LS Chorus Hockey Game!

The students of the Lower School Chorus are preparing to sing the National Anthem at the Hershey Bear’s hockey game on Sunday, February 28th at 5:00 PM. If your child is participating in the event, please have them at the stadium lobby at 4:30 PM, wearing their dark blue or light blue academy wear! We will go down as a group to the “back-stage” area to get onto the ice to sing! After we sing the National Anthem, students can go eat and cheer for the Bears!

If you did not get a ticket through the Parents’ Association, and you still would like to attn

If you have any questions about the event, please ask! It looks like a bunch of Harrisburg Academy families are attending to cheer on the chorus kids! Thank you for your support of the event!

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Summer Music Camps!

I will be offering 2 summer music camps this year at the Academy!

See the information below for both camps. I would love to have your child participate in camp! If the end time being 3:00 is an issue, there is also a program being offered by a lego short camp that can have your child stay until 6:00 PM for easier parent pick-up at a nominal rate. Please contact the camp director for more information! (Jennifer Hricak, Director of Summer Camp- 717-763-7811 x1372)

Chorus Music Camp

Date: June 20-24, 2016
Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Ages: Two sessions (each the full day) — students entering 2nd-5th grade and students entering 6th-9th grade (Maximum capacity is 30 campers for each session.)
Cost: $275 (tuition includes t-shirt); $40 deposit

Instructor: Mrs. Beth Darowish, music and performing arts teacher, and guest conductor, Jeffrey Brunner
Contact / Registration: To register, please submit the online registration form. For more information, please contact Beth Darowish.

Join Beth Darowish and special guest conductor, Jeffrey Brunner in an exciting choral music camp! There will be classes in sight-singing, music reading, vocal technique, musical games, and of course choral singing with a performance at the end of the week for parents and guests at 2 p.m.! Students must pack a lunch each day.

Musical Theater Camp

Date: June 27-July 1, 2016
Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Ages: Students entering 2nd-9th grade (Maximum capacity is 30 campers.)
Cost: $275 (tuition includes a camp t-shirt); $40 deposit

Instructor: Mrs. Beth Darowish, music and performing arts teacher
Contact / Registration: To register, please submit the online registration form. For more information, please contact Beth Darowish.

Join Beth Darowish and US musical theater helpers in a summer musical theater exploration camp! Throughout the week, students will learn age-appropriate pieces from the musical theater genre, including choreography and stage direction, and play fun improvisation and theater games. Students will gain confidence singing alone and with others, learn stage presence, and practice their creativity in movement and performing in this fun camp. A showcase of the week’s fun will be performed at 2 p.m. on Friday! Students must pack a lunch each day.

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Welcome back!

This summer was full of fun in the sun, summer camp, music lessons and beach-going!  I had a great time relaxing with my daughter and having fun recharging my teaching batteries getting ready for this school year.  I am so excited to begin work on our Upper School Musical.  I have been learning the new songs for the new HAT’s Music Together in-school program curriculum.  Last week during in-service, teachers had the opportunity to get our rooms ready, and I am excited to get the students into my classroom and begin to teach!

Throughout the school year, please make sure to check the calendars for concert times and dates.  Also, be sure to check the school’s dress code for concert attire for your child’s division because it is different depending on what division they are in!

I look forward to getting to know your children and developing a great environment for your child to create and learn about music.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!  (


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Springtime Music News

It is starting to feel like spring!  The playground is slowly melting and the playground is starting to sound like springtime.  The music Mod is so full of great musical sounds too.


The HATS students have been singing songs, playing rhythm sticks, shakers and playing the Freeze Dance game.  They have been doing creative movement with scarves and flashlights on the ceiling and practicing movement to the beat with me.  They are getting so much better at singing as a group and matching pitch.  We sang the songs “Clap, Clap, Clap your hands,” “Naughty Kitty Cat,” “If I had a Dinosaur,” “Rainbow song,” and “Mr. Sun”.  The students are working so well together and responding well to the activities we are doing in class.


