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Upper Elementary

The upper elementary music program is based on two approaches to music education. The first being Kodaly, a method that focuses first and foremost on strengthening the students’ singing voice. This is done in three steps, aural-oral-kinesthetic, written-pictorial-abstract, and reading-recognizing music. Students practice using hand signals while singing to show tonal relationships and strengthen tonal memory. Alongside the Kodaly method, I also incorporate the Orff method into each class. This method centers around the idea that in order to learn music, the child’s mind and body must be engaged in the process. We spend time playing pitched and unpitched percussion as well as writing original compositions that the students perform on the Orff instruments. Alongside the Orff instruments, upper elementary also learns the acoustic guitar and piano. The guitar and piano are ongoing units throughout the year.

Students in the upper elementary are reading music notation everyday. We spend the first four weeks reviewing and getting each student to an appropriate music literacy level. After those first weeks, we begin using sheet music in every class period to practice music literacy skills and sight singing. Students work on singing individually, in a round, and in a two part split throughout the year.

In grades three and four, students use their music literacy skills to play the recorder. The recorder unit starts in November and goes through February. The students earn recorder karate belts with each song they play with correct pitches and rhythms. Students have the opportunity to take these instruments home and practice on their own.

The fifth grade students take on more leadership roles as the eldest of the elementary school. One area where they show their leadership is the winter program. Students work on stage presence and presentation skills. In addition, the fifth graders complete a composing unit using composition software on their school ipads.

Honors choir is an exciting after school opportunity for upper elementary students. This choir prepares students for high level ensembles while allowing them to explore a more diverse repertoire.

There are many performance opportunities throughout the year, such as: Monday assemblies, Fabulous Fridays, and the seasonal programs. In addition to these performances, upper elementary students perform at International Day alongside members of the high school choir. After each performance, no matter the size, students complete a performance reflection using musical vocabulary and constructive feedback. For the group and individually we learn to celebrate accomplishments and identify areas of improvement.

Lincoln School’s core values are practiced during each music class: respecting one another and the instruments, collaboration with ensembles, taking responsibility for your actions, and developing compassion as an audience and ensemble member.  Upper elementary music is a time for students to create, perform, respond to, and connect with music using a variety of avenues and their own creativity.

Lower Elementary

Similar to upper elementary, the music program for lower elementary is built on two approaches to music education. The first being Kodaly, a method that focuses first and foremost on strengthening the students’ singing voice. This is done in three steps, aural-oral-kinesthetic, written-pictorial-abstract, and reading-recognizing music. Most important, the students practice singing using hand signals to show tonal relationships and strengthen tonal memory.

Alongside the Kodaly method, the Orff method is used in each class. This method centers around the idea that in order to learn music, the child’s mind and body must be engaged in the process. We spend time playing pitched and unpitched percussion as well as writing original compositions that the students then play on the Orff instruments. Alongside the Orff instruments students in Grade 1 and 2 learn to play the piano in class.

In P1, grade one, and grade two, music class is a time for students to be energized and excited about participating in music. My goal at the lower elementary level is to inspire a love of music while teaching the appropriate content. We do this through singing games and musical theory games that allow students to feel as if they are playing while learning. In addition, students are assessed on their growth as singers and in the areas of music theory, vocabulary, and music literacy. By the time students enter upper elementary they are expected to know note names, sight read rhythms, sing with a clear and accurate tone, keep a steady beat, and independently play instruments.

There are many performance opportunities for the lower elementary, like Monday assemblies, Fabulous Fridays, and the seasonal concerts. After each performance, no matter the length or intensity, students complete a performance reflection using musical vocabulary and constructive feedback.

Lincoln School’s core values are practiced during each music class: respecting one another and the instruments, collaboration with ensembles, taking responsibility for your actions, and developing compassion as an audience and ensemble member.  Lower elementary music is a time for students to create, perform, respond, and connect with music using skills, understanding, and their own creativity.