All 6th grade students take this 12-week course. The course is dedicated to understanding, performing, and composing music reflecting a wide range of musical influences. Students learn how to read and perform complex African rhythms. They then write their own compositions, drawing upon African rhythmic structures. In conjunction with the global studies focus in 6th grade social studies, students also learn about the music of China, Japan, France, and Latin America among others.
Also included in the 6th grade general music course is an introduction to the guitar and electronic keyboard. Students learn the basics of chord structure, fingering positions, and note reading. Students create and perform their own compositions.
7th Grade General Music
All 7th grade students take this 12-week course. Designed to address the Music Educators' National Music Content Standards and provide students an active and participatory experience in making music. In the guitar and percussion portion of the music course, students learn various music literacy skills and apply these skills in performance and composition.
8th Grade General Music
All 8th grade students take this 12-week course. Designed to address the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Content Standards and provide students an active and participatory experience in making music, the course is divided into two sections. The keyboards and technology portion of the course builds upon skills students learned in 6th and 7th grade. Emphasis is placed on the concepts of musical form. Students compose and perform compositions, and they learn how to use computers to professionally notate their work. In the second portion of the course, students use guitars, percussion instruments, and the Internet to learn about various contemporary and historical music genres from a wide range of cultural traditions. The course also includes study of the music industry, including copyright law, royalties, and intellectual property.