Gallery: Lyle coming to a crescendo

Published 10:58 am Thursday, December 1, 2011

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New instructor scales up Lyle’s music program

There’s a musical revolution going on in Lyle.

Lyle Public Schools’ music program is retooled and rebuilt this year, thanks in part to new teacher Rebecca Ogilvie.

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Ogilvie came to Lyle this year from St. Theodore Catholic School in Albert Lea. She has developed a reputation for fun, engaging class lessons which students say go above and beyond what they’ve previously learned.

“We’ve learned a lot more than we did last year and the years before,” said sixth-grader Patrick Hemann Murphy.

Ogilvie is working with elementary students in making musical connections to learning through dances, interactive lessons and plenty of loud instruments. Students are exposed at a young age to bells, xylophones, boom whackers and snare drums. Fourth-graders are learning Christmas songs like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in time for the Lyle Elementary Concert at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8.

Sixth-graders are working on Christmas music, with more connections and greater understanding. Activities like kindergartners painting what they hear (learning to distinguish tone) and elementary students passing a ball around in time with the music (keeping the tempo) are common in Ogilvie’s classes.

“We don’t just learn terms by rote and not use them,” Ogilvie said. “We implement it into everything they do.”

Sixth-grade students say they’re excited to learn how to read sheet music this year. Ogilvie is excited to build on what students know and reinvigorate Lyle’s musical groups.

“It’s really fun,” said Anne Quelle, sixth-grader. “I hope to learn other instruments.”

She has big plans to grow the program. Aside from restructuring the curriculum to focus on student engagement, Ogilvie is looking to incorporate more exercise into her music classes and may form a dance group with musicians. She’ll introduce an ensemble band and may make temporary changes to the marching band. She also has large plans for the program that she hopes to bring before the board in a couple months, though she isn’t ready to publicly reveal what they are.