Middle School Music

Students focus on developing their musical creativity through playing percussion instruments, keyboards and singing. They listen to all kinds of music from around the world and build on their elementary school lessons to learn more about rhythm, melody and harmony. The emphasis is less on instrumental technique and more on developing the student’s creativity through composition and improvisation.

In Sixth grade - we explore drum circles and body percussion, as well as, using Orff instruments to play pieces together and create our own pieces. We also sing and create our own lyrics and songs inspired by what we learn. Students are asked to notice their environment – whether by taking walks or listening to a piece of music and becoming more aware of the elements of music and how music is everywhere if we are listening.

In Seventh grade - more music-making and compositional techniques are explored. This year we listened to and created our own counterpoint duets and 12 bar blues. The idea is that all students regardless of actual musical technique may find a way to engage in the activities and express themselves. Singing is used, but often combined with instrument playing or creative lyric writing.

In Eighth grade - we began working on building ensemble and then often worked in small groups. We used stories to inspire us as we asked the question, “How does music help tell a story?”

Ideally if a student begins the program in 6th grade, by 8th grade they are free and ready to be working as a class in creating their own music/dance/theater piece drawing on techniques and experiences in the previous year.

The ETA Faculty collaborate to give the 7th and 8th graders opportunities to work on projects cross discipline.

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