7th grade general music classes consist of 5 main units:
Keyboard Performance, Guitar Performance, Theory, Composition and The American Musical.
Performance - The piano / electric keyboard unit continues our 6th grade objectives with emphasis on using two hands independently. We will also introduce the use of chords, played by the left hand, to accompany melodies.
For Guitar we learn notes on all 6 strings so that melodies and chords can be played as well.
Theory lessons cover a thorough review of all Treble and Bass Clef notes. We discuss how chords are formed, starting with Major and minor triads in root position but also looking at inversions and 7th chords. Complex rhythm patterns are included in our review of note values, including sixteenth and dotted notes. For Guitar, the notation system called "Tablature" is introduced.
Creating - We currently use a cloud based program called Noteflight for our composition work. Students can access their work using their laptops at school or even at home - anywhere an internet connection is available! We focus on rhythm patterns as a starting point, to which we add a chord progression. Then melody is written to complement the chord choices and a percussion part is added as well.
Connecting - Students will watch a Musical in class as we discuss this form of theater that is so much a part of our American heritage. For 7th grade we have chosen "West Side Story", which features the music of renowned composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein.
We use the National Core Arts Standards for assessment. Individual assessments for each student can be found on our "Jumprope" grade reporting system.