Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooky Sounds!

'Tis the season for spooky sounds and music, and the lessons this week
have focused on great pieces of mysterious music for moving with
and spooky songs for singing and playing along with, such as:

"Skin 'n' Bones"

This song gives us an opportunity to learn about expression in music!
It is a favorite of mine and this is my version of this classic song:

"In The Hall of the Mountain King"

This is an exciting peice of music that starts off very softly and slowly,
and then begins to build in tempo (speed) and dynamics (volume)!

Here are a few other favorites of mine that we didn't see in school,
but I thought you might like to check them out! Pretty spooky!

"Danse Macabre"

"A Night On Bald Mountain"

Have a spooktacular Hallowe'en!
(Despite the weather... Grrr...)

Mr. Barrett ;-)


The snow this past weekend caused a lot of problems, besides just snow.
Apparently, there were damaged trees and downed wires, too.
There is no school today (Hallowe'en) or tomorrow.
So sad to miss my choruses and DT classes.
Hope everyone stays safe and warm.
Sincerely yours, Mr. Barrett

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Let It Snow!

The weather this weekend was pretty wild, to say the least,
and I just couldn't stop myself from singing this song:

Still, I thought we might have a few more months of fall
before we started to see any of the white stuff! ;-)

Saturday, October 29, 2011


It's a very exciting week ahead as our 4th grade students prepare to tackle the recorder!

This year, we will be using the Recorder Karate method,
which we have been using very successfully for the past few years.
Here is a link for further information about this approach:

As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns...

Mr. Barrett ;-)

Instrument of the Week!

No, this is not a keyboard... ;-)

It's a Melodica!

I enjoyed surprising the students with it this week
as I greeted them outside of the Music Room
(as I do each week with a different instrument!)
to begin our week's Music Class together!

Here are some places where the melodica has surfaced:

The band The Hooters are named for the nickname of the instrument!
(Yes, a Melodica is called a Hooter!)
Here is one of their many songs that features a Melodica:

Jack Johnson's song, "If I Could," features the melodica!

"Money Changes Everything" was a hit for Cyndi Lauper in the 80s,
and it also features the Melodica in the solo section (at 3:07)!

Even American Idol contestants have enjoyed playing them!
Here's Casey Abrams at his Austin Audition last year:

And lastly...

Here are many Melodicas as performed by one player
(a la Mike Tompkins!) for Bach's Orchestral Suite #1:

The performer's name is James Howard Young.
Here he is performing another selection by Bach:

Hope you enjoyed the Melodica this week in music!
Please share where you might have heard it before!

Virtual Choir

A parent shared this with me recently! It's pretty amazing!

What did you think of it? What are your thoughts about it?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Instrument of the Week!

The featured instrument this week is the clarinet!

I enjoyed greeting my classes this week with my clarinet!

The story goes that I saw an instrument demo at school in the 3rd grade and left really wanting to play the clarinet. The problem was that you had to be in the 4th grade to play an instrument. So, my parents purchased one for me and I took private lessons for a year (with Ruth Ann King), and then I received lessons through my school (with Bob Spargo).

Here's a true master of the instrument, Benny Goodman:

That incredible performance gives me goosebumps!  

Here's Sharon Kam in Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A:

And I just love this Artie Shaw classic from Second Chorus:

And how about The Beatles using clarinets in "When I'm 64?"


Can you find the clarinets in this really cool flash mob?

And last but certainly not least... a carro-net?!?!?

I had so much fun tweaking the music lessons this week!

Mr. Barrett ☺


What a busy, but fun, week of school!

I love my job!

I am so thankful to be your music teacher!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Looking forward...

to another busy but exciting Monday! Music classes and 4th and 5th grade choruses at Jefferson Elementary School and then at Davis Thayer Elementary School, and then an evening of guitar lessons through the Lifelong Learning Program at Franklin High School!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yes! Finally!

I've been asking for years and we finally got an Interactive White Board
for the Music Room at Jefferson Elementary School!!! 
Looking forward to seeing all that is possible with this 
and how it can enhance (but not take over!) our music lessons! 
I am ALL about technology, but I know it is only part of the picture...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tubular Bells

Another classic piece that features a glockenspiel, Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells."

Listen for the glockenspiel in this hypnotic piece!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Instrument of the Week!

(Hint: It is NOT the xylophone!)

It's the Glockenspiel!

What's the difference? Huge difference! Xylophones have wooden bars, 
while Metallophones (i.e. Glockenspiels, Bells, etc.) have metal bars.

I enjoyed greeting my classes with this instrument today and singing our "Hello" song,
as well as some other fun (and unexpected!) songs before entering the classroom!

Kids get to play a glissando on the Glockenspiel at the end of music class this week,
and they can look forward to playing them in our Orffestras later on in the year!

Here are some songs and pieces that feature the glockenspiel:

Can you hear it come in? (Hint: about 5 seconds in...)

