Students at St. Joe’s enjoy a rich tradition of singing. Students in grades K – 5 meet with a music specialist twice a week for half an hour, or 45 minutes in fifth grade. Students in 6th grade can chose choir and/or band for their music special. Choir is also offered as an exploratory class for 7th and 8th grade students.
When students come to us in Kindergarten, they begin to learn how to take part in the singing tradition, as they learn to sing the hymns and Mass parts so precious to us as a faith community. As they get older, they have the privilege of providing service to the community through music, as grade levels lead music in both school and parish masses. Children are nurtured as musical leaders when they serve as cantors for all-school masses.
In the classroom students engage in a variety of musical methods and techniques. Students learn about the elements of music including beat, rhythm and melody, practice ‘audiation’, gradually participate in more complex musical endeavors, and beginning theory with recorders, and above all, have fun!
While singing stands at the center of music education at St. Joe’s, instruments are incorporated into music class instruction as well. Small hand-held percussion (such as rhythm sticks) are used in the early elementary years. In third grade, students begin regular work on xylophones; in fourth grade, they learn the recorder; and the fifth grade year includes units on acoustic guitar and drumming. Composition and improvisatory experiences are spread throughout the grades, and students regularly experience a diverse set of musical repertoire from around the world.
St. Joseph has partnered with Bishop Blanchet High School to offer middle school students the opportunity to take band as part of their musical experience at St. Joseph. Students learn to read music and play a variety of instruments including flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, french horn, alto and tenor saxophone, electric bass and drums. Similar to music classes, students in band perform several times at school events and masses. Band is offered to 6th grade students as a special class. Additionally, band is an option for 7th and 8th graders as a part of the exploratory program.
I love performing with my classmates during mass and listening to the older kids perform.
- Katie, Grade 2