1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music 7th Grade COOL MUSIC STUFF! Why Is Music Education Important?

Better When I’m Dancing Folsom 2017

Happy Summer Folsom Friends!

Here’s the video we showed on the last day of school at our Celebration of Learning Assembly. Look at those smiles and that laughter. We couldn’t ask for a better community of students, staff, and families. Until next year, have a great summer!

1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music COOL MUSIC STUFF! Kindergarten Middle School Band Middle School Chorus Middle School General Music Why Is Music Education Important?

Happy 100th Birthday Anniversary Billie Holiday!

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and what better way to kick it off than to wish Billie Holiday a Happy 100th Birthday Anniversary!
Billie Holiday was born on April 7th, 1915 and died in 1959.
One of the most influential and beautiful jazz singers of all time.
Her recordings speak for themselves.
The first, “Night and Day” by Cole Porter (One of Ms. K’s favorite songs.)

Next, “God Bless the Child,” written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr.

And last, for now… “I’ll Be Seeing You”

COOL MUSIC STUFF! Instrument Lessons Middle School Band Why Is Music Education Important?

Well this is ridiculous!


Fun fact: that specific kind of Tuba is called a Sousaphone. John Philips Sousa wrote many marches and he wanted a tuba in the marching band but they were too big to carry. SOOOO they made one that wraps around your body! hooray!

Add Sousaphone to the Folsom Holiday Wish List…

3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music Instrument Lessons Middle School Band Why Is Music Education Important?

Open Music Room!

As many of you know, (because maybe you’ve seen and heard us in the mornings!) I’ve opened up the music room before school starting at 7:30 every day of the week except Tuesday (because that’s when middle school band rehearses.) Students are invited to come in and practice alone, play with each other, and/or get help from me or older students.

Last week our numbers of students were 16, 19,18, and 16. That BLOWS MY MIND.
I’ve been keeping track of the students who are coming and after Friday’s session I listed the names of every student who has come at least one time. 28 out of the 30 students studying an instrument this year have attended!
Here are some low-quality pictures I snapped while running around between 19 students!

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Not sure if getting your student to school those extra minutes early is worth it? Please watch this AWESOME Ted Talk, and hopefully you will be swayed.

1/2 Grade First Steps in Music Kindergarten Why Is Music Education Important?

First Steps in Music: John Feierabend Kindergarten-Second Grade Music Classes


The First Steps in Music curriculum is design to prepare children to become musical in three ways:

1) Tuneful– to have tunes in their heads and learn to coordinate their voices to sing those tunes.
2) Beatful– to feel the pulse of music and how that pulse is grouped in either twos or threes.
3) Artful– to be moved by music in the many ways music can elicit an emotional response.

John Feierabend, a music philosopher, teacher, and creator of “First Steps in Music” and “Conversational Solfege” two curriculums that we’ll be using at Folsom in grades K-6 writes this about First Steps:

All adults should be tuneful, beatful, and artful so they can participate in the music that is interwoven throughout their lives. Adults who are tuneful can sing lullabies to their babies, sing “Happy Birthday” to their children and friends, sing in worship services, and join others in singing ceremonial songs like alma maters or heritage favorites. Adults who are beatful can rock on the beat while singing that lullaby, dance at their weddings or at their friends’ weddings, and can clap their hands in time with others at a sporting event. Adults who are artful are moved by music and seek out venues to share artful experiences with others in concert halls, and in community bands and choirs or by listening to National Public Radio. Artful adults enjoy being moved by music.

When I first heard this I felt relieved. Finally I had found the words to express why I teach music. As you can see, preparing children to become professional musicians has very little to do with this philosophy. I think that is a misconception among some people that perhaps don’t see the value of music education in the public school. I am not teaching to the students who may continue to play in college and beyond, (though I am giving the necessary music foundation,) I am teaching to ALL students skills and practices that will enrich their lives no matter what their passions are. 

