Kudos to Our Music Program!

Keep reading for an explanation of this VERY attractive picture.

On Sunday I traveled to Killington to take part in the annual Vermont Music Education Association Conference. It is a two-day event filled with workshops in all areas of music education and attended by SO many of Vermont’s amazing music teachers. It’s my favorite time of the year because I get to connect with my best friends from college who now teach all over the state, connect with my former mentor teachers from all over the state, connect with my music teachers from elementary, middle, and high school, and meet new teachers-ALL WHILE LEARNING COOL NEW STUFF TO BRING BACK TO FOLSOM!

On Sunday evening my friend Lizzy Carlson who teaches down in Waterbury and I held a Folk-Dance workshop where we taught about 25 music teachers circle dances, contra dances, Sicilian circle dances, square dances, and mixer dances. It was SO. MUCH. FUN. It’s totally nerve-wracking to teach other teachers though. We were overjoyed with the rockstars who turned out for the event, we had so much fun swinging, do-si-doing, sashaying, and more!

The most exciting news for me, and for Folsom was that I was named Vermont’s Outstanding New Music Teacher of the Year for 2016! This is an award given to a teacher in their first 5 years of service, voted on first by the various music districts in Vermont, and then finally by the board of VT Music Ed. It is a tremendous honor, I am so proud to bring this back to Folsom. I’ve been trying to find adequate language to thank my students, but it’s hard without getting too emotional. I owe it all to the Folsom Musicians, their families, my tremendous colleagues here, and the incredible music teachers that have shaped me throughout the course of my life. Thank you all so much, I am a happy and lucky girl.

AND NOW…we get to keep a ridiculously large trophy in our case for the school year!
14516562_10100290735710205_5142052482322859727_nAs he handed me the award I asked if I could run around the room singing the Rocky Theme… he looked incredibly perplexed so I said, “I’ll just hold it over my head.”

14691082_10157540282355333_1304574110425682347_nAimee Bushey, the South Burlington HS Choral Director. I student-taught with Aimee for 12 weeks and I owe SO much to her.


Welcome Back Middle School Musicians!


Dear Middle Schoolers and Families,

Welcome back! I hope you all had exciting summers! I had a blast camping with you all last week and am ready to get into the Folsom Music Groove. Here’s what you need to know for the 2016-17 Folsom Music Program:

*Our Middle School Chorus is a 5-8th grade group who loves to sing together. We sing a variety of music from rounds, to our own arrangement of pop songs, to folk music from other countries. We also play a lot of games that bring us together as a chorus community. We will perform in at least two concerts, as well as popping up here and there with a song to share. Students will participate in the Island County Music Festival and have the option to participate in the District Music Festival. We rehearse Wednesdays from 3-3:50 (there will be a late bus beginning in a few weeks. Soccer Coaches are aware of our rehearsals and we are working together to make it work for all students,) and Friday during the school day.


Answers to the question, “Why do you play an instrument?”

*Our Middle School Band is 5th-8th graders who love to play music together. We will play marches, movie themes, slow songs, fast songs, songs with stories, songs from other countries, AND we will learn music just by ear, AND we will MAKE STUFF UP. Students will participate in the Island County Music Festival and have the option to participate in the District Music Festival. The 5th and 6th graders rehearse on Mondays, the 5th-8th graders rehearse Thursdays, and the 7th and 8th graders rehearse Fridays.


*Our Select Band called The Raz MaTazz is an auditioned band open to 6th-8th graders. If you were in the Raz MaTazz last year you do not need to re-audition. We do have a few spots open for new members. This group is for students who are looking for more challenging music AND are able to arrive at school by 7:25 on Tuesday Mornings. During the Spring we begin playing more Jazz and hope to perform at the Burlington Jazz Fest in June.

PRACTICING: Did your instrument grow some mold this summer because it remained in its case in a dark closet for multiple months? Okay. No worries. It’s a new year. The music room will be open Every Morning at 7:25 except Tuesday for students to come in and practice. It is expected that every student bring their instrument home over the weekend to practice. We are a middle school band, that means that we DO need family encouragement to practice. Thank you in advance for showing your child that you value music and the work they are doing.


Evan wanted to document how organized his folder is so far.

