Instrument Return

If your child has a Strings instrument that belongs to the school, the instruments will be returned the week of June 1-5.

Monday, June 1 - Dr. Woods's Class
Tuesday, June 2- Ms. Blair's Class and Ms. DiCarlo's Class
Wednesday, June 3 - Ms. Garcia's Class
Thursday, June 4 - Mr. Earl Johnson's Class
Friday, June 5 - Mr. Keith Johnston's Class

This is also the time that students will return library books, textbooks, patrol belts, etc.  The school will be sending out an individual time slot for you to come to the school to drop off your instrument.  When you arrive, you will be directed to a specific area in the parking lot, and instruments will be collected curb-side.

If you are unable to come to the school on your assigned day/time, a "make-up" day will be scheduled.  More information will be coming out soon.

Update for the week of June 8

1. Email Mr. Dixon ([email protected]) your favorite memory of Strings class this year.

2. Teach someone in your family the letters of all four strings on your instrument (GDAE or CGDA).  Have them come up with their own sentence that uses all four letters (like "Good Dogs Always Eat").

3. Smile!  We made it to the end of the year!  Mr. Dixon is so proud of what you have learned in Strings class this year.

Update for the week of June 1

1. Watch a clip from "Fantasia 2000" featuring the Steadfast Tin Soldier.

2. See how professional violinist Itzhak Perlman holds his bow.

3. Watch a performance of harpist Nadia Pessoa.  Can you find Mr. Dixon in the orchestra?

Update for the week of May 25

1. Play along with the Open String Blues.

2. Watch an orchestra performance of West Side Story.  Can you find Mr. Dixon in the orchestra?

Update for the week of May 18

1. Play along with the 70's Disco Hit "Dancing Queen."

2. Watch a video exploring all the instruments of the orchestra.

Update for the week of May 11

1. Play a game finding the parts of the instrument!

2. Write a letter to a 4th grader about what being in Strings is like.  Email your letter to [email protected]  I will give your letter to the Strings students next year.

3. Play along with a throwback song from the beginning of the year, "Best Day of My Life."

Update for the week of May 4

1. Play along with the 60's soul funk hit "Dance to the Music!"

2. Draw a picture of your instrument and label the parts (scroll, pegs, nut, neck, shoulder, fingerboard, f-holes, bridge, and tailpiece).  Email your picture to me at [email protected]  Here is a diagram to help you get started.

3. Watch a video of composer John Williams conduct "Star Wars" with the Boston Pops Orchestra.

Update for the week of April 27

1. Write a short poem about your bow.  Include the parts of the bow (frog, tip, hair, stick, screw).  Email your poem to me at [email protected]  I'd love to read it!

2. Play along with the 80's rock song "Eye of the Tiger!"

Don't forget to sign up for your music class at Potomac Middle School!

Update for the week of April 20

1. If you haven't already done so, play through the songs on pages 4-11 in the book.  You can listen along, even if you don't have an instrument or book.

2. Learn a new hip hop song using the A, D, and G strings on your instrument!

My office hours each week will be on Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00.  I will be available by email ([email protected]) if you have any questions, or if you just want to say hello!

Update for the week of March 30

Dear Strings Families,

I encourage you to review the songs on pages 4-11 in our music book.  Try playing the songs pizzicato (plucking the string) and arco (with the bow).  Here are some YouTube videos where I say the names of the notes, play each song, and then play each song with the background music.  By listening, you can play along, even if you don't have your book with you.

If you don't have an instrument at home, try saying the letters of each note out loud with the music, and use your left hand to show the number of fingers used for each note.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me through email at [email protected]

I miss you all!

Mr. Dixon
Twitter: @dixonstrings

Fingering Chart for Violin and Viola
Fingering Chart for Cello and Bass