Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Finals Week

Happy Finals Week, everyone!

VC: We will be reviewing for your written final, which will be on Thursday.

RC: Your piano finals are Monday and Tuesday. Your written final is on Friday.

CC: No written final--details about your final will be announced in class.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Concert Week!

No groups this week as we prepare for our holiday concert.

Upcoming: RC piano finals will be Monday and Tuesday of next week. Come prepared to play either an excerpt of your repertoire (hands together), or the whole piece if it is ready. If you have not been assigned repertoire, then your final will be a scale and cadence pattern of my choice.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week of 11/30/15

Welcome back--hope you all had a nice break! Here's what's happening this week:

VC Theory: We will review pitches on the staff and start with half steps, whole steps, and enharmonic spellings. Check out musictheory.net if you need extra practice.

RC Piano: We will only have one group rotation this week, so you will be focused on your new repertoire.

CC Theory: We will review intervals, and you will complete an in-class worksheet for practice. The goal is to finish intervals by the end of this semester.

Phoenix: No theory group this week.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pre-Thanksgiving Week!

Congratulations to all of you for completing your All-State auditions! And now we wait for cutoff scores...

Here's what's happening this week:

VC: We will get into actual written theory now that we are finished with all-state. You'll be taking a theory pre-test, and starting to learn (or review) pitches on the staff. Visit musictheory.net or musicracer.com for practice identifying pitches.

RC: We will be choosing repertoire for your final this semester, and also doing a short written analysis (in-class) of the repertoire that you have chosen. If you haven't yet finished your scale check-offs, you will continue with them.

CC: Quiz over minors! Then we will review intervals.

Phoenix: Quiz over part-writing norms, roman numerals, and figured bass. Then we will discuss uses of inversions in four-part writing.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Week of 11/9/15

Count-down to All-State: FIVE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Expect lots of practice on All-State skills this week in all classes.

VC: We will review sight-reading and ear training skills with the All-State Blitz game.

RC: The majority of you met the deadline for scales/cadences and will be choosing new repertoire this week. Those of you who have not yet finished must complete your scale/cadence check-offs before receiving new rep.

CC: Beatles/Stones will be wrapping up minor scales. Phoenix will be reviewing 7th chords and part-writing rules.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy Concert Week

Happy Concert Week, everyone! Due to concert prep, we will not be having theory or piano groups this week.

Special note for RC--since we missed groups the last two weeks, the deadline for your scale check-offs will be extended to November 6th. Please practice on your own time so that you can come in and knock out the scale and cadence patterns quickly. The piano lab is open for extra practice before and after school.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week of 10/19/15

We are starting to get in concert mode this week: please visit Dr. Woolf's blog for additional details.

Here's what will be happing in groups.

VC: We will have sight-singing marathons in your groups since we will not have much time to practice All-State skills when we are all together.

RC: Scale check-offs! Also, don't forget to view the video from your recital and send me your grade. That is due by Wednesday. The rubric may be found here.

CC: We will not have regular groups due to concert prep this week, but some of you will get some extra theory/All-State skills practice if you are mostly finished with your concert assignment.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week of 10/12/15

VC: We will do double groups on Wednesday and Thursday. In theory we will begin rhythmic dictation and have a competition to see who has the "Ear Extraordinaire" in All-State ear training skills. You will have a quiz on error detection and audiation on Friday.

RC: Recital on Friday! We will spend class time preparing for your recital, including practice performances and familiarization with the rubric, which can be found here.

CC: In theory groups we will continue with minor scales and figured bass realization.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week of 10/5/15

VC: We will be continuing with All-State prep on ear training and sight-singing.

RC: In piano this week we will be continuing with scales and with repertoire. On the second day of class we will discuss what makes a good piano performance, so please bring your journals to class.

CC: No theory this week. Check Dr. Woolf's blog for details.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week of 9/28/15

Welcome back--hope you all had a lovely fall break! We are jumping back in with groups this week.

VC Theory: We will continue with All-State prep--ear training and sight reading practice.

