Music is the universal language of mankind.
—Henry Woodsworth Longfellow
Odyssey Charter School believes music education is an important part of learning. Studies have shown that learning music can lead to improved test scores, language development, and increased IQ. Learning music enhances the skills that students use to learn in other subject areas, such as reading and math.
K-5 students receive music instruction for 45 minutes each week as part of the Connections rotation. Middle School students use block scheduling and therefore receive 45 minutes of music instruction every day for 9 week sessions. Our goal is to teach the students the language of music to prepare them for future musical endeavors.
Music Theory is the study of the structure of music and we begin teaching the basics in our K-3rd grade classes. Students learn about rhythm through the use of percussion instruments and Boomwhackers, which are light-weight, plastic, hollow tubes tuned to musical notes by length. Students learn about harmony, melody and how to read easy sheet music as they learn to sing various songs. Our songs also have some choreographed dance movements that coordinate with the beat of the music, to further help with learning rhythm. They have opportunities to perform during PTO meetings and sometimes during International Night.
In 4th grade, students progress further into music theory and deeper into reading sheet music. They begin using recorders as part of the Recorder Karate curriculum. With this curriculum, as students advance through progressively more difficult songs, they earn colored karate belts as a positive reward. This makes learning to play fun and the students strive to learn more and more difficult songs so they can get to be “black belt” before the end of the year. There is a recorder fee of $6, which includes the recorder, the Recorder Karate book as well as some additional sheet music.
In 5th grade, students can choose between staying in traditional music classes or going into Beginning Band. If they choose to stay in music, they go to the more advanced level of Recorder Karate and they continue learning music theory and how to read and write music.
Middle School 6th-8th Grades
In 6th-8th grade, if students are not in Band, they will continue to have a connections class for music. These classes delve even deeper into music theory and we also introduce music history. We study the famous classical musicians of the past and discuss how their music has influenced and relates to today’s music.
Middle school students also complete projects about various modern day composers. For each project, they must select from a different genre of music or the composer might have to meet certain criteria laid out in the rubric. At the start of the year, they might just have to write a couple of paragraphs about their chosen composer. But by the end of the year, they have advanced to Powerpoint presentations! These are cross-curriculum projects that allow students to utilize and enhance their skills in areas like research, writing, technology, ELA, public speaking and so much more.
For scholars with an interest in chorus, we offer an extra-curricular Chorus club for 2nd-3rd Grades and 4th-5th Grades.
Meet the Teacher
Our Music Teacher is Patrick Thompson.