||Welcome to the Saint Andrew's Episcopal School music web page for grades five through eight. There are many opportunities in the music curriculum to explore and experience the world of music through the study of and participation in the General Music Core Curriculum (Chromatic Xylophone and Percussion based program), Choral Music (Concert Choir, Jazz-Pop Ensemble, Small Ensembles), and Instrumental Music (Jazz Band, Orchestra Pit, Concert Band, Beginning Band, Chapel Ensemble, Rock Band, Percussion Ensemble, Small Ensembles, and String Orchestra).
General Music Core Curriculum
Students are provided the unique opportunity of enjoying music through interactive learning as they develop their skills at playing several different instruments, reproducing/recording/performing popular cover tunes, singing songs of various genres, studying music theory and history, practicing music composition, perfecting their soloing abilities, and participating in small and large ensembles. By utilizing teaching methods that support the importance of approaching the pupils “where they are” developmentally, emotionally, intellectually, and musically, we are better able to inspire our students to embrace, commit to, and love the discipline and creative joys of Music.
Comprehensive Activities and Skills
Some of the activities, musical skills, and fundamental and advanced learning that are experienced in the music classes are as follows:
- Xylophone and Percussion instrument instruction
- Drum set, Auxiliary percussion, and Drum circle instruction
- Fundamental Music Theory including the study of scales, arpeggios, chordal structures, melodic and harmonic movement, form and analysis, and sight reading
- Ukulele instruction
- Wind and String instrument instruction
- Body Percussion and Dance instruction
- Individual opportunities (guitar, wind instrument, string instrument, percussion, vocal, and solo work)
- Singing several genres of music
- Music History and chronology
- Advanced choral techniques & skills with an emphasis on performance, leadership, musical proficiency, and teamwork
- Leading Worship and Chapel services
- Improvisation and Composition
- Solo and Ensemble work
- Preparation for various performances
- Acoustic and Electronic Music composition including the use of Garage Band
- Team building games and activities that emphasize leadership and participation
The General Music curriculum is set up in a way that allows students to individually explore various facets and elements of music through the study of an instrument of their choice in accordance with their study of chromatic Xylophones and percussion instruments. As students establish a high enough proficiency on a given instrument, they can be incorporated into the daily class routine of playing fundamentals and specific repertoire in a way that is comprehensive, team building, and conducive to higher order learning. It is imperative for the student to be self motivated and driven to learn and develop on the instrument in order for this process to be successful. The most productive way to perpetuate this development is by committing to the appropriate after school program, private tutelage, or both.
Specific and individualized musical parts are developed, written, transposed, and composed according to the experience level, interest, and proficiency of the student.
Students in the 6th through 8th grades are encouraged to develop their higher order thinking and listening skills through the process of developing, recording, and performing popular songs, tunes, and compositions of their choice. The pupils are separated into small ensembles where they are charged with the task of recreating their own version of a popular tune using chromatic xylophones, various available instruments, written literature, YouTube tutorials, internet learning tools and websites, cooperative learning, Garageband, and classroom study.
Preparing the students to perform the repertoire that they learn and develop is a significant focus in Music class. Each year the pupils prepare for three major concerts; Grandparents and Special Friends Day, Lessons and Carols Christmas Ceremony, and the 5th-8th Grade Spring Concert. In these concerts the students are featured on a large stage with professionally run sound as they perform several genres of vocal and instrumental music for their peers, parents, teachers, and friends. Each concert has proven to be a big event and are performed and prepared for with sense of excitement, respect, professionalism, fun, and musical proficiency. There are also several smaller venue performance opportunities throughout the year such as Back to School Nights, Admission Open House events, PAB concerts, Episcopal Church Women concerts, Chapel services, and various impromptu mini-concerts on and off campus.