Never played an instrument? Never sang in chorus? This is your year. It’s not too late to begin either of these things. Jump right into chorus, and let’s get you started on an instrument.

PLEASE contact Ms. Kauffeld if you’re interested in beginning an instrument! karkauf@gisu.org (802) 380-9291
Thank you SO much for bringing music to our Folsom community! Spread the word! Take a risk! Try something NEW!

Ms. Kauffeld


Hello Folsom Musicians!

Happy Almost-August Folsom Musicians!

I hope you’re having busy, creative, sunny, and fun summers-I miss you all!
I’m in the middle of my two-week performing arts camp in southern VT so I’ve been playing a lot of trombone, teaching a lot of music, playing a lot of improv games, blocking scenes, and doing character work with 5th-8th graders. And while that’s super fun for me to be down here with these kiddos, it makes me even more excited to come back to you in the fall!

So- you’ve got a month-ish before school starts! Get those instruments out! Play, sing, dance! And here’s a treat for your inspiration!

2016 Island County Music Festival

Hey Folsom Friends!

On March 22nd and 23rd thirty-two of our middle school musicians traveled to Alburgh to take part in the Island County Music Festival. Andy Gagnon from Stowe Middle School conducted the band, and Melissa Towle from Colchester High School conducted the chorus. Folsom set an outstanding example musically and as students in another school. The days were long, and our students were tired, but their handwork paid off because the concert sounded fantastic. Ms. Kauffeld is so proud and thankful for all of their help during the two days, we look forward to hosting the festival at Folsom next year!


2016 Folsom K-4 Presents “Peter Pan!”

DSC_0585Thanks to the Tremble family for this beautiful picture, more to come! (If you have pics you’d like to share on the blog, let me know!)

It’s here finally, our 2016 production of J. M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan.”
I feel so grateful to so many people- the incredible families who brought snacks, made costumes, helped with rehearsals, brought in props, helped build sets, delivered and picked up kiddos to and from rehearsals and SO. MUCH. MORE.
I’m also so grateful and indebted to the team of Middle Schoolers who worked on this show. From our wonderful Assistant Director Holly, to our brilliant Set Designer Kayla, to our very competent Running Crew, and our extremely talented Pit Band. WOW. How can I say thank you enough? Is it okay to ask you all to never graduate? Or at least ask you to make sure you train the folks coming up the ranks?

Thank you to Dylan Degree for filming our production, please share with your loved ones who couldn’t make it to our show.

Anything Goes!

Hey Folks!

We (Gina and I,) are working as quickly as possible to get the Middle School production of “Anything Goes,” up and running. Today I met with a great group of 4th-8th graders to help them get familiar with some of the tunes. If you couldn’t attend today, do not fear. I will have another session Friday at recess and Friday after school until 4 (there is no late bus so plan accordingly.)

Auditions will be Monday March 21 and Tuesday March 22 after school. I don’t have an end time yet. More to come.

Middle School Musical FAQ-

  1. Can 4th graders be in the production?
    Yes! When making this decision to be involved please know that the time commitment is much more extensive than for the K-4 play, and these students are asked to really up their maturity and responsibility levels!
  2. What if I have some after school commitments?
    Join us! We have folks who take dance classes, play a sport a few times a week, have mentoring, and more. With this in mind, if you are available for less time to rehearse, it may mean that you are on stage less, but we’d really love to have you! When we get into the final weeks before the play students and families are asked to prioritize rehearsals and miss their other activities.
  3. Is it possible to be in the play but not sing on stage?
    Yes! The beauty of a show like “Anything Goes!” is that there’s room for all types on involvement. Join us!
  4. What about lights/sound/crew?
    More info to come… but… Join us!
  5. How do I prepare for auditions?
    It’s all about the YouTube. Here are the songs you should listen to:
    Girls: Blow Gabriel Blow, All Through the Night, I Get a Kick Out of You
    Boys: Be Like the Blue Bird, All Through the Night, Friendship


District Wind Ensemble Listening

Hey Wind Ensemble Members-

PLEASE listen to the three pieces for the festival. This music is HARD. Learning these tunes in a short amount of time will be SOOOO much easier if you listen. Listen with your music in front of you and follow your part.

  1. West Side Story:

2. Appalachian Morning:

3. Atlantis: The Lost Continent