The primary focus of music in 6th grade will be on singing songs and playing instruments. Beyond singing and playing, students will learn about music in its most basic contexts and environments. This can include written and oral traditions.
I hope to challenge the students to imagine what life was like for ordinary people in different historical times, and how music played an important part in their lives.
There will be an introduction to the elements of music - what those elements mean and how they can be used by composers and listeners.
For the 7th graders, there will be a strong emphasis on singing songs and playing instruments.
Some primary areas of focus will be on rhythm, drums and drumming, the primacy of rhythm in music - how it is the most fundamental defining characteristic. How music is distinctly human, and how rhythm in music comes from the heartbeat.
There will be a study of rhythm in musics of the world and what makes those cultures and musical styles unique.
There will be attention to how drums and drumming was absent from Western classical music, and how that aspect evolved into the collective consciousness of our current culture.
Later in the year there will be an introduction to music production in the digital age and how computer software can be used to create music.
For 8th grade, there will be less emphasis on singing and playing instruments, and more emphasis on discussions of music in a variety of contexts.
First, I want the students to understand that music can have a profound and positive effect on their health and well-being. Topics including Music for therapy and healing, psychology of music including music in advertising and soundtracks will be introduced.
Overall, a goal will be to consider how music intersects with other subjects and elements of our lives. This includes music in historical contexts politically, artistically, with math and science, literature, societies and cultures.