The Middle School music program continues earlier vocalization, instrumentality and literacy. Students compose on the computer and improvise as a means of personal expression.
In MS the computer is introduced as a compositional tool, and the individual is encouraged to explore composition and improvisation as a means of personal expression. Lessons and discussions are also structured around social issues in music (protest, history, satire). At this level music genres, music history, and ideas from world music and ethnomusicology are introduced.
Through an exploration of African musical systems, the child is introduced to cyclical compositional structures. Various exercises involving body percussion (hand claps, stomps), vocalizations (“speaking” the patterns), as well as pitched and non-pitched instruments, engender a familiarity with pattern-making and interlocking rhythmic figures.
The curriculum includes a survey of popular styles ranging from Blues to early and contemporary Rock. We discuss verse/chorus, as well as more extended formal schemes. Additionally, students prepare and record their own instrumental and vocal arrangements, which are subsequently edited and manipulated using GarageBand.