Sixth Grade Music has three areas of skill development: reading music, listening to music, and performing on handbells. Texts include Practical Theory by Sandy Feldstein and a notebook of listening assignments coordinated with a CD that provides carefully selected musical examples from the Western classical, jazz, and world music traditions. Students perform on handbells at Middle School assemblies and the winter and spring concerts.
Seventh Grade Music has a continuous focus on a listening. Students are walked through structured listening exercises relating to form, range, meter, patterns, harmony, color, social implications and emotional effect. These exercises use American, Western Classical, and music from around the world. By the end of the course, students are also taught to read notes in three clefs and count out rhythms containing sixteenth notes in 4/4 and 6/8 time signatures. If there is time at the end of the quarter, the class may complete a basic snare drumming unit.
Eighth Grade Music the year is divided between a fully staged production for the first trimester with every member of the class singing, dancing and acting, and electives for the remainder of the year. The electives are conducted in small groups and offer a wide range of music activities. In the past these have included courses on Songwriting, Handbells, Afro-Cuban hand drumming, Jazz Band, etc.
The Middle School Band meets twice a week and brings together a wonderful combination of people and music. Emphasis is on the development of advanced performance skills and rehearsal etiquette. The Middle School Band rehearses a variety of music, from Patriotic marches like “For the Glory of the Flag” to pop favorites such as “Accidentally in Love.” They play two concerts a year, and for the last six years have performed at the “Music in the Parks” Festival at Six Flags, New England. In some years, teachers also play in this ensemble with the students.
The Middle School Chorus is also a mix of boys and girls who sing songs with energy and feeling for ourselves and for our audiences. We meet twice a week and play two concerts a year. For the last six years the middle school ensembles have performed at the “Music in the Parks” Festival at Six Flags, New England. Some teachers also sing in this ensemble with the students.
This group is open to students who are able to read music and who have a minimum of one year of experience on violin, viola, cello, or bass. The focus is on developing group playing skills with a selection of graded music from a variety of genres, including classical, folk, pop and jazz. The group meets twice a week and performs at assemblies and school concerts.
This group is open to students with a high level of skill development on violin, viola, cello, or bass and with previous ensemble experience The focus is on developing ensemble skills with a selection of challenging music from a variety of genres with the goal of public performances on and off-campus.