RC Piano: We will continue with checking off scales and cadences and also get to work on your repertoire for your upcoming class recital (recital date mid-October--TBD).

CC Theory: We will begin minor scales this week--all three forms. Visit musictheory.net for extra resources.

Phoenix Theory: We will do a quick review of inversions and figured bass and apply these concepts to part-writing.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week of 9/14/15

Here is what's going on this week:

VC: We will hear your All-State Solos (GRADED). Please don't forget to dress nicely on your performance day. Check Dr. Woolf's blog for the schedule.

RC: We are focusing on practice strategies for repertoire and also getting down to business on learning your scales and cadences. You will have a graded progress check on your repertoire on the second day of your group rotation.

CC: We are zeroing in on All-State skills. Come with your ears ready for audiation and error detection and possibly some sight-singing as well.

Phoenix: We are continuing with part-writing norms and rules.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week of 8/31/15

Our regular groups schedule begins this week in all classes! Below are details for piano and theory.

VC: We will begin a unit on ear training in preparation for All-state. Please be sure that you have your journals in class.

RC: We will continue with scales and cadences and begin assigning repertoire.

CC: We will be brushing up on your audiation and error detection skills.

Phoenix: You are responsible for doing your own preparation for All-state. We will begin an intro to part-writing in the Common Practice Period.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Workshop Concert & Vocal Contracts

REMINDER: Turn in your vocal contracts!!! A few of you have still not done so, and I must have them for you to be able to perform on the workshop concert on Tuesday.

Monday, August 17, 2015

CC Extra Credit Opportunity

CC: as you may have noticed, the bulletin board in the ensemble room has space for your thoughts. Please comment on this post with 1-3 sentences stating your personal answer to the question "Why is music theory important for singers to study?" Responses may be serious, inspirational, or funny, and I will choose the best ones to post on the bulletin board. Each person who comments will receive 3 extra credit points on your first theory quiz.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Workshop Concert & Vocal Contracts

Workshop Concert is this Friday! Also, syllabi have been posted on Dr. Woolf's blog (link on the right). Vocal contracts (last page of your syllabus) are due to me by this Friday, August 14th. If I do not have your contract, you will not be allowed to sing on the concert.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

2015-2016 Welcome

Welcome back, everyone! We are gearing up for the workshop concert this week, as well as looking forward to meeting all of our fabulous new vocal students. Please visit Dr. Woolf's blog (there's a link on the right of this page) to fill out your info asap.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ain't Misbehavin' Tracks

Vocal/Drama students involved in the Ain't Misbehavin' PBL: below is a link to tracks to help you with learning your parts. There are individual tracks for each voice part as well as a track with all of the parts.

Ain't Misbehavin' Tracks

Thursday, March 19, 2015

CC Review of 7th Chords

CC: Extra practice for your quiz tomorrow.

1. What would be the quality of a 7th chord with the following components?
a. major triad, minor 7th
b. minor triad, minor 7th
c. diminished triad, minor 7th
d. major triad, major 7th
e. diminished triad, diminished 7th

2. What is the figured bass for each of the following inversions?
a. the root is in the bass
b. the third of the chord (an interval of a third above the root) is in the bass
c. the fifth of the chord is in the bass
d. the seventh of the chord is in the bass

3. How would you write a ii6/5 chord in the key of F?
4. How would you write a vii04/2 chord in the key of D?
5. How would you write a V4/3 chord in the key of A?
6. How would you write a IM7 chord in the key of Cb?

You will also need to be able to identify given chords with a Roman Numeral/Figured Bass. For extra identification practice, visit http://www2.lawrence.edu/fast/BIRINGEG/media/theory_funds/. Scroll down to worksheet #33. There is a worksheet pdf and also a pdf with the answers. Be sure that you ONLY do the examples in Major keys, as we are not worried about minors just yet.

VC Extra Practice on Minors

VC: for your quiz tomorrow you need to be able to find the relative minors to fill in the Circle of 5ths. Remember, the minor is the 6th note of the Major scale, so you can count up to six and then use Father Charles to see if it should be sharp or flat. You may also count down three half steps from one, and that will get you to 6. Relatives have the same number of sharps and flats (i.e. C Major and a minor both have 0 sharps/flats). Majors are always uppercase, minors are always lowercase.

