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Music

Course Descriptions

General Music 7

Seventh-grade students are scheduled for one semester (twenty weeks) of General Music, which is divided into three units: Guitar, Keyboard and Musicals. In the two instrument units, students will review basic note-reading skills and learn new skills that will allow them to perform on the two instruments (electric keyboard and acoustic guitar). Students will learn these skills while performing individually, in small groups, and as a class. Students will play a mixed repertoire of music including folk, classical and blues styles.

In the Musical unit, students will complete an in-depth study of a famous work in musical theater, including various learning activities and a culminating project. Students will use the technology equipment available in the classroom, library, and computer labs to further explore the subject.

Music Performing Groups (Elective): Band 7, Chorus 7, Orchestra 7

In the middle school, Band, Chorus, and Orchestra rehearse every other day during the school day. On the opposite day, students in a performing group may have a study hall. 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, Treble Makers (for Soprano and Alto voices), Select Chorus, and Scherzo. Students are encouraged to be in both a choral and instrumental group, since the two musical experiences complement each other.

Students in Band and Orchestra will also have a required small-group lesson once each week. This is a class that students must attend. In lessons, students learn technique and work to improve their individual skills. A rotating schedule of lesson times is planned so that no student should be excused from the same class more than once in each four weeks of school. Private lessons, while encouraged, are not substituted for school lessons at the middle school level.

Students who wish to participate in a performing group must indicate their decision on the seventh grade Course Selection Form distributed from the middle school. A student must already play an instrument to play in an instrumental group. When selecting a performing group, students are committing to participate for an entire year, to attend their school lesson, and to perform in all scheduled concerts. The decision to drop a performing group will only be made under seriously extenuating circumstances by the school counselor, administrator, and department supervisor.

Music 8

Eighth-grade students are scheduled for one semester (twenty weeks) of General Music, which is divided into three units: Guitar, Keyboard and Rock-n-Roll. 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 instruments (electric keyboard and acoustic guitar) at a more advanced level. Students will learn these skills while performing individually, in small groups, and as a class. Students will play a mixed repertoire of folk and rock music on each instrument.

The goal of the Rock-n-Roll unit is to develop an understanding and appreciation of the elements and history of this musical genre. In this unit, students will learn the history of Rock-n-Roll music and will make connections to historical events. They will 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.

Music Performing Groups (Elective): Band 8, Chorus 8, Orchestra 8

In the middle school, Band, Chorus, and Orchestra rehearse every other day during the school day. On the opposite day, students in a performing group may have a study hall. 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, Treble Makers (for Soprano and Alto voices), Select Chorus, and Scherzo. Students are encouraged to be in both a choral and instrumental group, since the two musical experiences complement each other.

Students in Band and Orchestra will also have a required small-group lesson once each week. This is a class that students must attend. In lessons, students learn technique and work to improve their individual skills. Private lessons, while encouraged, are not substituted for school lessons at the middle school level. A rotating schedule of lesson times is planned so that no student should be excused from the same class more than once in each four weeks of school. Students who wish to participate in a performing group must indicate their decision on the eighth grade Course Selection Form distributed from the middle school. A student must already play an instrument to play in an instrumental group. When selecting a performing group, students are committing to participate for an entire year, to attend their school lesson, and to perform in all scheduled concerts. The decision to drop a performing group will only be made under seriously extenuating circumstances by the school counselor, administrator, and department supervisor.

Accelerated Credit in Music

Students can earn 1/2-unit of high school credit in music while enrolled at the middle school. Those who seek to apply for this accelerated credit in music must successfully complete both 7th and 8th grade 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 requirement, 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.