GENERAL MUSIC OVERVIEW
Music is fundamental to human expression, reflecting values and cultures throughout the world since the beginning of civilization. Music is one area of education, which is involved with the whole child and is important for developing self-esteem and personal expression. General music touches other areas of formal study and includes integration with math, physics, social studies, culture, history, language, poetry, linguistics, physical coordination as well as developing skills in basic music reading and listening.
Students enter school with a wide range of aptitudes, experiences, and skills. Therefore, the elementary music program focuses on developing the individual and providing a curriculum with opportunities for all students to develop the following:
1. Listening and performance skills
2. Vocabulary, analytical, and cognitive skills
3. Fine and gross motor coordination
4. Appreciation for musical styles and expression of culture
5. Ability to work as a group member, musical discipline
6. Skills to use music for personal expression
7. Enjoy and develop an appreciation for a variety of musical styles and develop respect for live performance
As students progress, the previous year’s skills are reviewed and further developed. Grade 3 provides the formal introduction to instrumental music via recorder. This year also develops note reading and vocabulary, which is further developed in grades 4, 5, and 6. As students reach these upper grades, they will be held accountable for mastery of vocabulary and reading skills in music. By the end of grade 6, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an awareness of music as part of everyday life
2. Recognize that music reflects nationality, culture, and values
3. Enjoy music through singing, playing instruments, movement activities, and listening
4. Develop cognitive grade level skills in the basic elements of music, including vocabulary and note reading
5. Use music as means of personal expression
Students are evaluated through grade level objectives that are evaluated through observation of student performance in class. This may include written testing, oral and aural response, and occasional reports or projects.
Students in grades 4, 5, and 6 have the opportunity to participate in Chorus, where the classroom skills and concepts can be reinforced and practiced. This group receives elementary vocal training, learns to develop self-discipline, teamwork, and respect for live performances, and learns to memorize material. The individual student learns to have confidence in his/her vocal abilities.
Students in grades 4, 5, and 6 also have the opportunity to take instrumental music lessons. The objectives are organized to provide a series of levels involving understanding of the common elements of instrumental music: rhythm, pitch, musical structure, and symbols, quality of sound, instrument assembly and care, and performance practices.
Many objectives cannot be isolated in a student’s performance, but must be integrated in a manner that considers total musicianship. Total musicianship includes exposure to theoretical, aesthetic, and historical aspects of music, as well as large group performance, small ensemble and solo performances.
The lesson books used is a method by which new skills are presented as old skills are mastered. Because of the individual nature of some instruments, musical talent and aptitude, each student will progress at an individual rate.
This curriculum is a minimum standard by which all students participating in Instrumental Music will have progressed by the end of each grade level. Not all students will have instant success so persistence is the key. The program to be fully effective, should be a year-long commitment. A child does not need to possess some special talent to achieve success at a musical instrument. The key is dedication, which entails consistent practice.