Music Curriculum

Highlights by grade:
  • Kindergarten & 1st: By the end of 1st grade, students will have a song repertoire of over fifty songs. Along with learning music concepts students will identify instruments by sign and sound. Great works for this age are Carnival of Animals by Camille Saint-Saens, Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg, and Hansel & Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck. Students will play classroom instruments, sing/play circle songs which practice social skills, develop ear training, allow for creativity, and foster teamwork.
  • 2nd Grade: Builds on the 50+ songs learned in the earlier grades. At this age students are developmentally able to add accompaniments using Orff instruments to their singing. They read rhythms and expand on music terminology. Students are exposed to Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.
  • 3rd Grade: Focuses on songs around the world. We discuss the value of differences between peoples. Within this realm, students add musical instruments to many of the songs they sing.
  • 4th Grade: Songfest! Songfest generally happens in late February/early March. The 4th graders from all the Diocesan Catholic Schools gather to put on a wonderful concert. Students also begin recorder. Recorder is a great way to learn notes and rhythms to prepare for band.
  • 5th Grade: Focuses on songs which coincide with U.S. history. We prepare for a trip to the Grand Rapids Symphony which generally happens in late February/early March
  • 6th Grade: Explores the forms of music (theme and variation, sonata, etc.) Student song literature includes Broadway songs and a unit on American composers (George & Ira Gerswhin, Wood Guthrie, Stephen Foster, Scott Joplin, Aaron Copland)
  • 7th & 8th Grade: Focuses on reading and performing music. Students play handchimes (similar to playing handbells). Chimes are a great way for students to reading music and work as a musical team. Students are exposed to more complex rhythms and terminology. Students will do a poster/listening example/verbal report on a composer from a provided list. In the spring, both grades share a favorite (appropriate) song using musical terminology in their presentations. Reports will have guidelines to insure student success.
All students will review patriotic songs in May in honor of Memorial Day. Songs and verse are added as students progress through grade levels.