The music program at Mountain View School stresses the interrelationship of language, rhythm, melody, and movement. During their weekly 20-45 minute classes, the children experience American folk repertoire, international folk music, folk movement and creative dance, instrumental ensembles of percussion instruments and Orff xylophones, the elements of music (including some notation and music reading), and group dramatic performances. Kindergarten and first grade classes focus on the auditory perception of rhythmic patterns, melodic differences, and language, on gaining large motor control through musical movement games and on learning to function within the group.While this continues throughout the primary grades, language experience, reading, and learning American and international folk repertoire is stressed in grades two and three. In fourth and fifth grades, there is a special focus on the evolution of American music from Native American music through the jazz age to support classroom social studies experiences.In addition, interested fourth and fifth graders may participate in a volunteer chorus. In sixth grade, students prepare Broadway repertoire for a winter performance and all students learn graduation music after February.
Over my many years as a music specialist, I’ve become more and more convinced of the benefits of musical experiences for elementary school children. Not only is music an active, joyful part of their week, but it involves team work, respect for others, and most importantly, growth in self confidence. It has been a pleasure to watch children take small steps from singing alone in class to performing on stage before the school. These are skills that will benefit the children in their high school and adult lives.