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Mr. Clifton

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...

Listen to fabulous 4 part harmony a cappella music all day, any day!


Mr Clifton Performs with the King's Singers

Check off the bucket list getting to perform with my absolute favorite group of all time! :-) I'm not sure where I am in here but I hope you enjoy this beautiful arrangement of "And So It Goes" by Billy Joel.


Have a Wonderful Summer!

I look forward to seeing you all in the Fall, ready to make more amazing music together!!


Welcome to a STEMulating Music Class!

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

K-3 General Music, Music Appreciation, Junior 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! :-)


AND if you're not convinced you could ever get better, here's some science:



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.

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! :-)

Key Dates

March 4th--Middle School Solo/Ensemble Festival (any 6th-8th graders) @ CDA Charter

March 11th--High School Solo/Ensemble Festival (any (9th-12th graders) @ Post Falls HS

March 22nd--Large Group Vocal Festival (Symphonic Choir, Carta Crescendos) @ NIC

April 28th-29th--Honk! Jr. The Musical Performances 6pm each night (2pm matinee on the 29th)

May 17th--6pm Spring Concert (1st, 3rd, Junior Choir 5th grade, Symphonic Choir, Carta Crescendos)

May 24th--Graduation (Carta Crescendos) @ the Kroc

Tools for Music Away from the Music Room

Here is a list of resources to help with your music education when not in music class at STEM:


Metronome Help you keep the beat

Keyboard Find your pitch

Music Theory Training The BEST site I've found to help learn how to read and understand music! Click on lessons to learn and then click on exercises to practice--you can set your own difficulty in a multitude of ways


Just for Fun:

Song Maker--quick and easy, yet fun way for ANY age to play around with!

At Home Percussion Activities--Grab a bucket, a jar, or anything really and some sticks and keep beat with these super easy and fun ways to play along, both classical and pop songs! Especially good rhythm teacher and learning quarter and eighth notes and rests!

Chrome Music Lab--A cornucopia of tools to experiment with sound and learn more about music works!! Super easy to play with!

Music Tech Teacher--Mostly I would click on the tabs for 'lessons' then 'worksheets' and 'quizzes/piano' then 'quizzes/games' for a large variety of things to print off (and get away from the screens!:-) and do.

Piano Arm and Positioning Resources--A great comprehensive guide to posture and hand position for aspiring keyboard instrument players, plus lots of links!


General STEM Schooling Tools: 

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