Music & Performing Arts In Grade VI
(Two 50-minute periods per cycle)
Each sixth grade class meets for music twice each cycle for 50 minutes of general music. In addition, students may elect to participate in the school orchestra, chorus or jazz band, which rehearse after the regular school day has ended.
Students develop a deep understanding of music as cultural expression by performing and creating music drawn from their Central Subject of Africa. Students learn drumming ensembles, songs, and dances based in West African traditions, acquiring concepts such as layering and complementary rhythms. The influence of this music is also explored as students study the rhythms of the Caribbean and the development of African American music. Student-created compositions are a central focus of the spring culminating event, Rites of Passage.
Students develop musicianship through active participation in performing and creating music: they sing, play instruments, move, dance, listen, analyze, create, read, and notate. Their music-reading and ear-training skills are built through frequent singing and use of solfege (a method used to teach pitch and sight singing).