• Welcome to Mrs. Murawski's website!


    Below please find assignments that I will be expecting from all FOURTH QUARTER general music students in grades 5-8 and the dates they are due. Every assignment can and should be done using only materials and resourses found at home or on the internet for FREE.  If you have any issues accessing any links or need help, just email me at pmurawski@shschools.com   I will be checking my email and responding DAILY to any student or parent who needs assistance. All completed assignments should be emailed to me and will be marked as "collected" in power school. Due dates are "soft" and work will be accepted anytime during the quarter.



     Week starting April 20, 2020 - assignment "due" Friday, April 24, 2020 by 3:00 pm

    Hello FOURTH QUARTER MUSIC STUDENTS! Your first assignment is to check in with me via email. My email address is pmurawski@shschools.com  Because we are not physically in school, it is challenging to get to know each other as we normally would at the start of a new quarter. In order for me to learn more about how things are going for each of you, I would like you to write and informal email to me (using your school email address) that tells me somethings that will be useful for me to know moving forward. Please include the following information in your email:

    -Your name (what you prefer to be called) and your grade.

    -Tell me how distance learning has been going for you. Is there anything about learning from home that you particularly like and/or find particularly challenging?

    -Are you able to use the school portal to find all your teachers' assignments?

    -Tell me about your musical background. Do you sing? Play an instrument? Dance? Have you ever taken a music class before, either with me of another teacher?

    - Finally, tell me anything you want me to know about you that would help me to understand the way you learn best. I will keep anything you choose to share PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL. 

     As I said, this will be an INFORMAL email. I LOVE good spelling and grammer, but I will not be concerned about mistakes! This assignment is important for a few reasons, but the main purpose of your email is to let me know who is able to respond and who is not. It will give me a good sense of your ability to follow directions from a distance, and it will be YOUR OPPORTUNITY to share any concerns you may have and let me know about your learning style so I can best repond to you! I am really looking forward to hearing from you! Mrs. M. 

      Week starting April 27, 2020 - assignment "due" Friday, May 1, 2020 by 3:00 pm

    Hi Everyone! This week let's think about why people love their music. It doesn't seem to matter if you are a listener or a performer (or both!), people all over the world respond to music in important ways. For your assignment, you will be watching a short video (under five minutes long) called "Why Do We Listen to Music?" Here's the link:   https://www.abc.net.au/btn/classroom/why-do-we-listen-to-music/10489110

    After you have watched the video, you will see 10 questions just below the video. I would like you answer QUESTIONS 2 through 9. (SO DON'T DO NUMBER 1 or NUMBER 10). Please use complete sentences when writing your answers.  Finally, to complete your assignment, tell me the title of a song that YOU can listen to over and over without getting tired of it. You can just share the title and artist who performs it, or you can send me a link to a music video so I can listen to it, too! I'm really looking forward to hearing from you! Mrs. M.

    Submit your answers in an email to me. Here's my email address:   pmurawski@shschools.com

    Some students prefer to make a google doc and share it with me, and that's totally fine, too!  

     Week starting May 4, 2020 - assignment "due" Friday, May 8, 2020 by 3:00 pm

    Hi Everyone!  So... last week you thought about why people listen to music and you learned that the most appealing music, the music that makes people want to dance, and the music that releases endorphins in the body, usually contains lots of predictable repetition and our ears enjoy the movement and predictability of our favorite songs. So this week, I would like you to compose an original song (music only, no lyrics) that includes some repetition on a great theme! How? Great question! We will be using a website called Chrome Music Lab Song Maker. Here's the link:   https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Song-Maker/    On this website, you can create songs without even knowing how to write music. It's a very easy site to use, but here's a tutorial if you would like help getting started:


    Your job is to compose a great tune that includes some predictable repetition. No using tunes that someone else has already composed! It must be YOUR CREATION. When you like what you've composed, simply copy and paste the link and send it to me in an email. My email is pmurawski@shschools.com  In your email to me, please tell me the title of your song and what you like about it. I'm really looking forward to hearing your compositions! Have fun! Mrs. M.

    Week starting May 11, 2020 - assignment "due" Friday, May 15, 2020 by 3:00 pm 

    Hi Everybody! First, I want to thank you all for being so creative with the Chrome Song Maker site last week! I was genuinely amazed at what you were able to compose and I really enjoyed hearing your creations. In the future, use the site anytime you wish and feel free to share future compositions with me. I’d love to hear them.

    Now, on to this week’s assignment…

    This week I would like you to think about music’s power to communicate thoughts and feelings by introducing you to a song that was released in 1972. (YES! I know that sounds like ancient history, but it isn’t)  The song was written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Bill Withers. The song’s title is Lean on Me.    Maybe you’ve heard it before?  

    Bill Withers, born in 1938,  grew up in the small coal-mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia. He was the youngest of six children. As a child, he had a communication disorder called stuttering. His parents divorced when he was two. He said his “family was poor, but his community was strong”.  To get a better idea of his early life, watch this video where he talks about his past:


    After watching the video, think about how Bill Withers learned the power of kindness and compassion in a coal mining community.As I mentioned before, Lean on Me, recorded in1972, became one of Wither’s most famous songs and it was inspired by the coal mining community where he grew up. Listen to the song and read the lyrics with this link:


    After listening to the song, think about the following questions:

    How might the message of Lean on Me be important in a coal mining community? What might the phrase “lean on me” mean in this song? In what ways might the message of this song be important to your community? Can you think of specific examples of how members of your community depend on each other at this time?

