Welcome Back!

My name is Julie Misleh and I am the new music teacher here at Stella Maris!  My children Alissa and Paul attended Stella Maris for nine years, and I was the music director while they were here.
I have been directing choirs and teaching music at Saint Brigid Catholic Church since I was sixteen. I have been the music teacher/choir director for First Reconciliation and First Communion classes at Saint Brigids for 38 years. I am also the Choir Director for the 10:00 mass at Saint Charles, I teach TK-2nd grade at Bird Rock Elementary, and I give private piano and guitar lessons.
I am very blessed to be returning to the Stella Maris family, where I have so many fond memories of all the years we celebrated mass, created the Christmas Pageants, dressed up for All Saints Day,celebrated May Crowning and so much more!
I am looking forward to creating a fun and spiritual musical learning experience for the children this year, and to meeting all of you!

Senior Yard Gets a Crash Course in Music History

This month, our Senior Yard students started learning about music history, starting with the earliest evidence we have of humans making music! Many of us watched a short piece of Howard Goodall’s “The Story of Music” from the BBC. This miniseries is excellent, and I highly encourage you to CHECK IT OUT if you want a fun, easy to understand overview of music history. 🙂

Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve done so far:

Learned that the first evidence we have of music created by humans was found in the Chauvet Cave in southern France just a few years ago.  Scientists believe that the people who created these caves placed paintings at strategic points of resonance in the caves, so that when people sang, they could use a type of echo-location (sort of like bats) to figure out where in the maze of tunnels they were.


We know many ancient cultures had music and professional musicians, but we have NO IDEA what it sounded like because there was no system of musical notation yet.


Musical notation as we know it was just starting to emerge in the Middle Ages in the Catholic church.  Here is an example of some of the earliest music we have today.  These symbols are collectively called “numes.”


To illustrate just how difficult it was to not only come up with a notation system, but then to READ it, I had the students choose a well known children’s song, rewrite the words, create their own kind of numes, then swap papers with another group to see who could figure out the song.  We had a good laugh, and some of us actually succeeded in communicating the tune!

See if you can guess their tune!

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We have lots more fun to have with the music of this time period!

Feeling Blessed

The new year is here, and we are enjoying being back together after winter break.  I missed seeing a couple of music classes this week, but it was for a great reason.  Mr. K. took his science classroom outside this week.  We walked down to La Jolla Cove, and the kids got to learn through observation all about the rocks, wildlife, and ecosystem right down the street from our school.  How amazing that we get to be so close to something this amazing!  It seems appropriate that when we got back together for a short, mini music class after the trip, we spent our time singing praise songs.


Christmas in Black and White


You guys made me one proud teacher this Christmas.  You looked amazing, sounded great, and we had SUCH a good time together.  Thank you for being wonderful, and thank you for embracing the challenges I throw your way 🙂

Merry Christmas!

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To order a copy of the 2015 DVD, visit this site:


Then click on “SMA Christmas in Black and White”

Happy All Saints Day!

What a special day!  I love that we get to celebrate every year with a prayer service, then march into mass together singing “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In!”-  all dressed up like amazing men and women of faith.  I loved hearing about the saints who have inspired you, and what God is doing in your life through the lessons you learn from these stories.

Thank you to Lukas for playing piano, and for all of our amazing choir members.  You all did a fantastic job!

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Junior Yard Gets to Play Boomwhackers!

Wait, what are Boomwhackers, you ask?

Only the most awesome things ever.

They are pitched tubes- each is tuned to a specific note that it sings when the tube is whacked on the ground, a hand, the back of a chair, etc.

We are going to have SO MUCH FUN with these! We will be composing songs, learning about rhythm, learning the science of sound, and making some great music together. I’m excited to show you how they work!


Singing Tests

The school year is in full swing and we are already gearing up for our FABULOUS Christmas pageant- Christmas in Black and White! Do you have the songs stuck in your head yet???

We will have small singing goals each week. You will need to learn a verse or chorus each week for your buddy song, then we will have some tests during class.

Here’s how it will work: I will call up groups of 4 with similar voice types and have you sing through the parts of the songs you will be expected to know. If you need to work out some pieces of the song, I will give you some coaching. These are for a grade, but you will be well prepared for each test, and I know you will rock it!

I am embedding a video from a church production of our show. See me if you need the time stamp for your buddy song so you can sing along and practice at home.


I’ll see you guys soon!

Welcome to our Seuss’d-Up Library!

I had fun this summer cleaning, organizing, re-arranging, and decorating our library. I can hardly wait for you guys to see it in person tomorrow!


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The elementary readers are all on the right when you enter the library, so our storytime rug was moved to that side of the room.  All of the nonfiction is opposite, making it easier for you to find the books you need for your research.


I put up one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes- I hope it will help you seize every opportunity this year!

“You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

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In the media center, some pool noodles, duct tape, and tissue paper turned into Truffula Trees!


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How many Seuss hats can you find in the library?



Here’s a hat placed to help you find some Seuss reading material.



Crayons, markers, and other supplies have their home right up front- grab a caddy if you need some.  Just make sure to put it back when you’re finished.

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Mini truffula tree pots hold pens and pencils at the media station.  Some pom-poms glued on the tips help you remember that they belong here.  We want to make sure all the truffula trees stay home in their spots this year!

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We have some new friends on our shelves.

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And one special print came back with me from Paris.  Maybe we’ll have to see what else we can turn music symbols into in music class this year!



I’ll see you all tomorrow!

~ Mrs. P.

Bash the Trash

Last year, our 7th and 8th graders had the opportunity to make instruments for music class.  We studied how musicians classify world instruments, and each student chose a classification to tackle.  8th grade truly blew me away with their amazing creations!  We had a blast jamming together in class, and showed off a few instruments at our family STEAM night event in May.

Here are some of my favorite moments from class:

Students singing “Call Me Maybe” and playing on their rhythm instruments:


Rachel showing off her guitar:




Alex with his truly impressive trombone:



Nicholas with what he dubbed his “Styrophone”


What fun it was for me to see my kids embrace this project!