• Dear Parents,

    I would like to welcome you and your student to Music 2021-22!  My name is Cheryl Burford, and I am beginning year 24 teaching music at Clyde Erwin Elementary Magnet School.  This is my home and I love it here!

    My music classes will meet once every 4 school days.  In music class, students will learn using a “mother tongue” approach.  Kinders and First graders will have lessons focusing on listening, internalizing, moving to and singing.  Kinders and Firsts will play xylophones as their main melodic instrument.  They will also be playing a variety of non-pitched percussion instruments during the school year. 

    Seconds and Thirds will also play non-pitched percussion instruments and xylophones.  In addition to these instruments, Seconds will learn to play ukulele and Thirds will continue with ukulele learning. 

    Fourths and Fifths will play some instruments from prior grades and will be adding guitar and recorder.  A recorder is a flute like – woodwind instrument.  More information about recorders will be sent home later.

    Music is graded and will count as part of your student’s report card grades.  Grades are S: satisfactory, N: needs improvement, U: unsatisfactory. Second through Fifth grade students will have at least one assignment posted on Teams each nine-weeks that counts as part of your student’s grade.

    All students will learn to exhibit appropriate behaviors for musical instruction and musical performances.  They will have assigned seats in music class and are expected to remain in their assigned spot. In a musical group, members are expected to remain in their section.  A flute player would not go sit with the brass players, after all.  Students will learn to respond to the cues of their conductor (me.)  In a performance ensemble, the conductor helps the members know when it is their turn to play or sing and helps the ensemble to work together as one unit.  Each member of the group must learn to be responsible for their actions and be aware of how their actions affect the rest of the group.  Each member of an orchestra is responsible for their own part and each part is important; it helps make the music complete.  Finally, each student will need to be respectful of everyone and everything.  A choir is only as good as each member. Each member is only great when they are comfortable, safe, respected and encouraged. 

    When students act as a proper ensemble, they will receive DOJO points.  Look for positive points the say, “SOAR in Music.”  Sometimes students don’t meet these behavior expectations.  When this happens, I will issue a gentle reminder called a Caution sign.  It is a small, yellow, diamond-shaped paper that reads, “Caution: please make a better choice.”  Usually this helps students correct the problem.  If students need a second warning, I will issue a STOP sign.  It is a small paper that looks like a stop sign and reads, “Please stop what you are doing and make a better choice.”  If your child receives a STOP sign, I will assign a negative point in DOJO.  

    In the unhappy event that a student is still unable to work towards the unity of our group, they will earn a Think Sheet.  This is not an office referral, rather a reflection for the student to think about their reactions and actions and helps them develop a plan to avoid future issues and learn to become a supportive member of our group.  If your student earns a Think Sheet, I will contact you to help you understand what happened, what your student’s reaction was and how you can support their plan to improve.

    A young musician’s success largely depends on their ability to internalize the values of the ensemble.  As their conductor, I am here to help.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me through DOJO.  I look forward to a wonderful year!



    Cheryl Burford