• Week 8 Music Activity

    Posted by Josh McFadden on 5/11/2020 8:00:00 AM


    Week 8 Music Activities (May 11th- 15th)


    Middle school students should look and listen to the music from this month’s Music Alive! The following link will bring you to a digital copy for your perusal. You can study about pop harmonies, the band One Republic, New Age music, and the history of the whammy bar. 

    This is a link to the listening samples for this month’s issue


    K-2 students should listen to this sample of Pete Seeger’s song/story  the “Foolish Frog”

    What instrument is Pete playing?

    “I know an old lady”- Pete Seeger

    Have you ever told a lie? Lies can trap us in a web much like lady that swallowed the fly. We  just end up better off by telling the truth . It can keep you out of a great deal of trouble.


    3rd & 4th Composer Corner

    Let’s watch this video of a Symphony Orchestra performing Holst-”Mars”. Gustav Holst wrote a different piece of music for each of the planets. What instruments do you see being used? Which instrument families do they belong in? Would you like to play any of these instruments?

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  • Week 7 Music Activity

    Posted by Joshua McFadden on 5/4/2020 8:00:00 AM

    Week 8 Music Activity 

    I stumbled across this video of a man that reads Dr. Seuss books to rap beats. Check this out.

    Fox in Sox (Rap Video) -Youtube

    I have found yet another website for you kids to experiment with making your own beats. I challenge you to create your own beat at and to record yourself reading a rhyming book. You may submit your content in email, or post it online with #raptorsmusic. Use this time to be creative. Consider writing a rap of your own.

    Stay safe, make music, & have fun!

    Drama Club News- We have resheduled our production of "The Wizard of Oz YPE" for the week of Oct. 19th-23rd. (Fall 2020) Please mark your calendars. We will need 8th grade students  that are moving up high school to commit to the performance so we can make it happen. 

    Thank you for your continued support of the Arts.





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  • Week 6 Music Activity

    Posted by Josh McFadden on 4/26/2020 7:00:00 PM

    Week 6 Music Activity

    This weeks activity will be different. We have had enough screen time in our home so let's make something musical. This is for all students in K-8th. I want you to make an instrument using things you find around your house.

    Ask your parents to help you make your own instrument. Which instrument family does your instrument belong in? How did you make your instrument? Send me a short video describing and playing your instrument. Email your video to or post in online using the #raptorsmusic 

    I can't wait to see what your come up with. 


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  • Week 5 Music Activities

    Posted by Josh McFadden on 4/20/2020 7:00:00 AM

    Music Activities Week 5


    All grades (K-8) This week we will take a look at another function of chrome music lab. This is called the piano roll.

    This shows us a visual representation of several classical pieces of music. Many years ago there was a piano that was created that could mechanically play music based on small holes poked in rolls of paper. These player pianos allowed for people to have recorded music well before recordings were widely available. In many ways, it functions like a gigantic music box. 

    Listen to each of the classical pieces and see if you recognize them. We have heard several of them in music class. 


    K-2 Students have the opportunity to go on a musical instrument safari. Follow the link and create a log in. You can begin collecting all of the instruments of the orchestra and will learn about composer Benjamin Britton. 

    As students collect instruments there are mini games to play and good information to gain as they collect all the stickers to put in their book. 


    John Langstaff- These are some classic folk songs arranged for children. There are some very good rhymes in here and a fun playlist of kid songs.


    Ukulele Lesson for those of you with access to your own ukulele. Here is a video demonstrating how to play Riptide by Vance Joy.

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  • Week 4 Music Activities

    Posted by Josh McFadden on 4/13/2020 8:00:00 AM

    Music Activities for Home week 4 (April 13th-17th)


    Students in 5th- 8th grade are encouraged to read the Music Alive articles for this month. Try to search youtube or spotify for the songs that they are mentioning in the articles. There is an article about Finneas (Billie Eilish’s brother), An exploration of music podcasts, and a tour of the inside of a piano. I am thankful for music alive for continued support through this time so we should take advantage of the resource. 


    Music Theory 

    We have talked a good amount this year about reading notes. Let’s see how well you do on a pop quiz on reading notes of the treble clef. Remember EGBDF and FACE for lines and spaces.


    We have been talking some the last few weeks about the Circle of Fifths. This video is one of the best descriptions of the science of sound and mathematics (Pythagoras). It will help to show us how keys are related (chords) and key signatures.

    On a piece of paper, Try and copy out your own circle of fifths. Put one tic mark on every position of the clock face. This is a useful tool when making music of our own or reading music that someone else has written. It may even help with your guitar or ukulele playing. 


    K-4 Students should make a melody using the melody maker inside of Chrome music lab. Selecting different notes appear as colors and are played as a loop of music. Experiment with changing the tempo (beats per minute or BPM) to see how this affects your melody. Remember as you experiment that melodies may move by step, leaps, or repeating tones. Often times a good melody will have all three types of note movement. 


    You may consider creating your own rhythm with this tool. This will use a variety of percussion sounds for you to create an ostinato/drum loop. Use the arrows at the top of the page to scroll between different percussion instruments that you could use. 



    Students in the the lower grades may appreciate some of the songs from the Laurie Berkner Band.


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  • Week 3 Music Activities

    Posted by Josh McFadden on 4/6/2020 8:00:00 AM

    Good Morning, I hope you all are staying safe and washing hands. I wanted to share some musical things for you to experiment with for the week of April 6th -10th. 