Feierabend goes on to write:

  • Adults who are tuneful, beatful, and artful are also better able to participate in a community and are able to enjoy opportunities to sing together with others, dance together with others, and share listening to beautiful music together with others.
  • Children who learn to be tuneful, beatful, and artful before they leave elementary school will grow to be adults who benefit from what music can offer. Those who go on to sing in choirs or play an instrument will do so in a more musical manner. Those who choose not to sing in choirs or play an instrument later will still be enriched by being able to share music in their daily lives.

I wanted to share these words with my Folsom families because I think it is important for you to know the why behind a Music Education. This is my Why. I might say I’ve adopted Feierabend’s philosophy, but I feel more comfortable saying that I’ve finally found the words to express my own philosophy. 

While this “First Steps in Music” Curriculum is aimed at Preschool through Second Grade, these same ideas of tuneful, beatful, and artful absolutely apply in grades 3-8. In grades 3-6 we’ll be using the second part of Feierabend’s curriculum called “Conversational Solfege.” Look for a blog post on this soon!

Middle School General Music Why Is Music Education Important?

Island County Music Festival: DAY 1-BAND!!!

2014-04-30_09-21-50_98For Day 1 of our Island County Music Festival Adam Sawyer came to conduct the concert band! Mr. Sawyer directs the instrumental program at ADL in Essex. Our musicians from Folsom, North Hero, and Grand Isle worked hard today and it was obvious at the end of our rehearsal just how far they had come. We can’t wait to hear the finished product at the concert tomorrow night at 5pm! The band members will return to Folsom for a dress rehearsal at 2pm tomorrow and stay through the concert.

Can’t wait for our singers to work with Kristin Bamberger from Shelburne tomorrow! WAHOOO!

Check out these pictures! Click on a Pic to make it big!


1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade COOL MUSIC STUFF! Kindergarten Middle School Chorus Middle School General Music Why Is Music Education Important?

Studying Music At An Early Age Affects Your Later Life…

Check out this US News article about the effects of studying music and language at an early age AND the importance of physical activity every day. We are lucky at Folsom to have a supportive administration, school board, staff, and community to continue or Music, Art, and Foreign Language programs DURING the school day!


Can’t wait for our Island County Music Festival tomorrow! Wednesday is the band rehearsal day, Thursday is the chorus rehearsal (band members arrive at 2 om for their dress rehearsal) with a combined concert Thursday evening at 5pm! SEE YOU THERE WAHOO!

1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade COOL MUSIC STUFF! Kindergarten Why Is Music Education Important?

Discovering Music Carnival at UVM!

On Saturday, April 19th the Music Education Majors at UVM hosted a MUSIC CARNIVAL! People of all ages were invited to come take a lesson on any instrument you’d like, hear performances, and enter raffles to win music prizes!

 14 Folsom students and families came to UVM to learn and play! HOLY COW IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!


Lessons were taken by all sorts of family members! Ms. Kauffeld even got to take guitar (channeling Mr. McDermott,) upright bass (channeling Madame Bishop,) and Clarinet (while Katie and Max watched her and laughed at her squeaks.)

I want to thank the following musicians and their families for coming out!
Sam Button
Max Bumbeck
Charlotte Bumbeck
Katie O’Hara
Maddy Noel
Calvin Noel
Jack Tremble
Anika Siegfried
Ethan Heyn
Aurelia Wickenden
Sunny Wickenden
Ava Jensen
Hazel Valin
and Schuyler Valin

Click a Pic to Make it Big!

COOL MUSIC STUFF! Why Is Music Education Important?

Sowah Mensah: Master Drummer and Teacher from Ghana, West Africa

Sowah Mensah teaches at Macalister University in Minnesota, but Vermont was lucky enough to have him as a resident teacher over the course of 6 years at UVM. Ms. Kauffeld was ESPECIALLY lucky that 2 of those years were while she was a student there!
In this video you will hear Sowah explain that why the past is important and how this affects drumming and music making.

“Take what is good from your past and use it in your future.”

1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade COOL MUSIC STUFF! Kindergarten Middle School General Music Why Is Music Education Important?

“Joy In the Congo” a 60 Minutes Segment You MUST Watch!

Hope and joy can be found in the Congo, our world’s poorest country.
An awe-inspiring story for all!

Watch the AWESOME video and read the article by clicking on the link below.

Joy In the Congo