At the K-5 level students will be introduced to musical concepts such as steady beat, rhythm, melody, dynamics, tempo, and movement. Developmentally appropriate vocal and instrumental timbres will also be explored. Students will begin to develop rudimentary musicianship skills through vocal, instrumental, movement and listening experiences. Students will also present public vocal performances as educationally and developmentally appropriate.
In the middle and upper grades students will continue to advance and refine the previously learned musical concepts. Musical notations, staff attributes, and sight reading skills will be introduced and refined and students will learn to play more sophisticated classroom instruments. In addition, students will continue to improve their choral skills through canons, rounds, partner songs, and other two part musical selections.
Upon entering 4th grade, students are invited to participate in the instrumental music program. Students may choose to play a string instrument and join the orchestra or a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument and join the band.
During instrumental music students focus on care and maintenance of their instruments, playing technique, embouchure and hand positions, articulation/bowing/sticking techniques, sound production, tone quality and ear training. Over the course of their study, students learn and develop a variety of musical skills including note and rhythm reading, musical vocabulary and symbols, form and ear training. Students use musical exercises and compositions from both traditional western music and a variety of other world cultures. Finally, students learn practice skills and the musical and social requirements and responsibilities of performing as part of large performing ensemble.
In the later grades, students continue building on the skills learned in the first few years of instruction. They work to improve their tone quality and refine the dynamic and timbre variations required for more advanced musicality. Additionally, students begin to work with more complex rhythms, key signatures and musical forms, as well as practicing and performing more advanced polyphonic music. Finally, students are given the opportunity to develop small ensemble performance skills by working on duets, trios, quartets and taking advantage of additional performance opportunities such as concerts, assemblies and other special activities at school and in the community.