Amy M. Burns

Elementary Music Technology and Integration

Amy M. Burns has taught PreK-grade 4 general music for over 20 years at Far Hills Country Day School. She has authored three books on how to integrate tech into the elementary music classroom. She has presented many sessions on the topic, including four keynote addresses in TX, IN, St. Maarten, and AU. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year, 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher, 2016 Governor’s Leader in Arts Education, and the 2017 NJ Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year Awards.

Mrs. Burns's 1st Grade Music Classroom: Performance and Assessment

Assessment Using Peter and the Wolf and Book Creator

At the end of the trimester, the 1st graders learned about the instruments of the orchestra, story music, and the essential question of how music can affect a mood, through Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf. The students experienced the story through movement, listening to the instruments, listening to the story narrated by Leonard Bernstein, drawing to the story, and watching the Disney version of the story. The students also learned how the certain instruments and their melodies evoked moods. For example, the low sound of the bassoon and its melody for the grandpa evoked a mood of grumpiness. However, the high sound of the violin and its melody for Peter evoked a mood of happiness. Once finished, both of the classes created this ebook. Ms. Cirelli's class drew the pictures and Ms. Kinney's class told me what to write. They loved their ebook and we hope that you enjoy it as well.

Performance: Recording Orff Ensembles

In this recording, the 1st graders perform “Falling Leaves” from Sing and Play on Special Days by Denise Gagne. They successfully play in unison and then in two parts for the very first time. I am so proud of my 1st graders! Please remember that they are age 6 and trying their best. 

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Assessment: Assessment through a podcast

In preparation for their Peter and the Wolf podcasts, the 1st graders studied the instruments and the characters, listened and drew to the story narrated by Leonard Bernstein, watched the Disney version of the story, assessed their knowledge with Martha’s excellent notebook file for the interactive whiteboard that can be found here, and then produced a podcast of Peter and the Wolf.

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