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Mr Clifton

Contact Mr Clifton  Mr 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...

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


Mrs. Jacinta Joyce (the Irish Dance Lady)

Options for dance even during the pandemic! :-)



Welcome Back!!

Please read my "Start of School Parent Letter 2020" in the "Mr Clifton's Locker" section to the bottom left of this announcement. There you will find your student's Google Classroom codes and all other information regarding how classes will run this year. Can't wait to see you all and sing with you again! :-)

Masks for Singing

Our understanding of how class will work will likely continue to evolve even well after school starts and I will update information as it becomes available to me. In the meantime, if you are concerned about my class in particular, this video is a fantastic step by step process on making a mask specific for singing as it brings the mask away from the face to not only allow sound to come through better, but also to allow better/easier breathing. (so it might be a better mask, especially for children, regardless of my class:-)


Again, depending on how things evolve, if anyone is interested in being commissioned to make a bunch of these for us here at STEM, please get in contact with me! Stay safe, everyone! I can't wait to see you all again soon, even if from a distance!



There are also options to purchase singer-specific masks but they are not cheap here and here What might be better/easier (maybe even easiest) are these 3D mask brackets that can make any mask protrude away from the face and are much more affordable

Have a wonderful summer!



P.S.--No, the "Sail On!" video is still not ready. I am sorry it is taking so long but I promise to post it here and on Youtube as soon as it is (hopefully before September and hopefully better than this video! :-p)


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! :-)

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.

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

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.