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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 18th, 6pm

Yep! Already time to be preparing for Christmas Concert (you don't need to listen to Christmas music till after Thanksgiving though:-) This year it is Wednesday, December 18th @ 6pm in the Finman Auditorium (gym). Please see the 'concert dress and expectations' document in my locker to the left of this announcement.


The following choir students are required to be there:



2nd Grade

Concert Choir (7th/8th)

Symphonic Choir (9th-12th)

Carta Crescendos


Don't forget to purchase raffle tickets through the office for a chance at a front row seat (your chances are actually quite high. There's a lot of them:-). All the proceeds go directly back into the music department. Thank you!

School House Rock Live! Jr. Info

UPDATE: We are now organizing parents who would like to volunteer their time and/or materials to help with props, costumes and sets. Please email me if you are interested but do NOT have a student in the show. Otherwise, please see the Google classroom:-) Thank you!


Also, I have slightly modified Tuesday rehearsals. They will now be ending at 6pm instead of 6:15. Thank you!


From here on out all further info for the cast/crew and their families will be on the School House Rock Google Classroom. Please turn notifications on and check it often. Thank you!

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, 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! :-)


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! :-)

Music Dept. Dates of Importance for 2019-20

12/18/19--Christmas Concert

Kindergarten, 2nd grade, Symphonic Choir (HS), Concert Choir (7th/8th) and Carta Crescendos


School House Rock Live Jr.--1/16-18/20 nightly @6:30pm in the gym, Saturday matinee @2pm


Solo/Ensemble Registration Fees Due-2/19/20


HS Vocal and Instrumental Solo/Ensemble @Post Falls HS 3/7/20

All HS students interested/registered, all instrument players interested/registered


MS Vocal Solo/Ensemble @River City MS 3/14/20

All 6th-8th graders interested/registered


3/17 (choir) and 3/18/20 (band)--Concerts

Choir: 1st grade, 3rd grade, Elementary Choir (5th), Symphonic Choir

Band: All bands


Large Group Choir Festival @NIC 4/28/20

Carta Crescendos, Concert Choir


5/20/20--End of Year Concert

Concert Choir (7th/8th), Carta Crescendos, 4th grade, Junior Choir (6th)

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