Ruby Van Meter Music

  Music for All


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Posted by [email protected] on August 27, 2015 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The 2015 school year is upon us! I don't remember to blog much but as I have updated all the curriculum resources and the front page of this website, I decided I should update everyone on what is going on.  I am so very excited to experience being in a completely newly renovated building with wonderful technology and accessiblity that we needed so very badly! The people working on it have done an amazing job and the pictures are absolutely beautiful.  I have some colorful walls and I have been shopping for different posters and things to hang in the classroom.  Our new furniture is also beautiful and it going to compliment the theme of sophisticated and colorful.  I just can't wait for the students and parents to see everything!

Another cool thing I am working on is taking guitar lessons! Guitar is great and needs no electronics, has a range of dynamics, and it is fast to accompany lots of different music.  I hope if I learn this I can do more with singing and different songs in my class.  

This year we will be doing many units from last year (with new activities as well as review!) and the new units will be on Rock n Roll and learning about a piece of music by Holst called "The Planets."  I'm excited to mix science, the solar system, and music!

I hope everyone has had a great summer and is excited for everything happening this school year.  It truly will be a completely new year and fresh start!

It's September Already!?

Posted by [email protected] on September 9, 2014 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (0)

The last few weeks have gone by very quickly! There has been lots to keep up with this year.  We are all getting used to the new schedule, new students, and new staff.  The softball team played a game against the staff this week.  After the game was cancelled for bad weather, they played this Monday.  Everyone had fun and enjoyed the weather while it lasted.  It looks like more rain for now, though. 

Students are getting ready for a Talent Show during Homecoming.  Everything from magic, impersonations, musical numbers, dancing, and juggling are on the line up.  Hopefully everyone can get ready in time and I'm sure it will be an entertaining afternoon for everyone.  It's coming up on the 29th of September.  

In class we have really been focused on learning notes and letter names.  This is a new unit for me, but it has been going very well.  Students started by learning the rhythms (quarter, whole, half, etc.) and this week are focused on the music staff.  Hopefully this will help students in a couple of the upcoming units (mainly composition, when they write their music).  We've been using different instruments and writing activities to practice the new concepts.  I really loved teaching notes with fraction circles.  Students seemed to understand it and the math connection was an added bonus!

You can check out pictures of the softball game and music class on the Instagram tab! Lots of good pictures of students having fun learning and socializing. 

Get ready, get set, go!

Posted by [email protected] on August 15, 2014 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The last two days have been filled with time in my classroom--pulling out all that I packed away, fixing instruments, opening new instruments, cleaning, and hanging tons of posters on the wall.  What I thought would take one day, of course, turned into two.  It has been awesome to see my room come back together and to try some new things.  It is now just hours before we go back for teacher inservice and although I'm not totally ready to say goodbye to summer, it is upon us.  There are lots of new faces and names to learn, more work to be done in the classroom, and meetings to attend.  It is crazy to me that this will be my fourth year teaching.  I know it's not really a long time, but it doesn't seem like it is possible that I have been out of undergrad that long.  I am very excited to see what this year brings and to continue finding creative ways to teach the students at Ruby. See you tomorrow everyone!

Update on Curriculum

Posted by [email protected] on August 10, 2014 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

This summer, one of my main goals was to revamp the curriculum for music at Ruby.  I was hoping that I would be able to plan lessons well in advance and provide more variety in activities.  I have finished a draft of 8 units for the year and am SO excited about it! I still have a long way to go, but I have uploaded the materials to the Curriculum  page on the website.  I have found tons of ideas in so many places--Pinterest, the Summer Institute put on by the Iowa Braille School, talking to collegues, and music therapy ideas that I have gotten from observing some music therapists.  I am going to be working to include more and more of what I have learned in these places into the curriculum.  If you are interested in what we are going to be doing this year, check out the Pacing Guides and Unit Plans! I am beginning to load some pictures of progress (and hopefully implementation as school starts) onto Ruby's music Instagram.  Thanks to all who have helped me work through creating this and as I continue to work on it! :)


Posted by [email protected] on July 24, 2014 at 12:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been working to get the calendar updated.  Hopefully this gives those reading it an idea of what events are going on and when.  Many dates and times are tentative and some events are subject to change.  Please be watching for updates here and any information that goes home with students for the most updated information. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or see any mistakes in the calendar.