This one starts only a few seconds in, too... can't miss it!

This song is a personal favorite of Mr. Barrett's!
It's an exciting song by the Canadian trio, Rush!
They used the glockenspiel in a lot of their songs!
Listen for it to enter in (albeit quietly) @ 1:28!

This is what 3rd graders heard in their music lesson today:

Do you hear a glockenspiel (metallophone)?
Or... is it a (marimba) xylophone?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Let There Be DRUMS!!!

The students at Davis Thayer really seemed to enjoy my drum set being at school today!
In fact, even some of the teachers got in on the fun!

Drum Duel!

I think Buddy Rich has a drum set like mine (or vice versa!)!

Monday, October 10, 2011

What a weekend!!!

I just enjoyed a gorgeous, sunny, summer-like, 3-day autumn weekend with my family! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, as well! I now feel recharged and ready to bring you the very best in our Music Classes together this week! Looking forward to seeing you all!

Mr. Barrett ;-)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Music Class Rules!

A lot of students have asked me to post this, so... here it is!

Face forward eyes ahead
Our time together will quickly pass
So pay attention to what is said

And get ready for music there's lots to learn
Songs to sing and pages to turn
Our Jefferson is the finest of schools
Because we remember... the Music Class Rules!

SIT CORRECTLY in your chair
With both feet on the floor
Leaning forward just a hair
Will give us what we're looking for

And get ready for music there's lots to learn
Songs to sing and pages to turn
Our Jefferson is the finest of schools
Because we remember... the Music Class Rules!

SING NICELY but make it strong
And use a pleasant sounding voice
We can do this right or wrong
It's our choice!

So get ready for music there's lots to learn
Songs to sing and pages to turn
Our Jefferson is the finest of schools
Because we remember... the Music Class Rules!

You've got to RAISE YOUR HAND
When you have something to say
And if you don't understand
Well raise it up and I'll look your way

And any objects that you hold
Try and do this by yourself
So that you won't have to be told

And get ready for music there's lots to learn
Songs to sing and pages to turn
Our Jefferson is the finest of schools
Because we remember... the Music Class Rules!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Take it with you...

The students in my music classes have been hearing me say "take it with you" lately. It has become one of my many mantras. "Don't leave it lying on the music room floor" is another one. I ask the students to apply what we have learned in music class to their own lives and their own music outside of school. I might share a particular song or a piece of music with them in class to help teach a musical concept, but I then want them to take it and see how it connects to the music they enjoy and like to listen to. It's all about making it real for them.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Instrument of the Week!

I like to greet my classes each week with a song before they enter the classroom... 
and not always with my guitar! This week it's my ukulele:

For more information about this instrument, please check out the link below:

To hear one of the masters of the instrument, please check out this video:

That's Jake Shimabukuro performing George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

Most kids know of this instrument through Train's "Hey, Soul Sister:"

Have you heard the ukulele anywhere else? Let me know!

(We'll spare each other Tiny Tim's "Tiptoe Through The Tulips," though... ;-)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Don't Laugh At Me

The students at Davis Thayer were treated to a wonderful No Bullying assembly today.
I adapted my lessons to include this song, which is sort of an unofficial theme song.

Monday, October 3, 2011


What an amazing day with my 4th and 5th grade choruses at BOTH Jefferson and Davis Thayer Elementary Schools! After only two official rehearsals, they sound incredible! They really do! I only wish I had recorded all four groups today! I will try to do that for next time! Way to go, kids! You've inspired me! I only hope you've inspired yourselves!


I just love what this music teacher does with his chorus! 
An inspiration to his students... and the rest of the world!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Looking forward...

to inspiring my students to be all that they can be through music... this week... this year!

Rockin' Robin

My students enjoyed singing and moving to this song in Music Class this past week!
We also enjoyed seeing this old classic clip of the King of Pop himself!

Harvest Festival!

So great to see so many friendly faces at the Franklin Harvest Festival this afternoon!
Thanks so much for stopping by and singing along with me!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Another One-Man Show!

I had the extreme pleasure of witnessing Bobby McFerrin (opening for the great and highly unconventional jazz guitarist, Stanley Jordan) out in Los Angeles, CA. It was the very first concert (of many!) that I attended after moving out to Hollywood to study at Musician's Institute and it blew me away! Bobby took the stage with just a microphone and proceeded to "WOW!" me and the rest of the audience with his unbelievably amazing vocal ability!

You might've heard...

that I've begun assigning homework to my students... that's partly true! I often ask my students to take what we've learned, discussed, explored in the Music Room and apply it to their lives, their "world," outside of school... as an "unofficial homework assignment!"


Welcome to Music With Mr. Barrett! I am so happy that you stopped by today for a visit! I have a lot here for you to check out- Chorus, Newsletters, Concert Information, Music (of course!), and much MUCH more! Browse for as long as you like and feel free to come back often! I am always updating this blog (website) and I post something new just about every day! It is here for YOU!!!