Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Leonard

Welcome to music class! My name is Leonard Madsen, and this is my 14th year teaching music at J.J. Hill Montessori. In my classroom we are singing, saying, dancing and playing. We sing many different kinds of songs that are almost always accompanied by movement. Many times the children are creating movements that go with a song. We also use the natural rhythms of speech and poetry in order to create music and improvise using the voice or other instruments such as: xylophones, drums, recorders and other untuned percussion. I am a fully certified Orff-Schulwerk teacher. This teaching process allows students to play with the elements of music (melody, rhythm, form, etc.) so that they can create their own music. For more information on Orff-Schulwerk, go to the website of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association at

  • For more detailed information about what we are doing this year in both classroom music and band, see below.

    Classroom Music

    I am so very enthusiastic about this year in classroom music. In our first week together, the E1 students have had lessons on dynamics (soft and loud) and tempo (fast and slow). They have completed drawings of things that are loud, soft, fast and slow and then labeled them. We have listened to music and moved accordingly. First graders described (with a sentence) some pictures that went with a song ("We're Making Popcorn"). We used those sentences and pictures in order to create a soundscape with instruments that complemented the pictures. A second grader conducted. We then moved our bodies to show the crescendo (gradually getting louder) in the music.

    In E2, students have had lessons on dynamics. Fourth graders created movements in small groups that showed the dynamics of a song ("Supercalifragilisticexpealadocious"). They then videotaped each other and watched their performance, using a checklist to self-assess. Fifth and Sixth graders listened to two different versions of "Put a Little Love In Your Heart." They then created dynamic plans and recorded themselves singing their versions using GarageBand. After listening to their performance, they were able to use a checklist to self-assess. Some students are creating new verses for "Put a Little Love In Your Heart."

    Instrumental Music (Band)

    I will be visiting with the fifth and sixth graders soon. They will get to hear me play the different instruments that are offered (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion) so they can hopefully hear a few instruments that "speak to them." I encourage you to expose your fifth or sixth grade student to music that has those instruments so that they might be able to better pick an instrument that they will enjoy playing. I will hand out sign-up sheets at this time. Please rank your choice of instrument (1 = favorite, 2 = second favorite, 3 = third favorite).

    I have a limited number of school instruments that I will rent out free of charge. Please come and talk to me if you would like to rent from the school.