Practice examples:

Find the relative minors to the following Majors (answers below):
1. D
2. Ab
3. B

Practice writing the Circle of 5ths with Majors, number of sharps/flats, and minors. Check yourself against your notes from class.

Given the following key signatures, what would the Major/minor keys be (answers below)?
1. 7 sharps
2. 3 flats
3. 1 sharp

Relative minors:
1. b
2. f
3. g#

Key signatures:
1. C# Major and a# minor
2. Eb Major and c minor
3. G Major and e minor

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Week of 3/16/15

VC: We will be learning about relative minors. For your quiz on Friday you will need to be able to identify minor key signatures and fill in the minors on the Circle of 5ths. For extra practice identifying minor key signatures, please visit http://www.musictheory.net/exercises/keysig (make sure that you are in minor mode in the "customize" controls on the upper right task bar).

RC: We will be focusing on repertoire this week, as well as completing the vocal warm-up exercise.

CC: We will be finishing up 7th chords this week. For your quiz on Friday you should know the qualities of 7th chords (Major, minor, Dominant, half-diminished, and fully diminished), and the Figured Bass designations for root position and all of the inversions of 7th chords. You should also be able to identify 7th chords using Roman Numerals/Figured Bass, write 7th chords given Roman Numerals/Figured Bass, and aurally identify the quality of 7th chords (root position only).

Sunday, March 8, 2015

RC Composers Study Guide

RC3 & 4: Don't forget to bring your study guides to class on Monday! If you need another copy you will find it here. All-Staters, I will have a hard copy for you.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

VC Extra Practice

VC: Here are some extra practice questions for your quiz on Friday. We will also do some review in class tomorrow.

Key Signatures:

  1. What key has six flats?
  2. What key has four sharps?
  3. What key has two flats?
  4. What key has three sharps?
  5. How many sharps/flats are in the key of F?
  6. How many sharps/flats are in the key of D?
  7. How many sharps/flats are in the key of Db?
  8. How many sharps/flats are in the key of C#?

Scale degrees:

  1. In the key of G, what is 5?
  2. In the key of C, what is 6?
  3. In the key of Ab, what is 4?
  4. In the key of F#, what is 3?
  5. In the key of Bb, what scale degree would C be?
  6. In the key of A, what scale degree would F# be?
  7. In the key of Eb, what scale degree would Bb be?
  8. In the key of F, what scale degree would E be?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Week of 2.23.15

Good luck to everyone as we perform at LGPE today and tomorrow!

Here are some plans for the end of the week:

VC: On Thursday we will have a theory day so that we can get caught up with key signatures for a quiz on Friday.

RC: We will be focusing on wrapping up your tech projects. Due to the "snow" days, I am extending the deadline to March 6th, but it will NOT be extended beyond that, so let's finish up quickly. Don't forget that in addition to your sheet music or recording you must also turn in a one page paper describing the technical process and justifying your musical choices.

CC: We will not have regular groups this week. Wednesday through Friday your section leaders will be getting you started on Jai Ho.

Monday, February 9, 2015

VC Week 2/9/15

Recap of theory class:

Writing Scales Using Key Signatures:

1. Determine how many flats or sharps you need using the Circle of 5ths.

2. Write out the key signature, using the order of sharps and flats.

Sharps: Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle. Start on the highest F on the staff.
Flats: Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father (order of sharps, backwards). Start with the middle B (middle line on treble clef, second line on bass).

DON'T confuse the mnemonic to remember the order of sharps and flats with the order of the Circle of 5ths. "Father Charles..." is the order that you write the sharps/flats in the key signature. "Good Dogs..." and "Fat Boys..." are the order of scales on the Circle of 5ths.

3. Find your starting note and write out the scale. You do not need any accidentals because the sharps or flats in the key signature carry over.

