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Music – Primary (grades 1-4)

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At the Primary level, the recorder provides for growing fluency and first experiences in an instrumental ensemble. Continuing with Kodaly singing, Primary students are taught elements of melody and harmony and a variety of musical forms, including call and response and canons. As musical skills grow, compositions with more complex rhythm patterns and more challenging melodies are undertaken. Students are able to sight read entire compositions. Vocal training begins with five basic exercises, and songs are sung both in unison and in two-part harmony.

Our 1st and 2nd grade students learn songs that help them learn to read music, that enrich curriculum, that enhance the observance of cultural events and that are just plain fun to sing. Using their whole bodies to experience music, they play rhythm and percussion instruments and move creatively. They learn to read music. They learn the note values and the names of the lines and spaces on the musical staff. They learn to play the recorder and are expected to practice it regularly. Students are taught elements of melody and harmony, using the Kodaly method. They perform in front of audiences and begin to understand the importance of preparation for those performances. By the end of second grade, students are beginning to read music, play the recorder and have been introduced to a variety of musical forms, such as call and response and canons.

3rd and 4th grade students review everything that was introduced in first and second grade. They learn to sight read complete compositions, instead of reading a measure at a time. They discover harmony by playing two different parts on the recorder. They begin playing more interesting compositions with various rhythm patterns and more challenging melodies. Vocal training begins with five basic exercises presented to them as a warm-up every class period. They are also taught a variety of songs sung in unison and in two-part harmony. They learn dances of the past and present. Students are expected to spend independent time learning their instrument and improving their sight-reading.
As they begin to read music, elementary school students learn the note values and the names of the lines and spaces on the musical staff.

They apply their growing knowledge of sight reading to playing the soprano recorder, which they are expected to practice regularly.

Gradually, sight reading replaces measure-by-measure playing, and two-part harmonies are introduced.
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