Music Education in the Junior High School
Junior high school students are given opportunities to experience music through their general music classes. They also can participate in one of the many performing groups offered at Shaker Junior High School:
General Music 7
Seventh grade students are scheduled for one semester (twenty weeks) of General Music, which is divided into five units. In the Classical Music and the Music Technology and Careers unit, students will be involved in listening to and identifying music styles, and writing and performing original music. Students will also complete various projects and activities in these units using the technology equipment available in the classroom, library, and computer labs. In the two instrument units, students will review the skills they learned in sixth grade, and learn new skills that will allow them to perform on the two instruments (electric keyboard and acoustic guitar). Students will learn these skills through performing individually, in small groups, and as a class.
General Music 8
Eight grade students are scheduled for one semester (twenty weeks) of General Music, which is divided into five units. The goal of this program is to develop an understanding and appreciation of the elements and various styles of music, with particular focus on Jazz and Rock-n-Roll. In these two units, students will learn the history behind Jazz and Rock-n-Roll music, and will also learn how to identify different styles and performers through listening exercises, completing various projects, and by using the technology equipment available in the music classroom, computer labs, and the library. In the two instrument units, students will review the skills they learned in seventh grade, and learn new skills that will allow them to perform on the two instruments (electric keyboard and acoustic guitar) at a more advanced level. Students will learn these skills through performing individually, in small groups, and as a class.
Music Performing Groups
In the junior high school, the Band, Chorus, and Orchestra rehearse every other day during the school day. On the opposite day, students in a performing group would have a study hall. The Band, Chorus, and Orchestra perform in two school concerts per year, and may have other performance opportunities. In addition, students in these performing groups are the only ones eligible to audition for Jazz Ensemble, Select Band, Select Chorus, and Scherzo. Students who play an instrument in Band or Orchestra are encouraged to be in chorus as well, since the two musical experiences compliment each other. Students in Band or Orchestra will also have a small-group lesson approximately once a week. In lessons, students learn technique and work to improve their individual skills. Private lessons, while encouraged, are not substituted for school lessons at the junior high level. Students who wish to participate in a performing group must indicate their decision on the seventh grade Course Selection Form distributed from the junior high school. When selecting a performing group, students are committing to participate for an entire year and to perform in all scheduled concerts. The decision to drop a performing group will only be made under extenuating circumstances and with the guidance counselor, administrator, and director.
Accelerated Credit in Music
Students can earn 1/2-unit of high school credit in music while enrolled at the junior high. Those who seek to apply for this accelerated credit in music must successfully complete two years in the Shaker Junior High School band, chorus, or orchestra. They also must perform a solo on a band or orchestra instrument, piano or voice at a level 3 or higher as ranked by NYSSMA, and have achieved at least a score of Excellent (21 or higher) on that solo by the end of eighth grade. If the student has met the necessary requirements, he/she will turn in a completed application form to the music teacher by early June of the eighth grade year. If it has been signed by the parent and approved by the teacher and principal, the student will receive 1/2¬ unit of high school credit.
- Jazz Ensemble
- Select Band
- Select Chorus
- Treble Ensemble
Each music club rehearses after school, is selected by audition, and requires its members to be participants in the school music groups (i.e., band, chorus, or orchestra). The groups provide enrichment opportunities to experience music. They perform at school concerts and within the community, and have won awards at the Great East Music Festival in Massachusetts.