General Music Program
General Music at DeGrazia School is a fun and enriching program that provides general music students with a wide variety of music experiences. When possible music instruction is enriched through the Artist in Residence program. The past two years our students have been taught Japanese Taiko Drumming through this program.
Music instruction is based on the learning of the aesthetic qualities of various musical elements. Music units center on the musical elements of tempo, singing, listening, moving, playing, and identification activities that all are designed to increase the child's perception and reaction to the tempo component in music. This topical approach is part of a spiral development that continues throughout the 1st grade through 6th grade experience and across the many various musical elements. Students will study music history and research famous composers in the intermediate grades. Computer composition software aids in music composition instruction. Students have the opportunity at 5th and 6th grade to use this software in one of our two computer labs.
Learning to sing is a skill that is given special treatment in general music class. Since singing is such a staple activity, we continually strive throughout the elementary school years to develop accuracy, expressiveness and tone quality in the child's voice. We reinforce the use of the voice both in group and individual singing. Tonal and rhythm skills also get particular attention in the general music curriculum.
Recorder instruction is given in fourth grade to all students. The school provides a recorder that is used for health reasons by only one child all year. Many students choose to purchase and use their own recorders. The advantage here is that they can bring their own instrument home to practice. Recorder instruction helps add a new dimension of understanding of the elements of music that we study and also provides an early experience of instrumental music for many.
Students have the opportunity several times to participate in musical performances during the 1st through 4th grade experience in general music. Exciting musical productions engage students in the aesthetic appeal of music.
1st - 4th Grade: Two times per week, each class is 30 minutes. All students in these grades receive general music in the main music room.
5th-6th Grade: Two times per week, each class is 30 minutes. Students in these grades not taking instrumental music will take general music. These students receive general music instruction in the general music room.
Some students assigned to special programs (e.g., GEM) may not necessarily have all of the classes indicated for their group but the best effort is made to ensure that they do not miss music instruction.
Facilities and Equipment
General music in grades 1 - 4 is taught in a spacious music room located off the school cafeteria. The room is used for general music and orchestra. The band classes rehearse on the school stage. Fifth and sixth grade general music classes meet in the general music classroom. The main music room has a piano, stereo system, and small percussion instruments.