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Mr. Clifton

Contact Bret Clifton  Bret Clifton Teacher - Music Director
Practice until you get it right, then practice until you can't get it wrong...
Practice until you get it right, then practice until you can't get it wrong...

Christmas Concert December 19th 6pm in the Finman Auditorium

(If you haven't seen the sign, the Finman Auditorium is our gym:-)


It just isn't Christmas or the Holiday Season without songs and carols! Join us for a festive celebration sure to get you ready for a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas Break! The following students are performing and are required to attend for grade:


All Kindergartners

All 2nd Graders

Symphonic Choir

Symphonic Band

Carta Crescendos


Elementary students are to be in the homeroom between 5:30 and 5:45 to warm up and prepare (please have them use the bathroom, too!) Choir and Band students are to meet in their choir or band room at that same time. Please see my 'Concert Dress and Expectations' document in 'my locker to the left of this announcement for details on what your student(s) should wear and how everyone should behave at STEM concerts. Thank you so much! We'll see you there!!


Our concerts strive to last at most just a little over an hour but seats are at a premium, so come early! In fact, if you want a FRONT ROW seat, why not enter our raffle for a chance at two of them:


$10 per ticket

Ticket sales end/drawing to be held the Thursday before concert


10 winners will receive TWO front row reserved seats


Only 200 tickets will be sold


Support the music department and save yourself the hassle of having to arrive early!!


Please note this is NOT "Paying for the concert." This is buying a CHANCE at a front row seat. All other seats are free!

Welcome Back to a STEMulating Music Class!

Hello and welcome! Mr. Clifton is proud to teach the most STEMulating music in Idaho.

K-3 General Music, 4th Grade General Music and Recorders, Beginning Choir, Elementary Choir, Junior Choir, Concert Choir, Symphonic Choir and the elite Carta Crescendos.

The world is full of music consumers, but here we strive to be music creators and do a variety of activities to make music a fun and interesting part of our lives. Ask your students what they're creating!

If you'd like to know of ways to help the music program or have any questions or comments, please email me. Look in "Mr Clifton's Locker" for additional resources and information as well.


And just in case you're not convinced, here is a short TED animated video explaining music creation's benefits:-) More info like this can be found in the links provided at the bottom right of this page


And here is another from a premiere composer on the benefits of choral music



Think you might be tone deaf? Know someone who is?

First of all, you/they are not tone deaf! (if you were tone deaf you couldn't distinguish a person by their voice or enjoy music in any way) No one is! Many people do struggle to hear the difference in pitches and consequently, struggle to match pitch with their voice or an instrument.  HOWEVER, ALL OF THAT CAN BE OVERCOME!!

It only takes a few minutes a day! Mr. Clifton would be thrilled to have every and any students come see him individually (or even in a small group, if that's more comfortable) so he can help them find their voice. Please come see me to set up a time before/after school or during your lunch recess to practice with me. Encourage (kindly!) your friends to do the same or better yet, bring them with you! :-)

If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On
If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On

ALL Students

Every student is expected to come to class ready to work, learn and make music. Participation is the main bulk of their grade so attendance is vital and concert performance is essential! Every student at STEM Charter Academy sings and is expected to try their best when doing so as well as in all class activities.

4th Grade Recorders

Students are learning to play the Baroque style recorder through a custom version of Recorder Karate. They are expected to bring their recorders to every music class along with a pencil for notes. Belt tests are every few weeks and can be retaken as many times as a student wishes. In order to achieve a belt, the test song must be played scoring all 3s and/or 4s in my rubric. A perfect score the first time through earns a wooden bead in addition to the belt

Extra point in Choir

In order to improve your voice, the opportunity is yours to log outside practice time. Any Choir student who would like to earn an extra point each week on their participation grade can do so by logging it on a practice sheet (available in my papers box in the top left corner slot) and having it signed by a parent. Please hand one in once a month for 4 weeks worth (4 pts). I will award the extra point for virtually any singing practice you do outside class so long as you do a full 10 minutes worth AND you practice proper breathing, posture and vocal technique while doing so. This can include:

--Singing any of our songs or warm-ups from class

--Singing in the shower

--Singing to the radio

--Singing at a club, camp, church, Scouts, etc.

I would encourage you even more to COME SEE ME!! Make an appointment for lunch, before or after school or any other time I am not otherwise engaged.

I will double every minute you spend with me towards this assignment!

Of course, anything else I can help you with, I am here to help! :-)

Wish List (in order of priority)

Plank Road Publishing Gift Cards Wonderful company with all sorts of amazing products for K-8 music. Where I get most of my Elementary performance (for concert) music. Browse around and see! Or check out my wishlist there

JW Pepper Gift Cards The largest sheet music provider in the world. This is where I order almost all our music for choir. It's even better than candy!:-D

Wishlist on Amazon Various books, CDs, etc that I can use in the classroom

Other materials:
--Choral Shell Anyone handy with construction, this is a project that could be good for a class or Eagle Project. A choral shell helps project the singer's voices, allows them to hear each other better and gives the audience's eye more focus on the performers (Here is another DIY example).
--Raised Platform Stage Like the above with construction. We'd love to get our students up where they are easier to see and hear! Whatever we use would of course have to be portable/store-able and custom to our space.
--A decent set of speakers for the classroom
--SmartScore music reading software for educators (scan music and it reproduces it digitally for manipulation and/or audio playback!!)

Why music education is VITAL to children's lives