Welcome to Music!

by Mr. Joey Cruz

Music classes for lower elementary grades at St. Mary’s focus on learning elements of Music through singing, listening, creating and performing. There are many hands-on opportunities to practice steady beat and improvise with rhythm while exploring different percussion musical instruments and movement activities. Students will be exposed to many genres and of music through listening and journaling activities that attend to instrument families, tempo, dynamics, mood, melody, harmony and musical forms.  Students will learn the basic of music theory including musical symbols, reading rhythms and reading and writing music.

Keep it Up at Home: Research shows that music is a powerful tool in making connections for learning in the brain. Researchers out of the Music Institute at Princeton have demonstrated that young children develop their disposition to music making at very early age and, will learn to love and appreciate music if their primary caregivers show that they and appreciate music. What does this all mean?

MAKE MUSIC AT HOME WITH YOUR CHILDREN

Make music a part of family ritual and family fun time. Sing together on car rides, have dance parties, learn an instrument together, play dinner music and talk about music.

Try this: Listen to one piece of music together, any song from pop to classical. Discuss the message of the song or how it made you feel. Discuss the title of the song and how it fits the song? Pick out instruments you hear and how the different instruments created particular emotions. Use music vocabulary while you share your favorite songs and artists and challenge your children to appreciate lots of musical styles. Above all never stop singing together. If you are not a fan of the voice God gave you, give it back to him!

Grades 6-8

 Junior high music class is divided into three main components; Music Theory, History and Song. Throughout the year, the class will be exploring each of these aspects of music.

Theory
In our music theory lessons we will learn how music works. This will first entail reading and writing music. Throughout the year we will be studying the nature of rhythm and melody, as well as exploring how harmony, form and texture serve to influence the mood of a musical piece.

History and Appreciation
Each quarter we will focus on a different composer. During the quarter we will learn about the composers life and important works, and learn how that composer influenced the history of music. As we listen to their compositions, we will gradually train our ears to discern the subtle differences between the various musical periods

Singing
The singing component of our music class will focus on music for the Mass as well as the folk music from a variety of cultures. We will practice singing as a class, in small groups, and individually, to help us gain confidence with our singing ability. Rhythmic and melodic exercises will help train both our voices and our ears.