6-8 Music

December 6, 2019 | Jessica Smith

Instructor: Dr. Jessica Smith

Course Description

Middle School students attend general music classes on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Over the course of the year, classes will include singing, playing instruments, improvisation, composition, music notation, theory, analyzing and evaluating music and connecting music to history and culture. Students will be graded based on participation and engagement, musical literacy, instrumental and vocal skills, attendance, group projects, written work, and quizzes. Homework may be assigned at various points during the year. All students are expected to perform in the spring concert on May 15, 2020.

Participation & Attendance

The best way to learn music is by making music, writing music, and listening to music! Students are expected to attend class regularly and participate fully by singing, playing, composing, listening, and analyzing. Students are expected to come to class prepared and on time.

Course Content

The year will begin with a study of rhythm and world music drumming. Students will play a variety of percussion instruments. They will read and write rhythmic notation and will work on their ensemble playing skills.

In the winter, students will study the musical West Side Story. They will consider the plot and musical setting in preparation for a field trip on Wednesday, March 18, to see West Side Story on Broadway.

In the spring, students will continue to deepen their understanding of the elements of music and work on musical literacy as they learn to play the ukulele. Areas of skill will include singing, picking, strumming, and playing chords.

During the year students will take a field trip to attend a music performance.

Opportunities for Leadership

There are many ways for students to serve in leadership roles. Students with more experience playing instruments and reading music will be encouraged to help students with less experience as appropriate. There will also be opportunities for students to help lead music in worship and opportunities for students who take private lessons or have particular talents to play or sing musical offerings during worship.

Contact Information for Jessica Smith

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. The best way to reach me is by email at [email protected].

Jessica Smith

Music Teacher, Preschool and Grades 6-8; Worship Coordinator

With more than 20 years experience teaching music in a variety of settings from elementary to college, Dr. Jessica Smith has a deep love for music education, integrated arts curriculum, world music, and worship.
In 2017, Smith traveled to Ghana to study West African drumming and dance as part of a fellowship from Fund for Teachers. In 2015, she completed four years of training to become a Guild Certified Feldenkrais™ Practitioner, a method that uses neuroscience and movement as a catalyst for potent learning. As a clinician, Smith has led workshops in vocal studies and drum circle facilitation. Before coming to Mustard Seed School in 2008, Smith was the Director of Preparatory & Continuing Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where she also served as a Visiting Professor.

Dr. Smith enjoys traveling and spending too much money on plants at the Union Square Greenmarket.

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