click on these links below to become my newest follower for each site.  Then, hop on over to CMajorLearning for the next FABULOUS Blog stop!!  You won't be disappointed!!!!!  See link below picture or click on picture for your next hop stop!!

Teachers Pay Teachers - Mrs. Kuchta's Corner, An Elementary Music Wonderland 
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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Must Have Monday - Tips For Elementary Music Teaching

3 1/2 weeks and counting!! The longer I teach, the faster the years go by. Funny thing is, the faster the summers go by too :)!! This blog is in response to a colleagues blog link-up idea. Thanks Amy Abbott for the great idea. You can find her blog by clicking on this picture.

1.  My "MUST HAVE'S" from my own personal Teachers Pay Teachers collection/store would have to be my Peter and the Wolf  SMART BOARD Lesson as well as my Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite Unit of Study for the Christmas season.  This particular lesson comes in multiple formats (PDF, PPT, & SMART NOTEBOOK).  I absolutely love doing both of these units with my students!!  Come check them out!!!  Listening maps, games, video clips, etc. 

2. do I limit my "MUST HAVE'S" that I've purchased from fellow TpT friends/colleagues to just one or two shout outs?  I just can't!!  There are SO MANY!!  If I had to pick my most recent favorites, it would be these two product lines - Lindsay Jervis's Ready Set Print Worksheet Sets (she is currently building a product line of these) & Amy Abbott's (a.k.a. Music a la Abbott) Staff Safari adventure products.  Both of these products have given my lessons that extra pizzazz I was needing!!  Thanks ladies!!  

3.  My wishlist keeps growing and's currently sitting at 387 items :).  I think it's safe to say that I have either a clip art addiction or a shopping addiction or perhaps both!!!  During this upcoming site wide sale, I'm hoping to pick up this adorable product by another fellow music TpT seller, Brittany De Laruelle, Spring Color by Solfege - So & Mi Practice.   

The other product that I plan on purchasing is made by one of my favorite clip art contributors on TpT - Educlips.  I absolutely LOVE everything they do.  I would say that the majority of my clip art that I've purchased is from this artist.  Cowboys and Cowgirls is going to be the next addition to my collection.

I hope you have found some helpful and useful tips from this link - up blog entry!!  PLEASE subscribe, follow, etc. my blog.  You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, and on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Click the links below to follow me.

Musically Yours,
Erin Kuchta

Monday, March 24, 2014


Willard Orchard Hills Kindergarten Presents: 3 Nanny Goats Gruff - When: Tuesday, April 8th, 2014. 7:00 p.m. Where: Willard Orchard Hills Elementary, Springfield, MO Stay up-to-date with current announcements and details via this blog or through Mrs. Kuchta's classroom Facebook page at Mrs. Kuchta's Corner, An Elementary Music Wonderland!

Monday, March 17, 2014

1st Grade Presents: BARNYARD MOOSICAL

WOHE 1st Grade Presents: Barnyard Moosical When: Thursday, March 20th, 2014, 7:00 p.m. Where: WOHE Commons!! Morning Matinee will take place at 10:10 on that Thursday morning. Students without the farm animal speaking roles, solo's or dance parts need to wear their gray WOHE Wednesday T-shirts for BOTH performances. Students with the other parts mentioned above need to have their costumes present for BOTH performances. For the evening performance, the doors will open at 6:30 and students will need to report for check-in to their home-rooms at that time. Feel free to contact Mrs. Kuchta with questions or concerns if further clarifications are needed!! See you then!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

History of African-American Music

This week, 4th grade began our very exciting study on African American music and how it has shaped our music throughout history.  We are currently focusing on the time frame of the civil war, slavery, the Underground Railroad, and details that surround these significant historical events, including the role of music during this VERY fragile time.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Welcome Back To Spring Semester!!!

As I'm sitting here typing this post thinking about all of the fun and exciting things this "SPRING" semester has in store for the music dept. at WOHE, we are bracing for yet ANOTHER mighty winter snow storm and some of the most coldest temperatures we've had on record in over 25 years.  Not only that, I guess I was one of the lucky ones to help push the health departments flu statistics up by one.  Definitely not how I envisioned spending the end of my Christmas break :(:(:(.  I guess I can at least be thankful that it's not sunshine, daffodils, and roses, with the smell of ocean waves outside, right :)? LOL!!

There are A LOT of exciting things happening in the WOHE music room this semester.  EVERY student will be coming home with a hard copy of this newsletter but if you want a preview, click here for a sneak peek.

Now, if we all join together and do the "BRING ON SPRING DANCE" maybe we can make it happen!!!  Here's to hoping, right? :):):)