Cate Schmittle » Schmittle Bio

Schmittle Bio

Ms. Schmittle holds a K-12 teaching endorsement in music. Ms. Schmittle graduated with honors from Temple University in Philadelphia with degrees in music education and Spanish language and literature. She is certified in all three levels of Orff Schulwurk. She is dedicated to public school education and arts integration. She has been teaching at Decatur since 2015. Her favorite way to teach music is through active music making and utilizing student created performances. When she is not teaching, she enjoys cooking, singing in many choirs in the city, and being outdoors.


four students playing together, one drummer, one on a piano keyboard, one playing violin, and one playing ukulele
How do musicians work together in an ensemble? 5th grade students played in small groups this week and utilized various practice strategies to continue work on their winter show song!  
Students in 5th grade have started preparing "Let it Be" for our Beatles themed winter show this year. They have all chosen instruments (for example: ukulele, guitar, violin, drum set, piano) and are learning to practice as independent musicians!
Choice is so important when encouraging your student in music - what do they want to play? It leads to more intrinsic motivation to practice! 
In Kindergarten we learn all about musical opposites. Students are exploring high and low sounds on the glockenspiels using the rhyme 1-2 tie my shoe.
Students in 3rd-6th grade after school choir are preparing for the winter show! In choir we learn to read music, learn to use our voices in a healthy way, and learn to sing in harmony with each other! 
Students playing xylophone
4th grade students have been practicing 16th notes through games, body percussion, and now xylophones! They put on some wonderful in class performances this week using the song "Chickens and Foxes." They even got a chance to play games and practice improvising on the temple blocks with the famous music classroom rubber chickens.  
Students play instruments in small groups and perform rhythm compositions.
Students in 4th grade began the year by creating rhythmic compositions about their summers. They performed their ostinatos in groups with movements and instruments and learned how to write down their patterns. It is a difficult skill to hold down your own part as others play different parts - we work on that skill from K all the way to 8th grade. It takes careful practice, a strong sense of beat,  and astute listening skills. What ways are you making music together at home?
Students in 5th and 6th grades have begun their drumming and percussion unit. This week we learned about this history of the djembe drum and other instruments from West Africa. We learned to play as an ensemble and each had turns leading the group. 

2nd Grade Plays Obwisana

Students in second grade work together to play a passing game from Ghana. This game has no winner - it only works when each person works together to pass at the same time to the steady beat. I know these students were so proud that they could do this without a pile up. Way to go 2nd grade students!

Welcome Letter (Essentials Team)

We hope you are subscribed to our webpages so that you get weekly updates and insights into your essentials classrooms. Another great way to learn about our programming is to come to one of the essentials presentations on Tuesday, September 13th at curriculum night. Hope to see you there! 

Decatur Rock Band 2021-22

Check out our fabulous student run band! They chose, arranged, practiced, and created these performances together. Great work Decatur students! We hope you enjoy our virtual performance!
4th Grade students are learning all about the ukulele. They have learned C, F, C7, and G chords. They have started exploring tablature and teaching themselves new songs. We focus on being investigators when something is not quite right instead of giving up or getting frustrated. String muted? Hmm what could be causing that sound - let's be curious and go and find out! 
3rd Graders have been exploring piano for the past few weeks. We learned basic chords, played Let it Be by the Beatles, and now are practicing comping patterns by creating our own chord progressions and improvisations. Even for our more experienced piano players - these are often new concepts! Great work Decatur 3rd grade musicians! 
Students in 5th and 6th grade have started their guitar units! We are learning all about chords, persevering through challenges, and analyzing lyrics each week as we practice and perform!