The Junior Kindergarten students have been doing so many activities that connect to their class curriculum.  They have done many multicultural Rhythm Stick songs, “Hop, Old Squirrel” song and game, a valentines’ day song for their morning meeting, Freeze dance game, “Naughty Kitty Cat” song and game, “Arkansas Traveler” movement, “Toe Tappin’, Foot Stompin’, Egg Shakin’ Blues” song, “Old Brass Wagon” song with movement, and “Away We Go” song with movement.


The Kindergarten classes started the music for their play, Kitty Cat Capers.  They now should be fairly confident on the words to the songs and the movements for them as well.  These students also learned “Old Brass Wagon” song and movement, “Circle Round the Zero” song and movement, “Hop Old Squirrel” song and game, Played Multicultural Rhythm Sticks and sang those songs, worked on Waltz beat (3-4 time) with rhythm sticks, “Waltzing Matilda”, “Jump Jim Joe” song with movements, and will start “Down by the Bay” song, making up their own silly rhymes to add to the song.  They have been working so hard learning so many songs!


The first grade students successfully performed their play in January and worked so hard to put it all together with snow delays and cancellations.  After their show, they worked on a rhythm writing unit, rhythm sticks, and have been focusing on songs that we play Orff instruments to.(Pitched percussion instruments) They learned Ama Llama with 3 orff instrument parts and Catalina Magdelina with boom whackers.  We will be working toward improvisation on the Orff instruments, and playing in groups for the blues.

The 2nd grade students worked on their play music as well, battling the delayed schedules for snow, and did a phenomenal job pulling their play together as well.  There were quite a few students who really came out of their shells during their play performances, and really showed their leadership in the group setting on the stage.  After their play was over, we did some Circle songs, partner movement songs, learned the notes of the staff to get ready for our Solfegge unit (Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do).  We played a tournament game with bean bags to label the note names on the staff on the floor – and to see who could do it the fastest.  We began our solfegge unit by using Boom whacker – pitched percussion tubes- to play melodies we learned in solfegge, and we played games like “Boom Whacker Says” with the hand signs.  Each student composed their own 16-note melody in solfegge to play on the boom whackers as a class and they conducted the class by using the appropriate hand sign for the note they wanted played.  We learned the blues song, “Goodmorning, Blues,” and will incorporate boom whackers to play the 12-bar blues accompaniment with chords.  They wrote their own verses of the blues song, and will be performing them as well for the class.

The 3rd grade students are playing recorders and learning the notes of the staff.  They are all progressing through the color levels, moving their clothespin up the color ladder as they gain colorful “belts” on their recorders as they learn and demonstrate their skills and abilities of their new notes to the teacher.  Some students have been borrowing their recorder to take home, or they brought their color level sheet home with them to practice on their recorder at home.  Most students have begun work on their first melody composition, or have finished it already.  The students are enjoying learning their new instrument and are progressing at a good pace.  Their goal is to have everyone in the pink level by the end of the marking period.

The Lower School Chorus is working on Multicultural songs for the spring concert.  “When I close my Eyes” is a powerful world music piece that uses a cello accompaniment part (Mr. Jones will play).  They sang this piece in such an emotionally charged way a few rehearsals ago that they brought me and the 4th grade teachers to tears listening to their performance at the end of the rehearsal.  They also learned “Hala La La Layya,” a Lebanese folk song that will use percussion parts, and “Arirang,” a Korean folk tune that uses Recorders and various percussion parts.  I gave the recorder parts to the students to practice on their own at home if they choose to try out for that small group recorder part.  We have one more folk tune to learn yet, a piece from Russia!  These students have been developing their breath support, vowel formation for choral singing, and learning music in 3-part harmony!  It has been exciting seeing them develop through the school year.

I look forward to Spring’s arrival – not just because the weather will be nicer – but because if you haven’t noticed me in the hallway or in the Gallery during my morning duty, I am expecting my first child at the end of April.  I have been working hard to make sure the curriculum and programs at the end of April and May will be prepared properly for the students to have an easy transition to my substitute teacher for the end of the school year.  Don’t worry – I will be back in the fall, ready to start the school year with lots of great repertoire and lessons!  This summer I plan on teaching private violin, piano and guitar lessons at the Academy.  For the students moving up to Middle School, I will also be available to teach voice lessons to those students.  I am also teaching a summer camp for Musical Theater, open to next year’s 3rd-7th grade students.  Check out the summer offering website for information.

