Teaching K-4 General Music in a Classical School

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  • #108098

    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    Greetings Fellow Music Educators!

    My name is Cathy Letkeman, and I am a K-3 general music teacher @ Leman Academy of Excellence (Marana, AZ), a public charter school which focuses on Classical Education. I am reaching out to those of you who teach general music at a Classical school. A question I’ve been wrestling with is “What does it look like to have a distinctly Classical general music program? How is it different from a regular general music program?” (Or IS it different? Should it be?) Has anyone found (or created! :)) curricular materials that are effective for teaching general music in a Classical context?

    What I would love to see is curricular materials that have the following components:

    1. A listening program organized by historical era that provides not only composers & pieces to study, but correlating musical activities such as composition, dance,critical listening/analysis & cross-curricular connections (history, geography, art, etc.)

    2. A repertoire of choral, Orff & recorder arrangements for young children (K-4) of pieces representative of the various historical eras

    I am looking forward to my summer break so I can sit down and perhaps create some of the above types of materials, (or launch a more thorough search for some) but if I don’t have to re-invent the wheel…. 🙂 As I get older, I am beginning to understand the benefit of working smarter instead of harder. (not always successful here, but I’m trying! :))

    #108242

    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    Hi, Cathy!

    I am not overly familiar with the Classical Schools movement. Upon a general reading, they do not seem to specifically address music education at all. That can be frustrating but at the same time, it can be freeing as well. If the program itself has not taken it upon themselves to specify what a music program should look like in their school, you have the freedom to create the best music learning environment for your students!

    I think that is what you should focus on. Build the best, most developmentally appropriate music learning environment for your students that honors the premise your school is founded on. Back up your educational choices with sound reasoning and solid research. Show the link to the program you school is based on but never compromise your teaching in a developmentally and musical way to fit any program.

    Great teaching is great teaching. And great music teaching can thrive in many different types of schools. I hope someone with specific experiences in the Classical School model chimes in as well with some more specific tips. But the best I can give you is to establish a quality music program first and foremost. The students gaining musical knowledge and skills should fit in nicely to any learning environment.

    Best of luck to you!!!

    Dr. Amy K. Anderson
    SW Representative, NAfME Council for General Music Education

    #110715

    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    Amy, what a wonderful response! Yes to all above, and, remember the best pedagogical approaches to actively engage the learner.

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