Music is basic to human existence. It is a means by which individuals are able to create, communicate, learn, imagine, and enjoy life, integrating a variety of disciplines in the process. Music is one way to examine a culture and to relate with others in a global society.
The value of music education rests primarily on the importance of music itself. Therefore, the instruction provided at Twin Peaks Elementary School centers on developing the aesthetic response to the qualities which make the organized sound of music uniquely an art. These qualities, musical elements such as melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, and timbre, are taught through a variety of literature, drawing from diverse cultures and historical periods. Every student at Twin Peaks receives music instruction, beginning with general music classes for kindergarten through fourth grade, and continuing with elective classes for the fifth and sixth graders in band, orchestra, and general music.
All general music classes meet for thirty-minute classes two times per week. The general music program is based on the Marana Unified School District Curriculum, which is aligned with the Arizona State Fine Arts Standards. General music classes cover a wide range of material, drawing from, but not limited to the McGraw-Hill text, Share the Music.
Learning to sing is a skill that is given particular attention in general music classes. Developing accuracy of pitch, rhythm, expression, and tone quality in the child's voice is reinforced both in group and individual singing. Lessons may involve the playing of percussion instruments, musical games, dance, and music composition. In addition, students have the opportunity to begin instrumental study, learning to play the recorder in the fourth grade. Fifth and sixth graders who elect general music continue their study of music to a greater depth, learning more about music history, famous composers, and music theory. All students have access to music composition software and other learning tools in one of the two computer labs on campus.
General music students have the opportunity to participate in musical performances as early as kindergarten and on through sixth grade. Performances may include singing at school-wide assemblies, performing at the annual carnival, or producing musical plays, all of which engage students in the aesthetic appeal of music.