Students in all grade levels will learn musicianship and music through a worship-based curriculum that emphasizes worship and praise in all aspects of music. All grade levels are taught according to the National Standards for Music Education. Students learn respective levels of music theory, composition, listening and aural distinction, music history and musicianship while realizing their gift of music and giving that gift back to God through worship. There is a Q & A section at the end of this page.
The following are general curriculum points per grade level:
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten - There is a focus on music and movement in these classes. Students learn to love music and learn how it works in their daily lives. Learned skills include pitch and rhythm recognition, steady beat, beat motions, moving to a steady beat, instrument exploration, the four types of voices (singing, speaking, shouting and whispering) and the difference between music opposites (fast and slow, high and low, etc.). The curriculum used is “First Steps in Music” by John Fierebend.
First Grade - This is a continuation of “First Steps in Music” with an emphasis on more intricate rhythms and beat. Students learn call and response songs and simple songs that reflect what is being learned. First grade students also make instruments and apply their knowledge through the instruments they play. These students begin to learn the basics of music theory and notation including the staff, rests and notes. They compose through improvisation of song.
Second Grade - This is the final stage of “First Steps in Music” where students learn how to recognize steady beat, learn to apply steady beat, and learn even greater rhythm combinations. They begin singing songs in canon (round) form and apply them with instruments. They explore the different instrument families and are able to hear, see and play different instruments from the four families: brass, woodwind, string and percussion. These students learn more music theory aurally and visually including the staff, specific rests and notes, and high and low. Their compositions are done through improvisation as well as within the group.
Third Grade - These students have the opportunity for Orff Instrument training. This special training involves the playing of percussion instruments such as xylophones, other mallet percussion, and drums. The students learn an elevated level of music theory including the parts of the staff, specific notes and rests, as well as time signature. They spend time composing group pieces in class as well as notating music on their own. Students begin singing two-part harmony music.
Fourth Grade - Class focuses on musical and performance skills. Students are taught to read music, use musical terms, play recorders and express themselves on stage, musically and dramatically. Students have two musical performances a year and occasional “mini” performances are given for parents and the community. The major units taught are: following instructions, singing, movement, worship & prayer/praise, cooperation, rhythm recognition and creation, note values & recognition, musical terms, reading music, playing the recorder, musical theater and performance. Recorders are introduced in fourth grade, allowing for an application of learned theory techniques and concepts. Students go through “Recorder Karate”, an achievement-based recorder curriculum where students earn “belts” for their achievements in playing the recorder. Students compose their own recorder music. Students sing two-part music while learning to read a choral music score.
Fifth Grade -This course includes an elevated level of music theory, music history, music awareness, and includes an integration of world music. Often, the music produced and composed by the students includes music from a specific region around the world, such as Africa, Latin America, or Europe. The music performed is often composed by the students after being given criteria for the music development and composition. Students are asked to develop their aural distinction of music through listening to different genres of music and reporting on what they heard. Students sing in two and sometimes three-part harmonies. Concerts provide students with opportunities to demonstrate learned skills and artistic development.
Sixth Grade -This course includes an elevated level of music theory, music history, music awareness, and includes an integration of world music. Often, the music produced and composed by the students includes music from a specific region around the world, such as Africa, Latin America, or Europe. The music performed is often composed by the students after being given criteria for the music development and composition. Students are asked to develop their aural distinction of music through listening to different genres of music and reporting on what they heard. Students sing in two and sometimes three-part harmonies. Concerts provide students with opportunities to demonstrate learned skills and artistic development. Rehearsals expose students to basic music notation, different styles of music worldwide, basic music history, form and content, basic music theory and terminology. Concerts provide students with opportunities to demonstrate learned skills and artistic development.
Application of Learned Music and Techniques
Students will be presented with new music and musical techniques for playing each quarter. The student will apply these techniques to the music as well as learning the pitches, rhythms, and styles of the music. Techniques will include posture, breathing, articulation, blending, tone, and others as needed.
Books and Materials
Students will be presented with different music concepts throughout the year. Most will involve hands-on approaches to music through playing music. All instruments will either be made by the student or provided for in-class use by Horizon.
A daily grade will consist of each student’s participation, attitude and behavior in class. Since music is a process/creation class, students are not graded on the finished product: their musical capacities. Students are graded based on their participation and heart in class rather than bring graded on how well they perform, sing, or play an instrument.
Students are expected to participate in class rehearsals. The student is part of a very important ensemble with their class. EVERY concert will be considered mandatory. If you have a personal matter that arises and you cannot attend, PRIOR arrangements must be made with Mrs. Sullivan as a courtesy. We must act as a “team” and when one “player” is missing, the team does not play as well.
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Questions and Answers
When does each class meet?
Each class meets twice a week for 30-45 minutes. Specific times can be found out by contacting the school office or Mrs. Sullivan. Note: Class times are subject to change.
Does Horizon provide the instruments to play?
For most classes, Horizon provides the instruments. In some instances, the students make their own instruments. In that case, you may be asked to provide some household items to make them with. For fourth grade, students are provided with recorders to play, but an option is given to purchase a recorder to keep at home.
Are there concerts that my child will participate in?
Yes. There are two main performances throughout the school year. Attendance of these concerts is considered mandatory and the dates are set by the beginning of the school year. Rarely, special concerts are added and, depending on the notification given, attendance may be optional. We like to give the students adequate opportunities to apply the things they are learning in class as well as be able to bless an audience with the talents God has given them. Generally, there is a concert in December and a final concert just before the end of the school year.
How do I sign my child up?
Music is a mandatory class for all elementary students. There is no need to sign up for the class. Home school students who wish to join will need to sign up in the school office.
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