    Open up your chrome browser and go to the following link: 

    This is an experiment about harmonics. This is how sound waves are related or how notes are related to each other. We see here 6 different wave ratios. 1,2,3,4,5,&,6. Touch or click on each different sound wave to hear the sound they each make. Let's try and play the song "Taps" using these harmonics. Play the following sequence of notes in order: (3,3,4------3,4,5,----3,4,5,---3,4,5----,3,4,5-----4,5,6,--5,4,3,---3,3-4----). Some of you that may play a brass instrument may recognize this relationship of notes. It's all the notes that you can play without changing slide position or valves. These notes are like those played on a trumpet or bugle by changing the tightness of your lips inside the mouthpiece of the horn. What other songs could you play using only harmonics? 

    Let's check out the arpeggio app.

    This app allows us to make music using broken chords or arpeggios. If you hit the play buttun in the center it will begin making an arpeggio. Try to start by selecting "C" at the top first. Next select "F" and then "G". If you change these in time with the music you might be able to create some background music for a song. Change the tempo to fit the song you want to try. This app structure is similar to what we see when we are talking about the circle of fifths. You might look up the lyrics and chords to a simple song and use the arpeggio app to make the background music. Or you might even create a song all of your own. There are several different instruments that you can change and several different arpeggio options for a different sound. If you have some of your papers from music class. This would be similar to when we strum a song on the ukulele except it is plucking one string at a time. The chords on the inner circle are minor chords. The ones on the outer circle are major chords. Perhaps you can make your own songs using these arpeggios. Clicking on a new letter name will change the chords for you. Parents you might remember playing an autoharp in school. This is similar to that in many ways. 

    If this is your first time coming to the music page please start with some of the lessons in the early weeks. 

    Maybe you have your own ukulele at home but it isn't in tune. The video link below is a youtube video to help you tune. It will play each string several times for you to check that it matches.

    For those of you who have been playing the ukulele for a couple of years, let's give this tutorial for "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"

    In the K-2 world there is nothing more important than reading during this time away from school. One of my all time favorites is "Pete the Cat: I love My White Shoes"

    One of my favorite songs to share is one by Pete Seeger on the banjo called "Foolish Frog". It is a tremendously silly song so check it out below. Check our some of Pete's songs as well.

    I hope you will find some musical things to do over this break.

    Drama Club News: We have made the hard decision to postpone our production of "Wizard of Oz" until  fall 2020.  This will require our current 8th grade students to come back from Boone to rehearse with us. With the loss of rehearsal times, there is no way to pull the production together for this year. No date has been scheduled for this yet. The production company Tams-Witmark has been very understanding about this whole situation and our needs to reschedule. 

    Thank you all for your continued support for the Arts @ RVES

    Joshua McFadden 


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  • Week 2 Music Activities March 23-27

    Posted by Josh McFadden on 3/23/2020 8:00:00 AM

     Week 2 Music Class activities at home. 

    Elementary Students (K-4) Students should choose 3 different activities on Chrome Music Lab.

    One artist that I love in the K-2 world of music is Raffi. Here is a link to some of his songs.

    Another great kids song artist that I’ve come to love over the years is Roger Day! He has silly songs on just about every topic you can imagine. They are educational too!

    Middle School (5th -8th Grades) They should create an account with for free. Then they will be able to download Roland Zenbeats which we have played with in class. They can create their own beats and music there. This is a free software app where they can create music of their own making loops, playing with synth sounds, and even recording. They might even be able to write a rap to a beat they have made about being quarantined just for fun. 

    Ukulele Tab Link.

    The last time we had school some of the classes had made it to “Oh Susanna” on the ukulele

    I found a clever video demonstrating the song and shows a tablature for the song. He is playing the melody in red at the same time he plays a harmony in blue. Try to play the red part first then add the blue for a real challenge.

    When we are learning to play an instrument like the ukulele or guitar, I think it’s important to listen to people that have mastered the instrument. Jake Shimabukuro is definitely a ukulele master. This is his take on “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

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  • Week 1 Music Activities - March 16th-20th

    Posted by Josh McFadden on 3/17/2020 8:00:00 AM

    Good Morning, 

    Maybe you are looking for some fun music activities during your break. I will share some things here that the students will find beneficial. 


    Week 1 March 16-20

    K-4 Students can do some musical experiments using Chrome Music Lab. There are many fun and education activities here relating to pitch and music making. There are experiments there to play with soundwave science as well. They particularly enjoy the voice spinner to record their voices and play it forwards/backwards quickly and slowly. 

    5th-8th grade students that have their own ukulele can practice some of the pieces we have been working on in music class. 

    Here is a link to "Ode to Joy" 


    Students that have access to their own guitar may play a similar tablature on the guitar. it is in a different key but uses the same fingers and frets.

    Students may access the online magazine we use in class "Music Alive" This month's issue is available to digital download and has an article about Luke Ccombs The link below for will take you there. 


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  • Do you have your own ukulele?

    Are you in 2nd thru 8th grade?

    Then, bring your uke to music class!


Ukulele Tab

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Mr. McFadden

Mr. Josh McFadden



Degrees and Certifications:

02' Bachelors in Music Education K-12 / West Liberty State College ,WV Professional License in TN with Music K-12 Endorsements

Mr. Josh McFadden