Please let me know if you and your child are interested in lessons throughout the summer or have any questions about what we are doing in music class!  (

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Music classes – Holiday season!

The students have been working diligently on their music for the holiday concert!  For students involved, it is this Thursday at 6:30 PM at the Forum in Harrisburg.  Please have your children there by 6:15.  They must sit in their assigned seats so they can be ready to go.  To clear up any confusion about dress code, I have included the information here:

MS/US Concert Black Attire (i.e. Holiday Concert; MS and US Fall, Winter, and Spring Concerts):
Boys: solid black dress slacks, solid black dress shirt, neck tie (any color), black dress socks, and black dress shoes (solid black sport coat optional).

Girls: semi-formal appropriate length solid black dress or solid black skirt or pants and black blouse or shirt, with black dress shoes (and socks if applicable.)

EC/LS Concert Dress (Seasonal) Attire (i.e. Holiday Concert, EC and LS Spring concerts, EC and LS Closing Ceremonies):
Boys: seasonal color dress slacks, seasonal color dress shirt, seasonal color dress socks, and dress shoes (seasonal color tie and sport coat optional). Girls: seasonal color semi-formal appropriate length dress, or seasonal color collared blouse or shirt with pants or appropriate length skirt, with dress shoes.

The early childhood classes have been moving, shaking, singing, playing instruments and games learning music.

The Hats students enjoyed singing “Over the River and Through the Woods” for the Thanksgiving all-school assembly.  They have been working on their music listening skills with Freeze-Dance game, and action songs that require them to move to the beat in different ways.  We sang “Do Your Ears Hang Low?”, read a book about the colors of the rainbow and sang “You can Sing a Rainbow” and did movement with colored scarves.  We will finish out December with movement to various Nutcracker movements, holiday sing-along, and playing the new classroom gathering drum to the beat of songs!

The Junior Kindergarten students have been singing songs that connect with their classroom learning.  We sang “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary” and “Do You Know the Muffin Man?” as well as “Over the River” for the Thanksgiving all-school assembly.  We played and sang “London Bridge”.  We danced with scarves and moved them to various classical music pieces, as well as sang “I’m a Little Teapot” with movements.  We also played a game from Africa, called “Obwasanasah”.  They played instruments to the beat of the song as we sang.  We will finish up December with snowflake dancing, listening to Nutcracker pieces and moving with scarves and singing some holiday songs in a sing along!

The Kindergarten classes have been singing up a storm in November and December!  They played the “Button You Must Wander” circle game where they sang a song, and passed the button around the circle and the student in the middle had to find who had the button.  They also sang a song about a “Fine Turkey” and “Over the River and Through the Woods” for the Thanksgiving all-school assembly.  They also began an Orff instrument unit with the song “Abiyo Abiyo,” an Aboriginal song from Australia.  We played rhythm instruments with various beats while singing this Echo song, took turns being the leader for the class to echo, and began learning the various Orff instrument parts.  The Orff instruments are small classroom instruments similar to xylophones.  I fixed up 2 bass instruments (one Xylophone and one Metallophone) and 2 alto xylophones that I found in the band room storage area.  We also ordered new mallets for the instruments, and the students have been enjoying playing various melodies and rhythms on the instruments.  We will eventually have 4 parts playing at the same time for this song, plus students will have the opportunity to improvise their own melodies and patterns as well.  It is such exciting music making!

The first grade students learned the “Over the River and Through the Woods” song for the Thanksgiving all-school assembly.  They also have been preparing for their first appearance in the Holiday concert!  They learned their piece for the Lower School Medley – “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as well as the “Reindeer Pokey”.  The classroom teachers purchased blinking red noses for the students and made reindeer antler hats for them.  The Reindeer pokey was sung for the ECLS Morning Meeting in December.  They also have been practicing the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” – our grand finale for the Holiday concert.  We also learned “Frosty the Snowman” for the Lower school combined piece for the Holiday concert.  We will finish up December with beginning an instruments of the orchestra unit, listening to Peter and the Wolf and identifying instruments by listening, by sight, and by description.  There will also be a holiday song sing-along before we leave for break.

