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October 5, 2012 We have had a great time continuing our study of instruments of the orchestra. We listened to The Composer is Dead. This is a piece that was commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony for narrator and orchestra, and it premiered in 2006. It is a "whodunit," and the inspector in the story interviews all the instruments. Like Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, which we listened to earlier this year, this great new piece journeys through the different instrument families, introducing young audiences to instruments and their sounds and roles in the orchestra. After we listened to this musical mystery story, we broke into small groups and created posters. Each group picked an instrument that was suspected of the crime in the story and created Wanted posters. Each poster had to include a picture and description of the instrument. Ask your child which instrument they picked to draw. To wrap up this unit, we added the word Timbre to our music elements graphic organizer. Timbre is a word that refers to instrument tone. We included the instruments families and types of instruments in each family. Last, but not least, there was singing! Every branch of our armed forces has their own song, and this year we will be learning those songs. A couple of weeks ago, fourth graders learned the Army's song, The Caissons. This week we learned The Marine's Hymn.