K-6th Classroom Information
"Performing, creating and responding to music are the fundamental music processes in which humans engage. Students, particularly in grades 1-4 learn by doing. Singing, playing instruments, moving to music and creating music enables them to acquire musical skills and knowledge that can be developed in no other way. Learning to read and notate music gives them a skill with which to explore music independently and with others. Listening to, analyzing and evaluating music are important building blocks of musical learning. Further, to participate in a diverse, global society, students must understand their own historical and cultural heritage and those of others within their communities and beyond. Because music is a basic expression of human culture, every student should have access to a balanced, comprehensive and sequential program of study in music.
--Music Educators National Conference
The study of music provides many facets of knowledge and levels of appreciation, which stimulates self-control, individual expression, self discipline and an appreciation for the arts and diverse cultural experiences. The Penns Valley Area School District Music Department adheres to the guidelines provided by the National Standards and Pennsylvania State Standards for the Arts. Research confirms that music enriches students' lives, promoting team building, creativity, higher-level thinking, and the development of motor skills. The Music Department at PVASD is dedicated to providing music experiences that foster individual and community growth, recognizing that music is at the core of human existence.
Students in grades K-12 actively engage in a comprehensive musical program which balances musical theory, composition, and performance. Courses commencing in the elementary grades promote the acquisition of musical vocabulary, creation and performance of vocal and instrumental compositions, and the development of a strong knowledge of musical history and its impact on the development of cultures.
Kodaly Method/What It Looks LIke
The Kodaly Method is an approach to music education rooted in the idea that music should be a social and cultural experience. The Kodaly approach to teaching music asserts that musical concepts, creativity, and collaboration are best taught in group music lessons, particularly for young children. According to the method, music teachers should emphasize musical material that is connected to their students' culture and heritage, in addition to instructing students on what music sounds like first, not what it looks like.
What It Looks Like:
What this means is that in your child's music class, there is an emphasis on performance, both vocal and instrumental. Learning what different music vocabulary is called is secondary to hearing the concepts first. Your child, through a combination of songs, games, and instrumental activities, are learning all of the concepts provided by the PA State Standards of Art. Each unit follows a framework; Kinesthetic, Aural, Visual, Label. What each of these means is posted below:
Kinesthetic- Students feel the musical concept through body movements.
Aural- Students hear and describe the musical concepts through guided questioning and echoing.
Visual- Students create their own representation of what the musical concept sounds like.
Label- Students are told what the musical term for the concept is and how to use it.
Activities Done in Class/Grading
- Singing alone, and with others (e.g. singing a folk song as a class).
- Playing instruments alone, and with others (e.g. playing a xylophone during class).
- Improvising melodies (e.g. changing the melody of a folk song into a melody of your own creation).
- Composing and arranging music (e.g. creating your own melody/rhythmic piece).
- Reading and notating music (e.g. taking a folk song, switching it to solfege, then using letter names).
- Listening to, analyzing, and describing music (e.g. listening to Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony and discussing the rhythmic aspects of the piece).
- Understanding of music as it relates to culture (e.g. discussing the history of a song; where did it come from and why?)
**If you have any questions regarding the content covered in class, please feel free to reach out via email!**
Students are graded on a 1-4 scale. As I tell the students, if you are attempting to make music you will do just fine! A lot of the time, the quality of music is determined by the effort or care that went into the piece.
For students in music class, I like to keep our expectations simple and easy to follow!
- Students will be respectful.
- Everyone sings!
- Students will be safe.