January 15, 2022

Hello West Springs Parents,

I hope that you and your families have had a fun and restful holiday. It has been great seeing the kids back in the classroom. I am switching my mode of communication with families in the New Year. I will be posting learning updates every week or two to my Google Classroom. All students are either already registered in my Google Classroom from the last two years, or have been invited to join it. Their invitation should be in their school Gmail account (the account). Have a great weekend!

Best, Mr. Peter Vooys

October 27, 2021

Hello West Springs Parents,

I hope that you have been enjoying the Fall so far. I apologize, I meant to update this page earlier in the term. Phys Ed and Music will not be using Google Classroom this year, as of now, so I will post monthly learning updates on this page. Here are some learning highlights from each grade for the past few months:

Grade 1: 

-Learning to distinguish between speaking voice and singing voice. 

-Learning about high notes and low notes, and other contrasts, such as loud and soft, legato (smooth and connected) and staccato (separated), long and short. 

-Learning to read and clap (later, play on instruments) rhythms consisting of Ta (quarter note), Ti-Ti (eighth notes), and Sleepy Ta (the quarter note rest).

-Learning to read and sing simple melodies consisting of the scale degrees So and Mi (In the key of C Major, this would be melodies that alternate between the notes G and E. So to Mi is the first interval that children are able to sing easily.

Grade 2: 

-Connecting our melody reading skills from last year, where students read melodies consisting of So, Mi, and La with Do and Re. This will enable students to better sight-read melodies using the pentatonic scale (Do, Re, Mi, So, La).

-Adding Ta-a (half notes), tied quarter notes, and half note rests to the rhythms that we can read and perform.

-Continuing to develop our singing voices by singing intervals and properly warming up.

Grade 3:

-We have focused this past month on a Djembe drumming unit, where we learned to play a variety of rhythms using the bass (boom) sound of the centre of the drum and the tone sound (pah, tah) of the rim of the drum. We practiced keeping a steady beat, and students improvised their own four-beat rhythms. We learned both traditional African drumming rhythms and some basic bass-snare rock rhythm patterns.

-Students finished the unit by making and writing their own four or eight beat rhythms and performing them for the class.

Grade 4:

-We have been focusing on reading, singing, and playing melodies using the entire diatonic scale (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do).

-We are learning about the difference between major and minor scales, and students are playing several of each on the keyboard instruments (xylophone, glockenspiel, metallophone). Students will be composing their own simple melodies later.

-Students in each class also performed in a class talent show. Many students take instrument lessons in our school, but to be open and welcoming to different student backgrounds and experience levels, I give the guidelines that students may play, sing, put on a skit, or dance, but must practice 10-15 minutes a day on at least 7 days before the talent show. My intention with these talent shows is to help the students build their confidence with performing in front of their peers, and we will have several more throughout the year, as repeated success in performance should help the kids build their confidence. I have been impressed with the kindness and support that our students give their classmates who perform.

Overall, I feel like it has been a good start to the year, and it is great to teach your kids again this year. There have been a lot of smiles, laughter, and beautiful music.

A parent asked me the other day if we'd be doing choir this year. I assume other parents also have the same question. As of now, we aren't able to mix classroom cohorts. If/when we can do this, I look forward to running choirs again, as I know kids and parents miss choir, and I also miss it!

Please feel free to email me at or call the school if you have any questions. Have a great day!

Warm regards, Mr. Peter Vooys

September 10, 2021

Hello West Springs Parents,

My name is Mr. Peter Vooys and I will be your child's music teacher at West Springs School. This is my fourth year teaching music at West Springs. It has been a joy to see the excitement and smiles of your kids over the past few weeks. 

We are not quite back to normal yet, but our increased understanding of how to mitigate the risks of Covid-19 will enable us to use more instruments this year, and we will continue safely singing, as we have since November 2020. Due to our school board's rules regarding cohorting classes whenever possible, we can't run activities like choir yet, but my hope is that we'll be able to resume this later in the year depending on guidelines.

There are still some unknowns about this year, as our milieu continues to shift, but you can be assured that ensuring your child receives inspiring, fun, and meaningful music education is my number one priority. I look forward to helping them build their creative expression and guide them in the joy that is making and listening to music.

Please feel free to email me at or call the school if you have any questions. Have a great day!

Best, Mr. Peter Vooys

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