Monday, January 14, 2019

This week in Music:

New 4th Grade Keyboard class begins!  We begin the week by learning proper posture and hand placement!  Looking forward to a fantastic 9 weeks!

Rock 101 continues to work on Seven Nation Army and You Really Got Me!  Today, we learned how to read and play the guitar and bass patterns for You Really Got Me.  In addition, we learned about ties, repeat-endings and FORM.

FUSION One returned to fundamental today.  Last year in Rock 101, our first week "focus" was learning how to read and play rhythms.  Today, we learned how to play eighth note patterns on the drum set, using Right, Left and Right foot patterns.

FUSION Two continues to work on new songs in class.  We will return to fundamentals later this week, giving students a chance to review skills.

Have a great week!

- Mr. Michek

Friday, January 11, 2019

January 11, 2019

Here is what is going on in Music this month at the Middle School:

6th Grade is working on their first song: Seven Nation Army, by The White Stripes.  This is an easy song that allows Beginners the opportunity to learn Musical Form.  It is a "catchy" tune that most can hum on command!  Original instrumentation consisted of: guitar, drums and vocals.  In class, we add bass, piano and xylophone.

Below, you will find a link to the official video.

7th Grade has begun working on new songs this week.  They are:  Basket Case, by Green Day, Seperate Ways, by Journey and You Really Got Me, by The Kinks.

8th Grade has begun working on new material as well!  Ain't It Fun, by Paramore, Fortunate SOn, by CCR and Sir Duke, by Stevie Wonder!


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

This week in FUSION
October 15-19

Happy Tuesday from The Davis Academy!

This week in FUSION I & II

FUSION I is making the final "tweaks" to their opening winter concert songs: 

 "I Want To Hold Your Hand
"Pretty Woman"

FUSION II is making the final "tweaks" to their opening winter concert songs: 

 "Hold The Line

"Who Can It Be Now"

Looking forward to adding new songs this week!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

This week in ROCK 101, FUSION ONE and FUSION TWO

Rock 101:  This week (and next week) we will be reviewing our songs for our "in-class" concert.  Students are also reviewing chords on the guitar.  Three "most commonly" used chords are C, G and D.  Students learn how strum and shape chords through visual presentation.  On the other side of the musical spectrum, students learn how to find each note (C, G and D) on the bass guitar.  Last week, we discussed the definition of a chord, which is two or more notes played together.  The Bass guitar plays single notes along with the guitar chords.  Generally, the bass player will play the "root" note of the chord in unison with the Guitar player.  We continue to review our fundamentals and work together in a  group!

FUSION ONE:  This week, students continue to review their "first songs."  In addition, they have been given their first "instrumental" song, Moby Dick, by Led Zeppelin.  The guitar and bass play a repetitive pattern in unison, while the drums play a specific pattern.  As the songs progresses, the Drummer will have the opportunity to improvise and take a short solo.

FUSION TWO: This week, FUSION TWO continues to work on polishing their songs.  They are also working on I Saw Her Standing There, by The Beatles.  The entire class is learning this song with the goal of mixing all 13 Musicians together, producing a sound equal to the group before and after.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


As we return to school from Sukkot, the Middle School is working towards learning new songs, techniques and preparing for their concerts!

Rock 101 has begun working on the song, Seven Nation Army, by The White Stripes!  This is a song that I use with every Rock 101 class.  From a cultural perspective, this song is very popular in sporting events.  From World Cup Soccer, to baseball, this song tells a story about an army going to war.  In my opinion, it resembles a college "fight song" like "On Wisconsin."

From a teaching perspective, it is a great example of teaching musical form.  Instrumentation on the recorded version is guitar and drums.  We are expanding the instrumentation to include:

Bass Guitar

Seven Nation Army has a "catchy" musical theme.  Below, is the "official" video.  Take a moment to listen:

This song has a very simple guitar riff.  It is repeated throughout.  The drums represent the "army" marching.  It begins with the guitar riff, then adds drums, followed by the story.  As it progresses, it slowly builds and transforms into a loud and powerful movement of music!  Just when it peaks, the sound disappears without warning and the guitar riff begins its quiet voice once again, followed by the second verse.

In FUSION One: Today, we watched and listened to John Henry Bonham perform the song, 
Moby Dick with his band mates from Led Zeppelin at The Royal Albert Hall in 1970.  Today marked the anniversary of his death in 1980.  His untimely death was the band's demise as well.

John Bonham was (and still is) one of the most influential rock drummers of his time.  In Moby Dick, John showcases his musicianship with a drum solo filled with a wide ranch of dynamics, to incredible power and technique.  He shows the audience how "musical" a drum solo can sound.  At one point, he puts done his drumsticks, making his drum set sound like conga drums.  This solo goes on for approximately 10 minutes!  

I have divided the class into four performing groups.  Each band will learn how to play the song, and each of the four drummers will have the opportunity to improvise and play a 1-2 minutes solo.  Each group will create a band name.  Groups will be graded on individual/group effort.

Here is the video:

In FUSION Two: We continue to work on Rosanna and Hold The Line, by Toto.  Two iconic songs from the same band, both songs have different beats.  Two of the most challenging songs that any 8th Grade prior has worked on, this Grade has stepped up to give both songs a sound that anybody from Toto would applaud!  

Fusion Two is also working on I Saw Her Standing There, by The Beatles.  A very upbeat song with an incredible, driving bass line.  The purpose of the entire class learning this song is simple: to be able to switch and mix musicians with the goal of being able to execute this song no matter which student is performing.

Videos to both songs can be found in the last post!  For now, our students continue to make progress as individuals, but more importantly as a Kehilah!   

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Week Five Highlights in Rock 101 and FUSION classes:

Rock 101 continues to work on "Rhythm Section" playing.  We are putting together all of the instruments and working on each section!

FUSION One continues to make progress on Pretty Woman and I Want To Hold Your Hand!

FUSION Two continues to work on Toto Songs and will begin two classic Beatles songs:  I Feel Fine and I Saw Her Standing There!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Davis Academy Rock 101 and FUSION happenings in September 2018!

Good afternoon!  We are approaching the end to our third week back to school!  Here is what's "going on" in class...

Rock 101 (sixth grade)

During week one, we learned how to read basic rhythms on the drum set.  We worked on basic eighth note patterns using both hands and our right foot!

In addition, we began to explore basic notes on the bass guitar.

Week Two, we reviewed a few chords on the guitar and began working on our first song:

Eye Of The Tiger, by Survivor

FUSION One (seventh grade)

My Block two seventh grade class has begun working on two songs since week one.  The first group is rehearsing Pretty Woman, by Roy Orbison.  The second group is working on I want To Hold  Your Hand, by The Beatles.

Roy was a Master of his craft!  A unique voice and personality!

A Global event for the Beatles in 1964, when they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show!