Friday, December 31, 2010

A Quote From the Great Greek Philosopher, Plato

"I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy;

but most importantly music, for in the patterns of music

and all the arts are the keys of learning."


Bridgeport Chorus Presents "My Marvelous Magical Sleigh"

I am so proud of our chorus and the performance of "My Marvelous Magical Sleigh".  There were wonderful harmonies, great choreography, fantastic solos, marvelous speaking parts...I could go on and on. These kids should feel very proud of the way they worked together for a common goal. Being in musical performing group makes coming to school more meaningful. We will resume 8:15 rehearsals on Thursday, Jan. 6.

The Bridgeport Chorus on Tour

The Bridgeport Chorus presented their program "My Marvelous Magical Sleigh" at Berkely Square, Partners in Prime, and Sunrise Extended Care.  They did a fantastic job, but I'm sure they were exhausted by the end of the day.  Their classmates back at school probably did not work as hard as they did that day!

Yankee Doodle Slide Show - Dec. 9, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

5B plays holiday music on recorders

The 5th graders spent the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas reviewing what they learned last year on recorder.  This song uses the notes G, A, B and C.

6 Grade (Beasties) play Joyous Instruments

The 6th Grade (Beasties and band students) spent 3 music classes learning the many percussion parts for this joyous piece of music.  You can hear boomwhackers, hand drums, toy cymbals, wood blocks, sand blocks, and sleigh bells.  While not performance ready, we wanted to share what we had.  Another class time or two would have made a big difference!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bridgeport Chorus Video on You Tube

Click the link to view the video taken by an employee at Partners in Prime of the chorus singing "Jingle Bell Boogie"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

3a Plays and Sings "Up On the Housetop"

The third grade classes learned a jazzy arrangement of "Up On the Housetop" with Boomwhacker accompaniment.  Unfortunately the setting on my camera was not correct, which accounts for the poor picture quality.  Here is 3A's (Mrs. Burns' homeroom) rendition.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Music Education is Critical

“In every successful business…there is one budget line that never gets cut. It’s called ‘Product Development’ – and it’s the key to any company’s future growth. Music education is critical to the product development of this nation’s most important resource – our children.”

- John Sykes — President, VH1

Friday, December 10, 2010


The 2nd grade performance of Yankee Doodle's Dandy Christmas was a great success.  The students sang beautifully, said their lines wonderfully, danced tremendously, acted brilliantly, and played very rhythmically.

I have many photos which I would love to post on this site.  However, I am still waiting on several students to return the photo permission sheet which gives me permission to post a child's picture on the web, newspaper, etc. I gave those children another copy of the permission sheet.  If your child brought one home, please sign and return so I know if I can include your child's picture.

DVDs of the program (both performances) may be purchased for $10.00. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Message From Dan Rather on the Importance of Music Education

“Music is exciting. It is thrilling to be sitting in a group of musicians playing (more or less) the same piece of music. You are part of a great, powerful, vibrant entity. And nothing beats the feeling you get when you've practiced a difficult section over and over and finally get it right. (yes, even on the wood block.) Music is important. It says things your heart can't say any other way, and in a language everyone speaks. Music crosses borders, turns smiles into frowns, and vice versa. These observations are shared with a hope: that, when schools cut back on music classes, they really think about what they're doing - and don't take music for granted.”

- Dan Rather — CBS News

Singing Around the Christmas Tree

A great group of singers stopped by the music room to sing around the Christmas tree as part of Bridgeport's
  "Night of Giving" event. A big thanks to the high school volunteers who helped keep the singing going strong from 6:30 - 8:00!

3B Plays C,D,and E on keyboards


Students in grades 3-6 have recently begun work on our small keyboards. They are doing a great job of reading the music and playing.  The group featured here is 3B.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Upcoming Music Events

December 3 6:30 - 8:30 "Singing Around the Christmas Tree" in Mrs. McKee's Room
                                       as part of our "Night of Giving" event.
Dec. 9 6:30 - 2nd grade presents "Yankee Doodle's Dandy Christmas"
Dec. 16 6:30 - Bridgeport Chorus presents "One Day In December"
Dec. 20 10:00 - 2:00 Bridgeport Chorus will be performing at Berkely Square,
                                        Partners in Prime, and Sunrise Assisted Living.

Music Education is Important to Every Child

“During the Gulf War, the few opportunities I had for relaxation I always listened to music, and it brought me great peace of mind. I have shared my love of music with people throughout this world, while listening to the drums and special instruments of the Far East, Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Far North, and all of this started with the music appreciation course that I was taught in a third-grade elementary class in Princeton, New Jersey. What a tragedy it would be if we lived in a world where music was not taught to children.”

- General H. Norman Schwarzkopf — United States Army

Mr. Ruecking Isn't Too Chicken to Dress as a Turkey!

Mr. Ruecking and Mr. Farmer were both "winners" in the Student Council's contest.
The students voted for the teacher they most wanted to see wear the turkey costume
by purchasing  feathers for 25 cents each. Mr. Farmer managed to slip out of his costume
before this photographer could snap a photo.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


We had our first chorus rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday. As of now we have about 40 fine 5th and 6th grade singers. We could always use more! Interested students should see me for an informational flyer. We rehearse from 8:15 - 9:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The "on-time" door prize drawings take place promptly at 8:15.

2D (Mrs. Creach's class) did an outstanding job of singing on sight. They have been sight singing using the pitches do, re, and mi. Jackson proved to be the leader in his class.

In 4C, it was Cody leading his class sight singing with the pitches do, re, mi, fa and so.

Nayelli helped keep her class, 4B on track while sight singing.

The 3rd grade classes had a fun time singing the song "Mwa Ha Ha" and accompanying themselves with boomwhackers (pitched plastic tubes). Their great music reading skills were demonstrated as they followed the notation for the boomwhacker parts.

