Music is the universal language of mankind.
—Henry Woodsworth Longfellow
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 other events.
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 $7, which includes the recorder, the Recorder Karate book as well as some additional sheet music.
In 5th grade, Odyssey scholars are introduced to band instruments by choosing one instrument to play for the entire year. Through a detailed and thorough selection process, scholars choose their instruments based on music aptitude, personality, and body type (the shape of their lips and teeth, as well as arm and finger length) in order to ensure the most success during this year. Fifth graders rent or purchase their instruments from Music And Arts in Peachtree City. As they progress in learning the fundamentals on their instrument, fifth grade scholars are invited to join the middle school band rehearsals and perform a selection with them at the holiday and Spring concerts.
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.
Meet the Teacher
Our Music Teacher is Patrick Thompson.