hour a week in the music room
fun during class
folksongs and dances learned each year
Based on an extensive body of research and field testing, Music Learning Theory states music is learned much the same way as language, through sequential development of four vocabularies: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Throughout grades K-4, students learn to audiate, or think music in the mind with understanding. There is an emphasis on tonal and rhythm patterns, the building blocks of music, as well as the tonal and rhythm context in which music resides. Students learn to discriminate tonalities, meters, harmonies, and rhythm functions in a developmentally appropriate sequential method.
“Rhythm is not processed intellectually, rather it is felt in the body through movement” (giml.org). Therefore, movement plays a large role in our music classroom where we explore in particular the Laban elements of flow, weight, space, and time. We also explore movement and rhythm through folk dancing.
Montana’s Standards for Arts are based off of the four artistic processes of creating (conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work), performing (realizing artistic ideas and work through interpretation and presentation), responding (understanding and evaluating how the arts convey meaning), and connecting (relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context). (opi.mt.gov) These four processes provide the framework for everything we do in the music classroom.
What will your child be doing during music class?
Singing, including classic American folk songs as well as music from around the world
Moving, with the aid of fun props and toys, such as parachute, scarves, beanbags, and more
Playing instruments, such as drums, boomwhackers, Orff instruments (xylophones/metallophones), non-pitched percussion (cymbals, triangle, etc), and culminating with units on recorder and ukulele in the 4th grade.
Writing and Composing, with white boards, popsicle sticks, and more
Music Appreciation and Music History lessons, exploring “the classics” and major periods and genres of music, such as jazz or musicals, as well as things like instrument families of the orchestra, through engaging stories, movement activities, and more
Each grade level can look forward to performing once a year for the school community. Dates will be announced as the calendar is finalized, but performances will coincide with holidays and other school events.
Students in 4th and 5th Grade have the opportunity to take their music making to a deeper level than what we achieve in the general music classroom by participating in our Elementary Chorus, Wildcat Chorale. Chorus meets twice a week during lunch recess, performs several times throughout the year for the student body and within the community, and enjoys many social outings as well. “The only thing better than singing is more singing. ” – Ella Fitzgerald
Why Music Education?
“I believe that arts education can help build the case for the importance of a well-rounded, content-rich curriculum in at least three ways. First, the arts significantly boost student achievement, reduce discipline problems, and increase the odds that students will go on to graduate from college. Second, arts education is essential to stimulating the creativity and innovation that will prove critical to young Americans competing in a global economy. And last, but not least, the arts are valuable for their own sake, and they empower students to create and appreciate aesthetic works.”
The Well-Rounded Curriculum, Secretary Arne Duncan’s Remarks at the Arts Education Partnership National Forum, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC, April 9, 2010