In first grade the focus is on basic beat and rhythms. We use rhythm instruments and charts to enhance learning how to read exercises. Each month we learn fun songs that correspond to that season or something they are learning in the classroom. We also learn about a composer and listen to their music.
Second grade is a continuation of first grade. We expand our musical abilities with harder rhythm band songs and begin to play and sing at the same time. We learn more monthly songs and learn about a composer and their music.
We get our exercise in third grade! Third grade students get to use their bodies as they play rhythm sticks. Songs from around the world and different genres allow the students to learn to follow directions and move to the music. Sometimes they even get to make up their own movements! Special monthly songs and composers are also learned.
Fourth grade sets the foundation for the next three years of music. By using Boomwhackers, students learn the names of the notes on the treble clef staff and begin to read music. This is the last year special monthly songs and composers are taught.
Fifth grade students get to learn a wind instrument called the recorder. The recorder is a simple instrument that most anyone can learn to play. Mozart, Bach and Haydn all wrote music for the recorder. We learn basic songs set to fun, modern music. Recorder Karate is a highlight, allowing the students to learn songs at their own pace by earning nine different “belts” (or in our case beads). We try to play in front of the school a couple of times a year. Each week students are required to practice 30 minutes as well as complete a short homework assignment, the Recorder Practice Sheet.
Recorders are used again in sixth grade, but this year we add alto recorders (and occasionally a tenor) to the mix. We play in three-part harmony which allows students to experience playing in an ensemble. Highlights include an advanced Recorder Karate curriculum, caroling the halls at Christmas and playing in front of the school at various times. Each week students are required to practice 30 minutes as well as complete a short homework assignment.
7th and 8th Grade Enrichment:
The end of the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays is enrichment time. Stepping into my classroom you might see an etiquette lesson, radio theater productions, students making their own musical instruments and compositions or even sharing music. Time is spent introducing middle school students to new things and listening to their music, which is always interesting!