Music Overview for Grades Pre-K - 4th
Saint Andrew's Episcopal School

Curriculum Overview

The benefits of music are boundless. How wonderful that something as enjoyable as music can be so good for a child’s developing brain! Music has proven to improve cognitive abilities, focused listening, concentration, creativity, motor skills, as well as teamwork. Throughout the school year, the children will be exploring the many different elements of music, including dynamics, melody, rhythm, tone color (learning the sounds produced by various musical instruments), harmony, musical styles, and audience/ performance skills. They will come to know music as an expression of many cultures and will be exposed to various music styles throughout the year to analyze, appreciate and enjoy! The entire student body will perform for Grandparents and Special Friends' Day in November, and during our Lesson and Carols concert in December. All students will perform in the spring as well. In addition, the children will have the opportunity to sing in chapel.

The Pre-K and Kindergarten students will play various percussion instruments as they sing, dance and find the rhythms in various musical styles. They will learn many songs, do finger-plays, and participate in musical movement exercises. They will act out familiar nursery rhymes, using instruments for dramatic effect. In addition, they will learn to play the notes of the scale on xylophones and hand bells and boom whackers.

The First through Fourth grade students will have the opportunity to use various instruments, including percussion instruments used with mallets (xylophones, glockenspiels, metallophones) as well as hand percussion instruments to learn music through the Orff-Schulwerk approach, which is based on things that children like to do, i.e., keeping a beat, chanting poems and rhymes, dancing, clapping and singing. This unique approach to learning music integrates all these elements in an ensemble that sounds like a mini orchestra. They will also learn solfege patterns and songs (Do, Re Mi…intervals).

Not every child has the knack for keeping rhythm, remembering words to songs or singing on key. This is OK! The unique musical creations and expressions of all the children will be appreciated and respected. Everyone will have something valuable and important to contribute to our music class. Character counts in all classes! The music classroom will be a place where children can freely express themselves, share their talents, ideas, and musical cultural traditions, with the respect of their peers. I welcome any parent who plays an instrument to come in and share his or her talent/ instrument with the class. Just e-mail me and let me know when you’re available to come and I’ll work you into our schedule!  It is my hope that the students will experience music as a vehicle to express their soul and creativity. I’m looking forward to discovering the many musical gifts your children posses!

Mrs. Karen Van Overen


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