The 2nd grade students have been working on their song for the holiday concert, Jingle Bell Rock, Frosty the Snowman and Let there be Peace on Earth.  We also worked on singing “Over the River and Through the Woods” for the All-school Thanksgiving assembly.  The 2nd grade students also began rehearsing their pieces for their play.  I want to make sure that all students have access to the music for the play, and if the website link the classroom teachers sent did not work for you, please let me know, and I will provide a CD so your children can practice at home!

The 3rd grade students worked so hard in November on their play.  They performed it so well, and I am so proud of the work they put into it!  We spent the majority of the class time working toward the play music and movement.  They worked hard to learn their music for the Holiday concert as well, by learning “Silver Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman” as well as “Let there be Peace on Earth” quickly.  Not to mention their chorus pieces of “Skatin’ and Sleighin'” and “Light a Candle” quickly as well.  They are a great group of students!  We will be finishing off December with a holiday sing-along as well as starting their RECORDERS!  They are so excited to begin work on their recorders, and I have created a color-level based curriculum for the recorders that will not only teach them note reading, rhythm reading and music writing, but it will also motivate them to work their way through the levels.  Every level they test through, they will get a colored “belt” to put onto the end of their recorder in a chain.  There are 10 levels to progress through, and when they get to the end, they can work on Disney songs from another book.  The students will work at their own pace, work together in duets, trios, composition and have performance opportunities for their peers.  I am very excited to begin as well!


If you have any questions about what your child is accomplishing in music class this year, please feel free to contact me:!

Have a wonderful Holiday Season!  See you in 2014!

Mrs. Darowish

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Music Classes October

Hello!  October has brought many changes outside, as well as many finished units within the music classes!  We are gearing up for our Grandparents’ Day/Special Friends’ day performances.  The students have been improving in their musical skills!

HATS – We are singing “If You’re Happy and You Know it” for Grandparents’ day.  We have also been working on moving to the beat of music.  We sang “5 Little Monkeys” with finger puppet monkeys, and each child was able to take turns being a monkey.  They really enjoyed that activity.  We also have little gnomes on popsicle sticks that we have been dancing to the beat of different pieces.  The majority of the class has really done well with finding the beat!  To finish out the month, we will be focusing on playing drums.

JK- The Junior kindergarten classes have been drumming away!  They are learning various rhythm patterns by listening, then echoing on their drums.  We are really getting the hang of “my turn, your turn”, and are listening very well to the different rhythms.  By the end of the month, I will be introducing various simple rhythms to them by looking at rhythm cards.  We sang a song, “Pat-a-Cake” and had fun rolling the dough.  We also have been practicing steady beat, and finding the beat of a song to clapping and moving along to it.  Rhythm Sticks have also been useful for practicing this skill.  We will continue with more songs, more movement, and more rhythm skill practicing throughout the rest of the month.

Kindergarten – The Kindergarten classes have been singing away this month!  We will perform Kookaburra for Grandparents’ / Special Friends’ Day.  They really enjoyed the “5 Little Monkeys” song, especially when the doctor says “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!”  We have practiced creative movement using scarves.  We have also been listening to pieces and hearing if it is fast or slow, and deciding on The Three Little Pigs story was read in music class, to demonstrate the high voices of the pigs and the low voice of the Big Bad Wolf.  We also learned a song about the three little pigs, and did movement to emphasize the high and low incorporated in the song.  We will continue with high and low, as well as do a rhythmic poetry unit, where we will use poetry and various percussion instruments to play the rhythm of the words and create music through the poems.

