Our music program gives students a variety of learning opportunities and gradually builds upon music basics. We use electronic and printed versions of Silver Burdett's Making Music as well as hymnals and other music enrichment tools. Our elementary and middle school students regularly participate in advanced instrumental and choral activities such as the North Carolina Honor Chorus.
Kindergarten students singing and learn rhythm and through movement activities. They begin to recognize band instruments and learn to play a variety of Orff and rhythm instruments. They learn about dynamics, form, style, pitch matching, and Kodaly hand signs.
Grades 1-2 build upon these basics. Students learn to identify pitch intervals using Kodaly methods. They learn about composers and their music. They play pitched Orff instruments alone and in ensemble. By second grade they begin to sing simple rounds. Finally, Grades 1-2 sing in a Christmas concert with our fifth grade students.
In Grades 3-5, many opportunities are available for developing and sharing musical skills. Grades 3-4 participate in a Spring concert and Grade 5 participates in a concert in celebration of Advent and Christmas. We also have an after school choir called the OLL Singers that begins at Grade 3. In the spring they participate in the annual Choral Celebration at Meymandi Hall. Our choir has represented our school well over the last twelve years. Fourth graders learn to play the recorder. We use a fun supplement called Recorder Karate whereby students work their way through levels similar to martial arts classes. Students in these grades also regularly audition for and participate in the North Carolina Elementary Honors Chorus.
In grades 6-8, students apply their repertoire of skills in music to projects that enhance their ability and enrich their community. They also have the opportunity to sing as cantors and participate as instrumentalists in the music ministry during school liturgies. Students progress in reading, composing, and performing music. Through their study of contemporary and historical music, they are encouraged to use teamwork and develop critical thinking skills such as analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information. Additionally, they begin to experience the arts as society’s gift to itself, linking hope to memory, inspiring courage, making our tragedies bearable, and enriching our celebrations.