All posts by tpmsmusic

We’re back!

The TPMS music website is back up and running meaning that chorus students can access practice tracks, general music students can access history info and music, and we can all share cool music and videos with each other.

First up: student requests!

From Juliana Ingram – OK Go

From Lily Zhou – Lindsey Sterling


Rest in Peace B.B. King

This morning B.B. King, one of the premier blues guitarist of the past generations died at age 89 in Las Vegas.  Check out the videos below to hear an amazing performance on his legendary guitar “Lucille” and a documentary about this monumental force in Blues Music.

Rest in Peace.


Best Day of My Life: The Rock in Schools Story

A number of middle school in Montgomery County are featured in this upcoming documentary about using rock and pop in music education as a viable, exciting, and fun way to approach the curriculum.  Though the trailer doesn’t feature us much, Takoma general music classes will be featured in the full length documentary.

The original idea for the movie came from Ms. Randi Levy at Roberto Clemente Middle School who started the Rock in Schools program at her school.  A number of other teachers around the school system (including us) have also started using pop and rock instruments and the teachers at these schools wanted to find a way to help spread the word about these programs, raise money to help other schools afford instruments and equipment, and to provide training to teachers to implement similar programs.

Please watch the trailer below, like it on youtube and share it with your friends and family.  Let’s do our part to help other schools bring programs like these into the culture of their schools.  Our goal is to get 250,000 likes on Youtube.  Rock on Takoma!



Video of the Week – 2/2 “We Are the Champions”

In honor of the Superbowl, Jimmy Fallon and the Roots invited some friends to join them in an a cappella version “We Are the Champions” by Queen.  Check it out!

Journal: What do you think?  What is a cappella music?  What did these singers need to think about to create their version of this song?  Explain your answer.

Video of the Week 12/15 – Music, the internet, and possibility

Usman Riaz discusses his use of the internet to learn how to play music in unconventional ways and how this inspires him to wonder how it could be used to learn anything the world offers.

Journal: What do you think?  Does a teacher have to be someone you know?  Have you ever used the internet to learn something new?  Have you ever used the internet to learning something musical?

Spotted! Takoma park musicians!

This week was full of Takoma music.

I spotted 6th grade chorus member Anna Grace O’Malley performing during the intermission of The Washington Revels Holiday Concert.  I didn’t know she fiddled!  You go Anna Grace!


Then on Tuesday and Wednesday nights the band and orchestra from Takoma, under the direction of Mrs. Holly Pasquale, performed for their families, friends, and the Takoma community.  I was able to make it to the Wednesday performance to see the beginning band, intermediate band, intermediate orchestra, and the jazz band.  Here are two excerpts from the intermediate bands and orchestras.  Congrats on a great performance!


Fête de l’Escalade: December 11-12

Casharelle Bonard in 6th grade chorus clued me in on festival celebrated in Geneva, Switzerland where she used to live and asked if I’d share a little about it with you all.

Every year, the Swiss celebrate the defeat of a surprise attack on Geneva by the French Duke of Savoy (Charles Emmanuel I) in 1602.  According to legend, Catherine Cheynel who lived with her husband and 14 children above the Gate of Geneva seized a large cauldron of boiling soup and poured it on the top of the attackers.  According to legend, this caused such a commotion that the citizens of the city rose up and defeated their attackers.

Every year on Fête de l’Escalade, schools serve vegetable soup to students and families, students go door to door singing for money, there is a parade through town and teenagers participate in a mock fight in which they throw flour, eggs, and shaving cream at each other in the central square of Geneva (which she found really funny!).

Here is a video showing some of the sights and sounds of the festival including a song that tells the story of Fête de l’Escalade.  Enjoy!