The Weston Intermediate School's Music Department Curriculum is directly aligned with the National Standards for Arts Education. This curriculum offers a sequential, comprehensive, standards-based music education designed to enhance each child's musical aptitude and achievement in music. General Music classes are within the recommended state guidelines and meet two times per week for forty minutes.
Through the Three Artistic Processes: Creating, Performing and Responding, the curriculum delivers foundations in music education. The core concepts are developed through a multi-process approach using aural, visual and kinesthetic learning experiences. Students engage in a variety of learning behaviors that develop learning skills and strategies in music, which can then be applied to other content areas. All areas of general music are intended to develop musicianship and promote music literacy.
Concept based units of study in general music are as follows:
- The Elements of Music: Melody, Harmony, Tonality, Rhythm, Timbre, Tempo, Dynamics, Articulation, Form
- Music Literacy: Singing, Rhythm and Movement, Reading and Notating, Creating and Composing, Performing, Listening and Responding
- Creativity and Artistic Expression
In general music, students are exposed to a variety of musical styles and genres. They will learn to read and perform music in different meters, keys and tonalities through singing, dancing and playing pitched and non-pitched classroom instruments. Beginning in third grade, students will learn to play recorder and continue with an advanced recorder unit in the fourth grade to become independent recorder players. Students will be required to listen to and analyze different genres of music and musical forms. By the completion of fifth grade, all students will be required to write and perform their own musical compositions.
Students are assessed using rating scales and rubrics for individual and group performance assessments, written worksheets and quizzes, written responses to music, and music compositions. Students are given performance opportunities outside the classroom throughout the year including a grade level performance in third grade and the opportunity to join performing ensembles (Chorus, Band, Orchestra) in fourth and fifth grade.
National Standards for Music Education
1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
5. Reading and notating music.
6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
7. Evaluating music and music performances.
8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
Fourth Grade Chorus:
Fourth Grade Chorus is a beginning, performing ensemble. All fourth grade students are invited to join Chorus. The repertoire reflects the level of the participants as it contains many works in unison, basic canons, and some two and three part songs.
Fifth Grade Chorus:
Fifth Grade Chorus is a more advanced performing ensemble. All fifth grade students are invited to join Chorus including those with or without previous experience. The repertoire is more challenging and is sung in two and three parts.
Both Choruses meet once a week on Thursday mornings before school in order to prepare formal concerts and other performances throughout the year. Those who wish to join the Chorus will be required to sign a year-long contract which highlights the rules and expectations of each participant. The success of the concerts is dependent upon the commitment and participation of the Chorus members.
Students will apply their knowledge obtained through the general music curriculum to Choral works. Students will sing music in a variety of styles and cultures, study vocal scores, and compare music from different periods. Students will sing in tune with proper vocal technique and follow a conductor's cue appropriately. All Choral students will work together to make the most of their rehearsal time, have fun, and achieve the highest quality performances.
The instrumental music program is open to all 5th grade students at Weston Intermediate School. They may select to be a part of either the Band or Orchestra. Instrument selection takes place in the Spring of their 4th grade year. Forty minute lessons on their applied instrument take place in small groups of 8-10 students one day per week during school hours. Lessons begin the second week of each new school year. The lesson schedule operates on a 6-8 week rotating basis so that students are not consecutively pulled out of the same subject each week. Once students have gained experience on their instruments, they are invited to participate in the Band or Orchestra which meets before school beginning in January(in addition to weekly lessons). Each ensemble participates in 3 performances throughout the year.