1st Grade – First grade has been learning about appropriate concert behavior, as well as practicing standing on the risers in preparation for the Grandparents’ day/Special friends’ day performance.  Their song is “Anansi the Spider”.  They have great movements, and the song is a favorite among the students.  We read the story, “Anansi and the Talking Melon” to understand the Anansi folk character.  We have also been practicing rhythm notation reading, and listening/echoing rhythms with rhythm sticks.  The students have been practicing independence in reading the music notation by taking turns being the leader of the rhythm for the class to echo back.  We will have the students begin to write their own rhythms by the end of the month.

2nd grade – The 2nd graders have been working on a big rhythm group project that has been very challenging for them.  Every student was asked to write his or her own 4-beat rhythm, then come up with words that matches their rhythm, then in a group of 3 or 4, be able to play their individual rhythms at the same time as everyone else, with a steady beat together.  The students take turns on every rhythm as well, so they are able to read and clap/say the rhythms of everyone in their group.  It has been noisy fun in music class, helping the students understand how to match their rhythms to words, and differentiating for students who need more help.  Our performances will be this week for the class.  We will finish up our rhythm unit and be ready to play some Orff instruments, because the parts came in and I am working hard to get them ready for next week’s classes!  they will be performing the “Head and Shoulders, Baby” song for Grandparents’ day.

3rd grade – The third grade classes have been working on a similar rhythm project as the 2nd graders, but their rhythms are more complex.  They were also a little faster in working as groups, and excelled at learning the rhythms of the other people in their group.  The 3rd graders already performed their rhythm projects, and have finished the unit.  We will begin work today on their musical music!  The Wombles Musical CD is complete, and I will make sure the 3rd grade teachers post the link for listening and practicing at home on their newsletters this week.  If you would prefer a CD instead of computer-based MP3s, please let me know and I can make sure your child receives one.  The students are very excited to begin work on their musical!  After we are done with the musical, we will be starting recorders and music notation!

Lower School Chorus – The Lower School Chorus is a wonderful group of students.  I have enjoyed helping them with breathing, singing in tune, improving vowels (with the tennis ball puppet, Bob) and practicing clapping on beats 2 and 4 for our hoe down song!  We will perform 2 pieces for Grandparents’ day/Special Friends’ day – Cripple Creek and Tama Tu.  Both pieces are exciting and Mr. Jones is playing “Fiddle” for Cripple Creek and will play a djembe drum for Tama Tu.  It will be a beautiful performance, and we are so excited for family to hear!  I will have a teacher record the performance so parents can watch and listen!


If you have any questions about what we are accomplishing in music class, or would like to chat about your child’s musical progress, please feel free to email me –

Thank you, and Happy October!

Mrs. Darowish

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Music Classes September

Hello, Parents!  Well the school year is under way and we are making some great music in the MOD.  Every level is improving on their singing, movement, and rhythmic skills.  We had a great first 2 cycles full of getting to know the students and their singing abilities so I could decide what units I was going to start with, and what level the students were already at.  Our activities have been as follows:

HATS – Everyday I see the HATS students we do 4 separate activities.  We usually start off with a movement activity and have had fun making scarves dance to music, and also flashlight “light shows” on the ceiling to music as well.  We also started moving little gnomes on sticks (the students said they reminded them of Santa) to the beat to “In the Hall of the Mountain King” as it speeds up, the gnomes have to go very fast!  We also have read the princess story and a new favorite, the Lonely Pirate story (I just finished it yesterday!).  These stories exercise their voices to help them explore different sounds they can make, and practice high and low sounds.  We also have been working on moving our bodies to a beat, using John Phillip Sousa Marches.  We march around the room and have a parade, moving our feet to the beat, clapping along to the beat, tapping our shoulders, legs and heads.

JK – In JK classes we have been singing lots of songs.  We began with some listening games, moving to music and when the music stopped, finding their assigned spot on the music carpet.  We sang the Wheels on the Bus with movements, the Grizzly Bear song with role-playing and Baby Beluga with motions as well.  That song took a lot of practice because it is so long.  We also have read the princess story to explore our vocalization abilities and did a bunch of echo me rhythms and clapping back.  I also showed them my juggling skills by using bean bags to get them to sing high and low and follow the path of the blue beanbag.  We will be working on a fingerplay song this week about an apple tree called 5 little apples.