All classes have begun work on their Veterans Day songs. Our programs to honor our Veterans will be on Nov. 11 at 9:45 and 2:00.

We would like to show photos of veterans and active military personnel who are related to our Bridgeport students or staff. Also, we would like to include the photo of any veteran who is planning on coming to our program. Photos can be brought to me for scanning or can be emailed to me at There is an underscore (_) between my first and last names. Please include the following information:

Name of Veteran
Branch of service
Years of service – eg. 1976 - 1980
Name of student(s) related to Veteran and how, or student known by Veteran

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"FACE" Video

To see the video of "FACE" that we watched in class, click on the link below. While you're there, try some of the others.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Attention all 5th and 6th graders:

The first chorus rehearsal is Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 8:15. There will be free breakfast snack cakes and prizes. At the first rehearsal you will get information about our concerts and our tour to nursing homes on Monday, Dec. 20.

We will rehearse every Tuesday and Thursday at 8:15 a.m.

Every 5th and 6th graders is welcome.


More classes were able to earn a circle on my wall for mastering a patriotic song.

I'd have to say that the students in 3A were the stars of the week. Every student in that classes received the perfect score of 10 points on each of the 2 days they had music. Way to go 3A. Keep up the good work. Hopefully you can view the video (below) of them playing along with George Bizet's "Carmen". You shouldn't have to listen hard for the cymbals playing the accents! Many students had heard this music used on "America's Funniest Videos".

In 3C, Gregory was a real leader in our sight singing practice. His sister, Angel, was a real leader in her own class.

6 Beasties did a fantastic job of playing a drum line interlude and coda to the song, "Yankee Doodle". Unfortunately I had my camera set on the wrong setting and our video did not come out. We'll try again this week.

The kindergartners are doing an outstanding job playing instruments along with a recorded march AND they know how to keep the instruments quiet when it's not their turn to play!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up Friday, Oct. 1

Another great week of making music in room 404!

Congratulations to those classes who have earned circles for mastering American songs this week.
America - 2A, 2C, 2E, 3A, 3B, 4A, 5A/C,
5 B, 6 Kung Fu Fighters (KFF) 6 Beasties
God Bless America - 2E, 4A
The Star-Spangled Banner- 3A

2A (Ms. Goebel's Class) did a great job sight singing using do, re, mi with quarter notes & rests, and half notes & rests.

In 3D (Mrs. Petrovitch's Class) Haley was a super sight singer!

The 5th and 6th graders got lots of practice singing "America" as we used it to assess their singing voices in 3 different keys. Mr. Naylor and I will be selecting the very best singers to represent Bridgeport in the City-Wide Honor Chorus.

The kindergartners finally got to play rhythm instruments. Each child experienced playing rhythm sticks, castanets, maracas, tick-tock blocks, triangles, and cowbells. This is a fun musical activity which requires great self control!

Friday, September 24, 2010

4A "An American March" ("Colonel Bogey March")

Friday, September 24 Report

The girls in the yellow group of 3C really did a great job of singing our 4 patriotic songs today in music. They are Kaitlyn G, Brianna, Abby, and Kaitlyn C. Keep up the good work!

3A has almost mastered all 4 patriotic songs. The songs are "The Star-Spangled Banner", "America", "God Bless America", and "America, the Beautiful".

The sixth grade is divided into 4 groups for music - strings, band, and 2 general music groups. The 2 general music groups will have Mrs. McKee for 1/2 the year and Mr. Naylor for the other 1/2. They have named themselves the "Beasties" and the "Kung Fu Fighters". The Beasties are currently with me and are well on their way to mastering our 4 patriotic songs. They already have "America" done.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


With a full week of school under our belts, I have to say I absolutely LOVE my job. The students at Bridgeport are wonderful. We have been reading rhythms and playing instruments along with some famous American marches and I have to say I am impressed. We will now be learning to sing some patriotic songs, including "The Star-Spangled Banner", "America", "America, the Beautiful" and "God Bless America". I hope to have some videos of our student's musical efforts on this blog very soon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I love doing programs with my classes! Here are the dates for my classes' programs. Evening programs begin at 6:30. School time programs' times will be announced at a later date.

Mrs. McKee's Music Program Dates 2010-2011

Thursday, Nov. 11 during the school day
k-2-4-5 in the morning
k-1-3-6 and MD in the afternoon
Thursday, Dec. 9 – 2nd grade
Thursday, Dec. 16 – chorus
Thursday, Feb. 10– 3rd grade
Thursday, March 17 – chorus
Thursday, May 12 – kindergarten
Thursday, May 26 – 4th grade
Tuesday, June 7 – 6th grade recognition (during the school day

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

We Need Batteries

All students in grades 2-6 should bring in 2 AA Alkaline batteries for the keyboards in Mrs. McKee's room. If they are not in their original container, please put them in a plastic bag or an envelope to prevent acid leakage.

Recorders for 4th Graders

All 4th grade students will need a recorder. The price is $5.00 as indicated on the fee schedule. All students need to pay the recorder fee UNLESS they already have one and bring it in by Sept. 29. Please know that a recorder purchased at a toy store or dollar store is a toy and not suitable for music class.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Our focus this year will be on American songs. This includes folk songs, traditional songs, patriotic songs, and songs by American song writers. When a class has mastered one of these songs, they will earn a card with their class name and the song title printed on it. These cards will be displayed in the hall outside my room. I will also post the songs learned on this blog. Singing these songs together as a family could be fun and educational. Give it a try!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

To view my former web page and see pictures of Lincoln School's Music, click on the following link. (If you can't click on it, please copy and paste it.)
Welcome to my Blog! Please check here often for Bridgeport Music news. I hope to post class activities, pictures, and important performance information.