Thursday, February 28, 2013

TED prize goes to educator


If you haven't seen the TEDTalk yet, go check out why Sugata Mitra deserves the $1,000,000 TED prize.

Mr. Kozak

Friday, February 22, 2013

Rush and mixed meter

In your Music Journal, write in one sentence a little bit about the meter in The Rite of Spring and how it made you feel.

Your homework is to find and listen to a mixed meter song by the Canadian rock band Rush and tell me the meter in your Music Journal.

Mr. Kozak

Japanese music teachers - stop teaching fixed Do!

An open letter to all Japanese music teachers,

Today I was teaching guitar to my grade seven students. I was having them play an A Major triad, so they started on the second string. I told them that would be 'Do' for this purpose. One student then said,

"But Mr. Kozak, my music teacher told me that this was 'Do'."

Please, teachers, stop doing this!

'Do' is not only in one location. Whatever the root is, that is 'Do'.

We are not sight-reading atonal music, therefore whatever key we are in, the tonic is most easily understood as 'Do'.

In my humble opinion.
Mr. Kozak

Major and minor triads

Grade 7,

We've been playing guitar lately so you can hear and visualize the difference between the
Major (happy) 

and minor (sad) triads.

If you have a guitar at home, please experiment with listening to tdifferent Major triads.

Mr. Kozak

NPO PSA critique

Critique of my NPO PSA in Music Journal:

- What worked? What impressed you? What technical aspects were impressive? Did the NPO PSA achieve it's goal?

- What needs improvement? What design elements were the weakest? Were there any fundamental flaws? What was lacking? Was it memorable?

Mr. Kozak

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Intermediate Band players and parents,

We worked on The Snake Charmer (line 57) and a new song, Aloha Oe (line 63) as well as Rocky.

Please practice those as well as the previous lines while I am away on the MS ski trip. There will not be a rehearsal February 26, but business as usual the week after.

Mr. Kozak

Lummi Sticks

Grade 6,

Great job today learning the rhythm stick dance. Don't forget to learn the lyrics.

Mr. Kozak

Monday, February 18, 2013

Beginner Band practice for February and March

Hello Beginner Band Parents,

I will be away on the Middle School ski trip, so there will be no band rehearsal Monday, February 25. There will be a rehearsal March 4 as usual.

Students should practice lines 36 and 37, as well as Rocky.

Mr. Kozak

Beginner Band help video - flute

Beginner Band Students and Parents,

Here is the first of several videos you can watch to help you learn to play your instrument.

This one is for learning how to play the flute:

See you again soon.
Mr. Kozak

Tempo Vocab


In you Music Journals, type at least ten words that describe tempo and a basic definition using slow, medium, and fast. These words will help you better explain music using a common vocabulary that musicians use all over the world.

Mr. Kozak

Friday, February 15, 2013


Calling all geeks,

Try IT On Monday (TIOM) is having another day of learning at Nishimachi International School. Presenters will give simple tips and tricks you can use in your classroom right away. It's informative, it's a great place to meet like-minded geeks, and you get a free lunch.

Yup, that's try IT on Monday.

Click here and then click on the green Ning circle in the top right.

Mr. Kozak

Late February-Beatlab for Grade 8

Grade 8 Students,

Beatlab is the website where you need to re-create the drums from the chorus of a song listed on the iTunes 2013 Grammy Nominees song list. 

Do not chose Mumford & Sons - the song has no drums, only percussion (tambourine). 

[HINT: most 4/4 pop songs have the kick drum on beats 1 and 3 and the snare drum on beats 2 and 4. You learned how to play this!]

If you finish that, re-create only the strings from the chorus of Call Me Maybe. In "add more sounds" in the bottom right, search for "PIZZ#A2" and use that sound. Don't worry about the notes. You need to focus on the rhythm and the tempo.

Mr. Kozak

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Follow the frog soundtrack

Grade 9 Students,

After watching the "Follow the Frog" video, explain the soundtrack that you heard in your Music Journal. What sound effects, music, instruments, and emotions were included?

Mr. Kozak

Beatlab rhythm copy

Grade 6 Students,

Listen to my beatlab rhythm and recreate it. Take a screenshot of your work and put it in your Music Journal.

Here it is.

Mr. Kozak

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

60 music apps

I wish I had the time to check out all of these apps. Thanks to Chris Russell for this.

Mr. Kozak

Rick Wormeli: On Late Work


Do you sometimes submit late work?! (Watch the video).

We teachers don't want to play "gotcha". But you have to know yourself:

Are you lazy? Then plan your time!

Are you confused? Then ask the teacher!

Are you willing to just not do the work and show us evidence of learning? Then you will get a low grade!

There are a lot more videos from Rick Wormeli here.

Mr. Kozak

Call Me Maybe string rhythm with Beatlab

Grade 7 students,

Recreate ONLY the string rhythm in the chorus of Carly Rae Jepson's 'Call Me Maybe' song in Beatlab. You must know the meter of the song, and you must know the correct rhythm. Then you have to find the most appropriate sound from the 745 string sound choices (hint: search for PIZZ, it's a kind of short form for pizzicato).

This is mine. Notie that I have recreated the RHYTHM, but not the MELODY.

When you're finished, check out this variation.

Mr. Kozak

Friday, February 8, 2013

Grade 7 February 8, 2013

Grade 7 Students,

In your Music Journal, complete the sentence "Beyoncé took out her in-ear monitor because..."

Remember, we talked about Venn diagrams (dogs and cats) and comparing and contrasting for your assignment.

Grade 9 Music February 8, 2013

Grade 9 Students,

Regarding our music and ethics discussions, in your Music Journals, complete these two questions:
1) I would not join AKB-48 because...
2) Beyoncé took out her in-ear monitor because....

Mr. Kozak

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Intermediate Band Feb. 5, 2013

Intermediate Band members can practice lines 52, 53, 55, 57, and 58 for our next rehearsal on February 19. Remember, no school Monday and Tuesday, February 11 and 12 because of the mid-winter break.

Mr. Kozak

Friday, February 1, 2013

Grade 8 homework, early February, 2013

Grade 8 homework for early February, 2013

Students must understand the components of music notation and how to write them, including clefs, key signatures, time signatures (meter), notes, dynamic markings, accents, bar lines, expressive descriptions, and ledger lines. is an excellent resource for lessons and exercises.

Also, write the reasons Beyonce lip-synched at Obama's 2013 inauguration (in your Music Journals, of course).

Memorize FCGDAEB - the order of sharps
Memorize BEADGCF - the order of flats

Find an image of the staff with the order of sharps and flats and put it in your Music Journal.
Find an image of the Circle of 5ths and put in in your Music Journal

Mr. Kozak