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Introduction

Aims of Music in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme

The aims of all MYP subjects state what a teacher may expect to teach and what a student may expect to experience and learn. These aims suggest how the student may be changed by the learning experience.
 
The aims of MYP music are to encourage and enable students to:
  • Create and present music
  • Develop skills specific to the discipline
  • Engage in a process of creative exploration and (self-) discovery
  • Make purposeful connections between investigation and practice
  • Understand the relationship between art and its contexts
  • Respond to and reflect on music
  • Deepen their understanding of the world
Through music and the arts, people explore the emotional nature of human life. By learning to perceive music with more sophistication, people learn to respond with more depth to the wide range of human emotion that gives life significance and meaning.
 
In performing ensembles, this “education of feeling” is accomplished by helping students create high-quality performances of music in many styles. As students become discriminating performers and listeners, they respond more fully and deeply to music’s expressive power.

Courses

7th Grade Choir

The seventh grade choir is a vocal singing ensemble for all students who have an interest in singing in a group setting. Culminating performances are a meaningful and mandatory component of this ensemble. No audition is necessary, but an interest in singing and musical work ethic are required. This choir is a yearlong commitment, and rehearsals occur during the school day.

8th Grade Choir

The eighth grade choir is a vocal singing ensemble available for students who audition and who are preparing for high school level singing literature. This group is reserved for students who have adequate music reading skills and proficient singing technique. Sight reading skills will be developed, and performances outside of the normal school setting such as large group contest occur on a regular basis.

7th & 8th Grade Orchestra

The Shaker Heights Middle School orchestra provides exciting musical experiences for students who play violin, viola, cello, string bass, piano, or harp. Daily class rehearsals involve learning about instrument mechanics, sound production, tuning, scales in various keys, fingering, and numerous concepts including ensemble techniques in the basic musical elements of rhythm, harmony, melody, and style. Preparation for performances in assemblies, school concerts, and community settings fosters group skills in listening, awareness, cooperation, and responsibility. Additional opportunities to work in small ensembles of duets, trios, and quartets assist in the development of critical listening skills, creativity of expression, and continued musical growth.

7th & 8th Grade Symphonic Winds

The 7th and 8th Grade Symphonic Winds consist of students in their third and fourth years of instruction. Membership is by band director recommendation. It is highly recommended that the symphonic students study privately on their instruments so that they can master the advanced literature performed with the group. These ensembles are designed to have ideal instrumentation and balance. These bands routinely perform music from the Ohio Music Education Association’s Middle School class A through High School class B level. The Symphonic Winds perform music from a variety of styles and time periods. The Symphonic Winds perform in scheduled evening concerts for the public in the fall, winter, and spring. Students in these groups are encouraged to participate in the Shaker Chamber Music Festival and OMEA sponsored Honors band.

7th & 8th Grade Concert Winds

The 7th and 8th Grade Concert Winds consist of students in their third and fourth years of instruction. Membership in these groups is determined by band director recommendation. These ensembles are designed to develop and nurture the student’s emerging musical skills. The Concert Winds also provide an opportunity for students to transfer instruments for the purpose of improving the balance and instrumentation of the band. This band routinely performs music from the Ohio Music Education Association’s Middle School A through High School class C level. It is highly recommended that students in this band study privately on their instruments due to the challenging nature of the literature performed with the group. The 7th and 8th Grade Concert Winds perform music from a variety of styles and time periods. The bands perform in scheduled concerts for the public in the fall, winter, and spring.

7th & 8th Grade Concert Bands

The 7th Grade and 8th Grade Concert Bands are composed of students in their second, third, and fourth years of instruction. Membership in these bands is determined by instrumentation and each student’s individual contribution. The Concert Bands place an emphasis on the fundamentals of musicianship and band performance, with opportunities to transfer instruments to improve the balance and instrumentation of the band. The Concert Bands perform music from a variety of styles and time periods as well as literature from the Ohio Music Education Associations’ Middle School class B and C levels. The bands perform scheduled concerts for the public in the fall, winter and spring.

7th & 8th Grade Jazz Ensembles

The 7th and 8th Grade Jazz Ensembles rehearse a minimum of 90 minutes per week. These classes provide students with the opportunity to study and perform music within the jazz idiom, including swing, blues, rock, ballads, shuffles, waltzes, funk, and fusion styles. All students will develop the fundamentals of the art of improvisation and will have the opportunity to solo within the jazz group. Performances can include jazz festivals, middle school assemblies, elementary school field trips, jazz clinics, and the Shaker band department’s “Evening of Jazz.” Membership is open to students enrolled in the middle school bands who play a standard jazz instrument (Alto, Tenor, or Baritone Saxophone; Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Piano, Drums, Electric Guitar, and Bass Guitar).