Music at Infant Jesus School includes all students from Pre-K through sixth grade. The students have music class every week and are encouraged to join an extra group that meets before school. The songs that each grade work on become part the Spring Concert held during the last weeks of school.
Singing is a very natural activity. It is the first instrument for all. Pre-K and Kindergarten students sing many songs. The Pre-K class learns several nursery rhymes and action songs. The Kindergarten class learns many folks songs that include action and game activities.
During the First Grade the students learn the Kodaly Method of Solfege (Hand Signals). The students easily learn which hand signal belongs with which note of the scale, from Do to Do. They learn how to distinguish between the different notes while learning songs, as well as learning rounds and canons. During the school year they will use many percussion instruments to accompany their songs. They will also learn about Xylophones and how they are connected to the notes of the scale.
Second graders learn many songs and group movement activities are added. Percussion instruments are still used to accompany songs. The students use percussion instruments more with the goal of singing and playing at the same time. The focus moves to the whole body and how rhythm in music connects with beats in a dance.
The Third Grade is all about the recorder! Every third grader has their own recorder that is used in many classes as the students start to learn about the staff and how to read the notes. Songs become a new experience as the students sing songs and play notes on their instruments. They learn about different rhythmic patterns and how that adds to the song.
During the Fourth grade the students learn how sound is made. Vibrations are part of every sound, even their own voices. The students learn more songs and now add melodic accompaniment using keyboards and Boomwhackers. Folk songs play a big part in the choice of songs as they explore the different countries of the world. As a project for the class, each student creates his/her own instrument, either melodic or rhythmic, and they are used as part of the end of the year concert to accompany their songs.
Fifth graders are very busy musicians. They sing, dance, accompany their songs depending upon the selection of pieces. They learn to sing in two part harmony as well as becoming music detectives. The students learn how to navigate through a piece of music reading all of the symbols and responding to them. They watch videos on instrument construction, composition, and opera. The fifth graders spend several weeks learning about opera, who the composers were, what the librettos are about, and watch mini scenes from many well known productions.
The sixth grade is a culmination of all their years here at IJS. The students sing, play instruments, dance and learn about European Composers. The sixth graders also learn about different countries and the folk music that corresponds to that country. This ties in with their country projects from their social studies class. The students continue to sing in two parts and/or three part rounds. They spend several weeks learning about European Composers from the Baroque Period through the Romantic Period. The culminating project is completed by the students as they share information about several other composers from the 300 year period studied in class.