YourClassical Children

Class Notes Concerts Preview: Kroehm Duo

Kroehm Duo: Jenny Klukken, marimba; Steve Roehm, vibraphoneVenn Productions

October 14, 2021

Welcome to Class Notes Concerts!

After a year of Virtual Class Notes Concerts, YourClassical MPR is returning to the classroom with In-Person School Visits and Live Virtual Concerts. 

Each year, YourClassical MPR reaches tens of thousands of students across Minnesota through the Class Notes Concerts program. Designed to engage and inspire elementary students through live musical performance, these concerts help cultivate active listening skills and allow students to experience the joy of music.

For more information on booking a concert, check out our Class Notes Concerts 2021-2022 Artist Menu or contact classnotes@mpr.org.

In the coming weeks, we will publish a Class Notes Concert Preview for each artist or ensemble. Find each preview on the YourClassical Music Lessons Page.

These previews will feature:

  • Audio and video of each ensemble/artist to use in the classroom or enjoy on your own.

  • Ideas, information, and activities to prepare students for an in-person concert or a Live Virtual Field Trip. This information can also be used as a reinforcement tool after students experience an in-person/live virtual concert or as a classroom resource. 

This Class Notes Concert preview features Kroehm Duo.

1. Kroehm Duo is a duo, which means two players. “Kroehm” is a mash-up of the players’ last names – Jenny Klukken and Steve Roehm. Begin by watching and listening to Kroehm Duo perform Hey Fellas, which was composed by one of the ensemble members, Steve Roehm. 

In this piece, Steve and Jenny will improvise. This means they make up some of the music on the spot. Later in this lesson, they will explain how they do this. 

2. Jenny plays marimba and Steve plays vibraphone. Both instruments are members of the percussion family. In the next two videos, Jenny and Steve will introduce their instruments and explain some similarities and differences between the two instruments.

Follow up questions:

  • What makes an instrument a part of the percussion family?

  • Which size of bar makes the highest sound on a marimba or vibraphone? Which size makes the lowest?

  • The bars on a marimba are made of (fill in the blank).

  • The bars on the vibraphone are made of (fill in the blank).

  • How does the kind of mallet you use affect the sound on the marimba or the vibraphone?  

  • What’s another shorter “nickname” for the vibraphone?

  • What does the sustain pedal on the vibraphone do?

  • What happens when the motor on a vibraphone is turned on and the fan belt rotates?

Learn more about mallet instruments in the YourClassical Music Lessons Mallet Magic! Part 1 and Mallet Magic! Part 2.

3. Joe plays the guitar. Listen to him explain some different features of his instrument.

Follow-up question:

  • Can you explain how improvisation works? Have you ever improvised music? Can you think of certain styles of music that might include a lot of improvisation?

4. Here is another piece with improvisation. As you watch and listen, try to notice when Steve or Jenny improvises.

5. Watch and listen to one final piece, called Puddles. As you listen, think of three or four words you would use to describe this music and share them with someone at school or at home.

6. Want to learn more about Kroehm Duo and their music? Book an in-person or Live Virtual Class Notes Concerts here, or contact classnotes@mpr.org for more information.