K- the Kindergarten classes began the semester with the Grizzly Bear song and game, and flew through the wheels on the bus song.  They are also practicing clapping, patting, moving to the beat of a song.  We are exploring our Australian songs to connect to their classroom content, by singing Kookaburra.  We also listened to the call of the Kookaburra, had some laughs, and read about what they eat and what they look like.  We played a beanbag game called “toss across”, where each student picks another to toss the beanbag to, and individually, they make their voice follow the path of the beanbag.  In our last class, we played with rhythm sticks and started basic music notation with quarter notes (do) and eighth notes (Do day).  We will continue to practice reading simple 4-beat rhythms and speaking/clapping/rhythm stick-ing the rhythms together.  To go along with their apple picking field trip on Thursday, we are going to sing the apple tree song, 5 little apples and do the fingerplay.

First Grade –  The first grade also started with the grizzly bear game and song, and really likes the princess story.  I wrote them the new Pirate Story, and will be showing it to them today!  They sang a song called “That’s What’s New With Me” that let the students come up with their own lyrics, and take turns telling us all what is new about 1st grade.  They also came up with a movement for their new thing for the class to do together.  We started an echo me song called “Hello There!” with movements and I did their first unofficial skills assessment.  We will continue to work on their pitch matching skills  so I can help them improve their abilities when singing alone.  We also did the Toss Across game with the bean bag.  We will be singing the apple tree 5 Little Apple song this week, and play a steady beat beanbag game.

2nd grade – The 2nd grade started off with “Head and Shoulders, Baby”.  They enjoyed learning the dance (especially the to the front, to the back, to the side, side, side part).  They also had fun coming up with their own lyrics and movements to this song.  They started a Rhythm unit and we started with basic “echo me” rhythms and are now working and practicing on notating our simple rhythms.  We also learned a 3-part layered rhythm song that I call “what’s for lunch?” and we played that on the drums.  It is amazing what the 2nd grade students can accomplish in music class!  We will continue through our rhythm unit until they are writing their own rhythms.  I will have a skills assessment at the end, for them to play a rhythm that I show them, for them to notate a rhythm I clap, and for them to write a rhythm of their choice.

3rd Grade – The third grade classes also started with “Head and Shoulders, Baby” and enjoyed the dance and coming up with their own ideas as well.  They sang it for me the other day, and I was surprised that they were in the correct key!  They are working on a similar Rhythm unit to the 2nd graders, but they are working through it faster than the 2nd graders.  We are up to them writing rhythms and will be continuing to practice their rhythmic skills until their skills assessment.  Our next unit with be intro to the recorder!   I will be following a similar lesson structure to last year’s recorder playing, but after students master a song, they will get a color of pipe cleaner to wrap around the bottom of their recorder, almost like a colored belt in Karate.  The students will work at their own pace through the curriculum and practice the level they are on with other students at that level.  The students are excited to begin!

Please let me know if you have any questions about what we are doing in music class.  We are having a great time making music!

Thank you, Mrs. Darowish


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Hello world!

Hello!  I wanted to introduce myself as the new music teacher here at the Harrisburg Academy.  I am a 2004 graduate of Mansfield University, with a major in music education and voice performance.  I received my Masters of Music Education from Boston University in 2010 and I have been teaching in the public school system in the Harrisburg area for the past 7 years.  I love to sing, play violin and ukulele, and spend time with my husband and 2 cats.  My passion in life is inspiring others to believe in their music abilities and instill a love for music in my students.  I am looking forward to teaching your child this year.

I am very excited to be teaching at the Harrisburg Academy !  In music classes, your child will be exploring his or her self-expression through singing, playing instruments, creative movement, composition and performing music.  In each grade level, we will learn about the different elements of music, and use various songs and activities to study and develop musical skills.  We will play instruments, learn dances, learn music notation, solfege singing and rhythmic skills in class.  I hope your child enjoys my class, and I look forward to developing their music and creativity skills and love for singing.

If you have any questions about what we are doing in class, please feel free to email me:

I look forward to meeting you!


Mrs. Elizabeth (Beth) Darowish

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