4. Check your rhythmic values and adjust the note heads accordingly (quarter notes, half notes, or whole notes).

Continue to practice this skill, and also to review the Circle of 5ths as it is foundational to key signatures. You should be able to write it entirely from memory.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Announcements Week of 2/2/15

CC: Reminder! You will have a unit test over triads on Friday. Please review the study guide in the previous blog post.

VC: For your quiz on Friday you will need to be able to complete the Circle of 5ths. The following link contains a visual of the Circle if you need it for study purposes:


Saturday, January 24, 2015

CC Upcoming Test

Chamber Choir,

The week of Feb. 2nd we will have a unit test on triads in your theory groups. Please reference the study guide here. We will review this material in class this coming week and practice notating triads.

Your grades from the triad identification quiz last week will be in synergy by the end of the day on Monday. If you would like to improve your score, you may do the similar practice examples here and return them to me either in person or by e-mail NO LATER THAN Monday Feb. 2nd for a substitute grade.

If you feel that you need some extra help, please schedule a tutoring session with me. I am happy to meet with you before or after school, but you must arrange a time in advance.

Happy studying!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

VC Tutoring Session

VC: in preparation for your unit test next week, I will be offering a tutoring session at 7:30 on Thursday morning. You may also schedule individual help sessions, but I encourage you to come to the tutoring session if you need clarification.

Here are some practice examples, with the answers listed below. Don't forget to draw a piano to use along with your scale pattern: WWHWWWH. Remember, half steps are right next to each other on the piano (i.e.--C to Db, E to F), and whole steps are two half steps (i.e. F# to G#, Bb to C).

Write the following scales and then bracket the two tetrachords for each one.
1. C   2. G   3. D   4. A   5. E   6. B   7. Gb   8. C#   9. Ab   10. Eb   11. Bb   12. F

1. (CDEF) (GABC)
2. (GABC) (DEF#G)
3. (DEF#G) (ABC#D)
4. (ABC#D) (EF#G#A)
5. (EF#G#A) (BC#D#E)
6. (BC#D#E) (F#G#A#B)
7. (GbAbBbCb) (DbEbFGb)
8. (C#D#E#F#) (G#A#B#C#)
9. (AbBbCDb) (EbFGAb)
10. (EbFGAb) (BbCDEb)
11. (BbCDEb) (FGABb)
12. (FGABb) (CDEF)

Friday, January 16, 2015

CC Quiz Update

CC: we will take your quiz on TUESDAY and THURSDAY of next week, during your normal group times, so please review the material over the weekend. Refer to the previous blog post for details on what you need to know.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

VC and CC: Quizzes Tomorrow!

VC: You need to be able to write Major scales both in letters and on the staff. You also need to know the definition of a Major tetrachord: "a series of four notes with the pattern WWH; two tetrachords connected by a whole step make up a scale."

CC: You need to be able to find the quality (Maj./min./dim./Aug), inversion (root position/1st inversion/2nd inversion), and function (Roman Numerals) of any given triad.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

RC Tech Project Info

RC: Next Monday and Tuesday your proposal is due for your tech project. This should be a fairly detailed idea of what you would like to do, along with a specific song if you are doing an arrangement. Please refer to the guidelines below. Also, don't forget that we will begin scale pop quizzes next week.


1. You may choose to do either an arrangement (I must approve the piece) or an original composition.

2. You may choose to do either a notation project (Finale) or a recording project (Garageband)

--Notation projects must be 16-20 measures, clearly and efficiently notated
--Recording projects must be 1-3 minutes, containing a minimum of two tracks

For both notation and recording projects the use of other instruments (i.e. Garageband beat loops, an additional string part, etc.) is encouraged, but all projects MUST include piano.

3. Along with your project you will turn in a one page paper (1) explaining your musical choices AND (2) describing what you learned through the technical process.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Welcome Back!

I hope that you all had a happy and restful holiday season! Below is an overview of what we will be doing in groups this week.

VC Theory: We'll be picking up where we left off with the scale pattern. You will also start practicing writing your own pianos.

RC Piano: If you have finished scales and have not yet received new repertoire, we will get to that this week. You will also receive the guidelines for your technology projects.

CC Theory: We will pick back up with triads this week.