The general music program provides an active learning process in which students explore music in a variety of ways. General music classes provide students with numerous opportunities to perform, create and listen to music. The goal of the Music Education Department is that each student will gain an understanding and appreciation of music.
The K-6 general music program is built on an eclectic curriculum, taught by general music specialists, many of whom are Orff and Kodaly trained. The curriculum utilizes Orff Schulwerk, a child-centered, activity-based way of teaching. The process of sequencing music reading experiences reflects the philosophy of Zoltan Kodaly.
The general music curriculum develops essential musical experiences and sample activities in six conceptual areas. The following elements are sequenced within each grade level, as well as spiraled from grade to grade: Rhythm, Pitch, Texture/Harmony, Form. Expressive Elements, Style.
Some attributes of the general music program throughout the K-6 curriculum include:
- All students are involved in music learning experiences that represent a wide range of musical processes, including moving, speaking/singing, listening, playing, reading/notating and creating/improvising.
- A layered elemental ensemble approach characterizes the curriculum, beginning with speech, movement and song. This is extended to include playing unpitched percussion instruments, barred instruments, recorder and others.
- Iconic notation is used as a bridge to traditional music notation.
- Students are regularly assessed as they participate in class.
- Lessons are designed to give students a high degree of success.
- The general music program functions as part of the total educational program in the schools. Certified music teachers and classroom teachers integrate appropriate content when possible to reinforce continuity in student learning. The discipline learned in the music ensemble experience transfers and supports classroom learning in all areas.
- The general music program provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their skills and abilities. Students perform for each other and their classroom teachers, as well as in demonstrations and programs for the school, parents and community.
The MPS Music Department believes that the development of musicianship is essential. Music education can enrich the lives of students aesthetically, socially, academically and personally. For those students who choose to study music further, the foundation is laid. For all students, music can serve as a catalyst toward the maximum development of individual potential.