Unit Plans, Curriculum, Assessment

Posted by [email protected] on July 17, 2014 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

So I meant to post a finished project for a game I am creating for my class a few weeks ago. I still have not finished that game--it is taking much longer than expected. When I finish I will put some pictures of it up here!


Instead, I have been working to complete Unit Plans and uploading a variety of curriculum units to the website after updating them. I am hoping that this will be helpful to staff, students, and parents. It should be easy to look up exactly what your student is working on in music and what activities they might do in a given week. Of course, most of this is completely new, but I have found some great ideas and things to try that we have never done before. I am also working on linking videos and activities to Ruby Van Meter Music's Pinterest page, so students who have internet access can watch videos or see materials related to what they are learning at home.


Check out all the new curriculum materials here!


There are a few videos up on the Pinterest page to go along with Drumming and Guitar.


Also a big thing at Ruby Van Meter-Rick Lussie Day. The" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">page from last year has been linked at the top of the page and it will be updated as soon as plans are solidified for next year!


I am SO EXCITED to get more things up on the website. I hope that it can be of use and give more opportunities to our students!


Posted by [email protected] on July 5, 2014 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I am in the process of creating a Pinterest account to connect to the website.  Although I think this will be a long process, I can put lots of pictures up for different activities or activities that I am working on and link it back here.  I have also been working on some more activities that I am hoping to post later for working on composition and letter names. 

I probably won't get those up for at least a week because I have lots of projects to finish for my class next week. 

If you have anything you would like to see on the Pinterest board, let me know so I can start making boards for it!

Webquests: Virtual Tour Through Space

Posted by [email protected] on July 3, 2014 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Still working on my technology class, we were working on creating Webquests this week.  I learned a little about the interactive lessons that students can use learn about different subjects. 

The website we used has a really awesome resources for all subjects.  Anyone can register and create a webquest and then others can access what you have made.  Check it out on Zunal.

I created a webquest about Holst's The Planets, an orchestral suite with music for each planet.  It's very simple, includes the possibility for hands-on activities in the classroom, and has a modified worksheet with symbols. 

Holst's The Planets

I am really loving learning about all this technology and applying it to my classroom.  I am hoping to use some of these ideas in class this year!

Guitar and Technology!

Posted by [email protected] on July 1, 2014 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

As an assignment for my technology class, I needed to use powerpoint for a project.  I decided to write a unit on guitar for my students and include some interactive activities within it.  I have had a hard time finding a way to link these files to my blog, so I'm hoping this works!

In addition to playing the guitar, students will use this powerpoint to learn about the types of guitars, the sounds they make, the parts of the guitar, the string names, and a couple of ways to play the guitar.

Download the files here.  You will need at least a 2010 version of Powerpoint and SMART Notebook to view the files.  Google will not open a preview for either of the files.  You will have to download it to your computer to see them.

Guitar Powerpoint

Guitar Matching: SMART Notebook File

Music Therapy

Posted by [email protected] on June 26, 2014 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Do you know someone with special needs that really loves music? There are some great opportunities for people of all ages to get involved in the Des Moines area.

West Music is a great resource in Iowa for excellent music therapy programs.  In the Des Moines area, SoundReach choir, small group music therapy groups, and adaptive lessons are offered during the school year.  I have watched this group rehearse and perform a variety of programs and their directors are wonderful with all of the singers.

There are also a variety of classes and groups offered in Coralville and Marion.  Check out their music therapy website! 

Music Therapy at West Music

Are there any other music therapists or programs in the metro area that have made an impact in you or your child's life?

Share in the comments!