Congratulations, Singers!!

Way to go, AMS choirs! Last night’s Fall/Halloween Concert was one of our best! Seriously, such good sound and in such a short amount of time. “This Is Halloween” is by far one of the most challenging pieces I’ve ever done with any group, and you knocked it out of the park, defying expectations for middle school singers.

Thank you parents, family, and friends for attending last night. We had a great audience and raised a good amount of money for our music department!

Please put TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17 into your calendars. That will be our Winter Concert, and it will start at the same times. We will likely need parent volunteers again, so please let me know if you’re willing to help!


Click the link below to find information about Saturday’s IMEA Jr. District festival in Wauconda. In case you can’t get the form to work, here are a few of the most essential details:

When: Saturday, Nov. 2–Arrive by 8:45; Students will check in. Concert to follow @ 2:00 pm in Gym.

Where: Wauconda High School (555 N. Main St. Wauconda, IL). I usually just google the directions. It’s a beautiful drive.

What to Wear: White on TOP, Black/Dark Blue on BOTTOM; NO tennis shoes. Generally, look nice. I would encourage girls to  wear comfortable shoes, and bring dressy shoes to change into. They’ll be going up and down bleachers, so nothing that limits mobility. Must meet AMS dress code. You may also want to wear a light sweater or something over the white shirt to avoid getting messy. THERE WILL BE NO TIME TO GO CHANGE.

What to Bring: YOUR MUSIC IN A BLACK/FOLDER (even if made from construction paper) and pencil

-May also want to bring $5 for lunch OR pack your own.

-Bottle of water and a snack

***DO NOT BRING iPods or anything else expensive*** Do not leave any valuables unattended. Keep those items on your person at all times.

How to Leave: AFTER the whole concert is finished, students should check out with Ms. Lewis from Iroquois School. She will have a list of students’ names.

Students have done a great job of putting in extra time for this festival, and I’m pleased and proud of their work.

Let me know if you have any other questions:

2013 Junior Festival Info


**CORRECTION: Students are responsible for their own transportation TO and FROM IMEA. Sorry for the mix-up! IMEA this year is located in Wauconda, IL. The sheet that went home was obviously an older version and had the incorrect location. Please click the link below to see the corrected information.

IMEA–Updated 2013

Chorus: Practice Tracks/Videos!

Attn. singers and parents! Below you’ll find links to recordings of the songs we’re singing for our Fall Concert on October 29, 2013. If one link and its videos don’t work, please try a different one. **NOTE: ONLY 7/8 Concert Choir are singing “The Bee”.***Happy Practicing!

Ms. Hoerner’s YouTube Channel Playlist  **Only 7/8 Concert Choir sings “The Bee”**

Shared GoogleDrive Folder   **Only 7/8 Concert Choir sings “The Bee”**

Dropbox Folder **Only 7/8 Concert Choir sings “The Bee”88


Audio Journal–How it Sounds to Be…

“A picture is worth a thousand words”


A picture can tell so much, especially if it’s a picture that represents a time in your life. Imagine how much that picture would tell if it were connected to sounds, or your own words?


For this project, you’re creating an Audio Journal. Consider: What kinds of things would you mention in your journal that truly capture your life at this time? Imagine looking and listening to this as an adult in 5, 10, or 20 years. What most accurately captures the events, feelings, and moments of your life right now? What would you need to compose or say to truly create a picture of your life at this moment?


This is, essentially, what an audio journal does, and you’ll create one using Garageband. Think of it as a podcast (you’ll use some podcast features).


Essential Steps:

1. Finish the phrase “How it sounds to be…” with one of the options below:

        a. 13 (or 14) years old (or whatever your age may be)


        b. An AMS student


        c. In 8th Grade (or whatever your grade may be)



2. Find a photograph that best represents your chosen topic.


3. Listen to the examples from’s Protojournal Blog:

    a. How it sounds to be 22


    b. How it sounds to be 30


    c. See Ms. Hoerner’s blog for links (search for Audio Journal)


Getting Started:

4. Brainstorm ideas related to your theme and picture

5. Pick 4-5 sounds that would be essential to your journal recording


6. Plan how you’ll record those sounds. You can use:

    -Audacity (free audio editing program)


    -Record with your phone/iPad and bring mp3’s to school

    -Use a school laptop (with Audacity/Garageband)

7. Write bit of dialogue for each sound that tells your listener what it is and why you chose it. Dialogue does not need to be too long, but speak slowly and clearly.


8. Record sounds. Each sound section should be 10-20 seconds, as well as a 10-15 second Introduction of you and your topic. You may edit your sounds as needed (shorter, longer, etc). Make sure you create smooth, logical transitions between your sounds.

-You may add some sound behind your dialogue or behind your recorded sound, but we need to hear some moments of your sound alone, too.


9. Use editing techniques in Garageband as needed (reverb, echo, compressor, etc.)

    -Be sure to use ducking in spots with dialogue  (brings the spoken track to the foreground)


10. Listen to your entire journal entry and edit. Listen more than once.


11. Turn your song into an Mp3 (Share–Export to disk–Compress/export as Mp3)


Finished Product:

-60-90 seconds in length


-4-5 locations and sounds

-A picture (your own or from another source)

-5-6 Sentence summary paragraph (NOT recorded, just written–describe the inspiration behind your choices, your final product)

-A “script” of your audio journal (include dialogue…a map of sorts)

Listen to these examples from

How It Sounds to Be 9

How It Sounds to Be 22

How It Sounds to Be 28

Chorus Week #1 Update, Folders

What a great first week! A fantastic turn out for 6th grade chorus and concert choir is continuing to grow, too. With next week’s half day on Tuesday there will be NO chorus until THURSDAY.

Here’s next week’s schedule:

Monday: No Karaoke (begins next week)


Wednesday: 6th Gr. chorus; voice tests for Concert Choir

Thursday: Concert Choir (7th and 8th grades)

Friday: no rehearsals

**Please bring a folder to rehearsal with your music and rehearsal reflections. Preferably a black folder that could be used in a concert. See Ms. Hoerner if you cannot find or purchase a folder**


Updated Chorus news for 2013-2014

Happy 2013-2014!

Chorus rehearsals will begin for 6th grade on Wednesdays, 9th period in Rm. 139 (the health room).

Rehearsals for 7/8 Concert Choir will begin Wednesday, Sept. 4 during recess. Concert choir schedules will be a bit different from last year, however:

Tuesday-All;                Wednesday-Sectional (rotating Sopranos, Mezzos, Men);                 Thursday-All

We have several great events coming up this year, including our Fall Concert (with band and orchestra—get a costume if you’d like!), Winter Concerts, D62 Festival, SOLO AND ENSEMBLE!!, Karaoke Concert, Spring Concert, Maine West musical, a few TBA events as well. Please click the link below to see our Student Agreement and 2013-14 schedule. Please return this signed by Thursday, September 26. Of course students can join at any point during the year, even if they miss this deadline.

I look forward to meeting many of you, hearing your terrific voices, and learning more about each musician that sings with us this school year. Please email at throughout the year if you have any questions.