Cooper School Music focuses on two very important musical concepts that fit with the child-centered and whole child approach of the school. These concepts are individual musical abilities and community music. We accomplish individual musical abilities through the learning of voice, guitar, ukulele, recorder and percussion. We support community music through our ensembles and choirs. The outcomes are students who are confident in their musical abilities and a culture where everyone likes to sing and share music with friends. Here are some of the highlights and new additions for this year.
In Kindergarten Hazel Ketchum will be using her own Big As The World curriculum. These lessons are designed in coordination with her 2001 family CD Big as the World. In these lessons, students will learn the foundations of music, music improvisation, singing, rhythm, movement, unison, repertoire, echo, variation, call and response, and pitch and form. Kindergarteners will also participate in Choir each week with Hazel and Bob Culver.
First Graders will enjoy music and movement lessons with Hazel each week. Building on their repertoire and skills from Kindergarten, students will continue with basic music skills. These students learn percussion including drums, shakers, tambourines, and mallet instruments. Musical styles and instruments will be covered including the instruments of the orchestra and classical repertoire like “Peter and the Wolf” and “Young People’s Guide to the Orchestra”. First Graders will also have choir once a week with Hazel and Bob.
Second Graders will have recorder class with Hazel each week. In this exciting class, students will learn about the history of the recorder and how to play notes. Students will learn about ensemble music, note reading, breath control, and tone. Second Grade will learn a few simple folk songs that will lay a foundation for wind instrument playing and ensemble playing.
The Cooper School has had a long tradition of Grade 3 creating their own radio show. In this year-long project, students work with Hazel to create a ½ hour variety show complete with music, bands, announcers, news, weather, interviews, drama and jokes! The radio show has a live presentation for parents and siblings in the Spring semester. Grade 3 also takes part in two choir rehearsals each week. Indigo Choir works on vocal skills and concert repertoire at one rehearsal and then focuses on fun community singing in the second rehearsal.
In guitar and ukulele class with Bob Culver, students will be learning how to play basic melodies and chords for accompanying singing. The text will be the Essential Elements for Guitar (or Ukulele). Some basic music reading skills will be part of the class, and students should have a few simple songs fairly quickly. In the Spring the children will start writing their own songs and playing some of their own favorites.
In music appreciation class with Bob Culver, students will learn the basic elements of music as they manifest in several different genres. For example, we will listen to Klezmer music, talk about the music elements that make it unique, consider the cultural context of the music, and even try to play and sing simple melodies. Other genres include Indian Carnatic violin, Arabic oud, American spirituals, Javanese Gamelan orchestra, West African drum
Sandpiper Choir is a new addition to our music program this year. This choir will rehearse once a week for grades K – 2 and will be under the direction of Hazel Ketchum with Bob Culver accompanying. In Sandpiper Choir students will learn how to match pitch and produce tones. Students will also learn breath control, ensemble singing, vocal techniques, and repertoire. The repertoire will be gathered from traditional American songs, the Cooper School CD “Say Darlin Say”, movies and theatrical shows, camp songs and more. Songs will reflect the vocal level and healthy development of young voices.
Indigo Choir has been a choir singing class at The Cooper School for the past ten years. Indigo Choir was developed to address older children’s voices grades 3 – 5. This choir will be directed by Hazel Ketchum and accompanied by Bob Culver. Students learn harmony singing, ear training, vocal development, vocal exercises, breath exercises, blending, tone, style and how to follow a conductor. Repertoire includes Sandpiper repertoire and more intricate Indigo Choir repertoire that includes harmonization. Indigo Choir has two rehearsals weekly. One rehearsal is dedicated to the preparation for the Valentine’s Concert and one is a more relaxed group
Middle School students will participating in our brand new Strings program. Fifth and Sixth graders will be introduced to and begin instruction on violin. Students will learn to or enhance already learned skills in reading music, rhythm ensemble playing and ear training.