Fine Arts Department » Elementary Music » General Music Courses

General Music Courses

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”

-Plato

INTRODUCTION

 

Music, which has existed throughout history, plays an important role in every civilization.  District Six recognizes the fact that music is an essential part of a child’s education and provides a supportive policy framework for the arts.  Goals 2000:  Educate America Act, makes the arts, by federal law, a core subject in our schools.  We are fortunate in District Six to be in an environment where music is seen as a vital part of our educational community.

 

Music should be integrated with other subjects whenever appropriate and worthy since music is the voice of a culture. The instruction provided will enable the student to develop basic skills in music, acquire a fundamental background in theory, and participate in musical experiences as an informed listener, creator, and performer.

 

Music is a source of possibilities:  it opens new horizons; it supports imagination, appreciation, and sensitivity; it adds a new dimension to life.

 
 
 
 
First Grade General Music Classes Offered District-Wide, 45 minutes per week
 
During first grade, students learn to maintain a steady beat while listening to classical and modern music, and singing songs.  Students also play the steady beat on hand-held percussion instruments.  Students learn basic music literacy skills, such as reading rhythm symbols for one and two sounds to a beat (quarter and eighth notes), as well as silent beats (rests).  Students learn to demonstrate the difference between their singing and speaking voices.  They also begin to differentiate between high and low sounds.  During the spring of the first grade year many schools in the district showcase first grade singers by providing either a first grade program for parents, or an informal share time, where parents come to individual classes and observe an informative lesson.
 
 
 
 
Second Grade General Music Classes Offered District-Wide, 45 minutes per week
 
Second graders continue to demonstrate steady beat activities, playing instruments and moving to various styles of music.  More emphasis placed on literacy, adding elongated rhythms such as half and whole notes, and in some cases, shorter, quicker rhythm symbols such as sixteenth notes.  Students review singing high and low pitches, using pitch syllables "Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti and Do."  Second Grade classes showcase their talents for parents in either a formal or informal setting.  Many times the programs are correlated with classroom learning, such as singing songs about folktales, zoo animals, etc.  
 
 
 
 
Third Grade General Music Classes Offered District-Wide, 45 minutes per week
 
By third grade students should be able to sing with more expression and improved intonation. Students can sing simple rounds in two and three-part harmony. Students can sing songs based on major and minor scales.  Students are also learning to read and play more complicated rhythms and can play a variety of pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments, such as xylophones and hand drums.  Many grade-level programs in third grade center around South Carolina history, and reflect the annual grade-level field trip to the state house.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth Grade General Music Classes Offered District-Wide, 45 minutes per week
 
Fourth graders continue singing rounds in two, three and four-part harmony.  Students can sing better in tune by fourth grade, and also can sing partner songs, (two different songs that compliment each other when sung simultaneously).  Students can sing syncopated melodies, and continue to learn in detail the differences between classical in modern music.  In fourth grade students explore the instrument families: woodwind, brass, percussion and strings, in preparation for the annual field trip to hear the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra.  Students learn classical selections from composers such as Beethoven and Strauss.  Students sing songs based on the melodies of classical orchestral works.  At the concert they sing the songs while the orchestra plays.  The orchestra highlights each instrument family, so students can hear the instrument sounds in small ensembles and then hear the orchestra play altogether.  The instrument study aides students in the selection of an instrument.  In the spring of the fourth grade year, students can choose an instrument to play in fifth grade, in band or strings.
 
 
 
 
 
Fifth Grade General Music Classes Offered District-Wide, 45 minutes per week
 
Fifth Grade students can sing and read more complicated melodies, and perform more difficult rhythms on percussion instruments. Syncopation is introduced in the reading and singing of popular music. Students continue to sing two and three-part harmony, by performing rounds and partner songs in major and minor keys.  Students can improvise rhythm patterns on percussion instruments, and compose new verses for existing folk songs.  Using the Quaver software program students can arrange, compose and demonstrate original rhythms.  More emphasis is placed on higher-level thinking skills, arranging, improvising and composing.
 
In December all fifth graders in the district attend the district-wide Winter Holiday Spectacular at Dorman High School.  This event gives fifth graders the opportunity to see the performing arts showcased: orchestra, band, chorus, theatre, and dance.  This field trip helps students determine which performing art they would like to pursue in middle and high school.
 
Strings and band classes are also offered in fifth grade.  Please refer to the band and orchestra tabs for more information about fifth grade band and strings classes.