    To illustrate the power of this song’s influence on people, I would like you to watch the following video recorded on January 20, 2009. People from all over the country went to Washington D.C. to watch Barack Obama’s inauguration as President of the United States. Around 4,000 people got caught in a tunnel and could not get to the ceremony. Watch what happened:


    After you watch the video, think about the following questions:

    How do you think the people in the tunnel felt that morning? How might these people’s mood have changed when everyone began to sing Lean on Me together?
    Sadly, Bill Withers died of cardiovascular disease on March 30, 2020. On April 18th musician Stevie Wonder performed Lean on Me for the Together at Home televised concert, which raised money for healthcare workers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

    Watch Wonder’s tribute:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vgfBJhlEEo

     Now here’s your assignment:

    Write a letter to a person, or group of people, in your community that are currently illustrating the message heard in Lean on Me . What sorts of people do you "lean on" to keep you fed, healthy, clean, and safe?  Examples of people we lean on might be family members, healthcare professionals, grocery store clerks, sanitation workers, teachers, or friends. In your letter, explain to the person (or people) how they are protecting or serving their community and how people are depending on them at this time. You can also express your respect or gratitude if you wish. To give you an idea of a friendly letter format use this link:

    https://www.letterwritingguide.com/friendlyletterformat.htm YOU CAN'T EDIT THIS PAGE, it's for guidance only!

    Once you have written your letter ( I think a google doc would probably be the easiest way) SHARE YOUR LETTER WITH ME. You do not have to send your letter directly to the person (or people) unless you want to (which would be amazing!)  but YOU MUST SHARE YOUR LETTER WITH ME!  I am really looking forward to hearing from you! My email is pmurawski@shschools.com 


    Week starting May 18, 2020- assignment "due" Friday, May 22, 2020 by 3:00 pm

    Hi Everyone! I really hope you liked Bill Wither's song "Lean On Me" because we are still working with it this week!

    Go grab a piece of paper and a pencil. Seriously, go get them! Now, write the following letters on the paper. These letters are actually note names and they are the notes needed to play the first verse of "Lean On Me".

    C-C-D-E-F   (Some times in our lives)

    F-E-D-C       (We all have pain)

    C-D-E-E-D   (We all have sor-row)

    C-C-D-E-F    (But, if we are wise)

    F-E-D-C        (We know that there's)

    C-D-E-B-C    (Always to-mor-row) 

    You have them written down, right? OK, now click this link to watch a quick screencast of what you will be doing for this week's assignment: 


    If you have watched the screencast, you know what your assignemnt is! You need to figure out the notes needed to play the chorus of "Lean On Me"! The chorus is the most important part of a song!  Here are the lyrics of the chorus:

    Lean on me when you're not strong.

    And I'll be your friend,

    I'll help you carry on.

    For it won't be long,

    'til I'm gonna need

    Somebody to lean on!

    Use the virtual piano on the Musicca website. Here's the link:   https://www.musicca.com/piano 

    I told you that the first note of the chorus is E ~ now you take it from there... Send me the letter names of all the notes needed to play the chorus in the right order. I'm not looking for perfection! Just give it your BEST try! My email is pmurawski@shschools.com and I'm really looking forward to hearing from you!


    Week starting May 26, 2020 - assignment "due" Friday, JUNE 5, 2020

    Hi Everyone! Did you notice that for this assignment you have TWO WEEKS to work on it?? That's because I would like you to have enough time to be as creative as possible! 

    For this assignment we will be focusing on a musical concept called THEME AND VARIATIONS   Sounds fancy, right? Actually, it is a technique composers use when they like a musical idea (or theme ) they have written and they want to use it multiple times, but they don't want to sound boring! So they repeat the theme in their music several times but they change it a little (or a lot) everytime it gets used. It is a great way to expand a good idea, make the music more interesting, and have some fun with composing.

    To illustrate the concept of THEME AND VARIATIONS in a visual way, let's look at a famous painting: Leonardo Davinci's Mona Lisa

    Variations on the Mona Lisa

    You've seen this work of art before, right?

    The top left is the original painting by Davinci. The other pictures are by other artists who borrowed the original idea, but played with it to create many variations of this painting. In other words, they borrowed a great idea and changed it to make something different~ RELATED, but different. Get it?

    Musically, theme and variations can be accomplished in countless ways! You can take a theme and speed it up, slow it down, change the instruments, use different notes, change the rhythms,  and on and on and on. Watch this brief youtube video that illustrates how a musician can play with  theme and variations in many ways:


    Getting the idea? So how can YOU use theme and variations? For this we are going back to the Chrome Music Lab SONG MAKER website. (Remember we used it back in early May)

    You are going to compose variations on any theme you liked in Bill Wither's LEAN ON ME! Watch this screen cast to get started:


    When you're ready to start composing, click the Song Maker link below. Remember to go to settings and change 4 bars to 16 bars! When you are done composing, click "save" and then copy and paste the link in an email to me. I can't wait to hear your Lean on Me theme and variations! This assignment is not due until June 5th so PLEASE be creative! 

    Here's the link to Song Maker:https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Song-Maker/

    Have fun! Mrs. M.

    Week starting June 8, 2020 - assignments DUE Friday, June 12, 2020

    Hi Everyone!

    This coming Friday will be our last day to turn in Music work for the fourth quarter. I am NOT ASSIGNING ANYTHING NEW this week. I would like you to use this week to complete any previously assigned work that you have not yet completed. If you aren't sure if you owe me anything, just drop me an email and I will be glad to let you know what you owe. Or you can simply check Power School to see if any grades are missing. Many of you have been completing your work all marking period so you don't have anything left to turn in! :)

     If you DO need to turn in missing work, please get it to me by Friday because grades will be closing! I have already emailed any student who  still has assignments to complete, so be sure to check your email and see if there's a message from me there.

    Thanks for being such great students this quarter, I really enjoyed hearing from all of you!

    Stay safe and be well!

    Mrs. M.

Mrs. Murawski



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