Music

Music in the Lower School is based on the Kodály Concept, a comprehensive, sequential, experience-based program used to develop basic musical skills and to teach the reading and writing of music. From lullabies, childhood chants, folk songs, singing games and dances, to the music of master composers, students sing, move, listen, and respond to an ever-increasing repertoire of music, from which musical elements and concepts to be learned are derived. All students are taught to play the soprano recorder beginning in fourth grade.

Kindergarten

One of the primary goals of music instruction in Kindergarten is to foster of love of music in each student. By participating in active music-making experiences, children are led to discover musical elements and develop skills, leading to another primary goal: musical literacy. Students learn to recognize and demonstrate their singing voice; gain awareness of personal space through movement; demonstrate cooperation and listening skills; and become confident performers as they sing at the Spring Assembly and dance at our May Day celebration.

First Grade

First grade students work on basic musical skills, learn to read and write music and continue to develop a joy of singing, dancing and playing together. They review familiar concepts and learn a variety of songs, play parties, singing games, rhymes and dances. We explore music through American folk song, learning melodic elements, including sol, mi and la and rhythmic elements (ta, ti-ti, and rest). We connect to the classroom curriculum by hearing and learning music of Native America and of different countries in Africa. Additional musical concepts are woven into our music lessons such as form, listening, singing canons, performing ostinati, pitch matching and group singing. We also continue to develop social skills by working with partners and cooperating in groups.

Second Grade

Second graders work on basic musical skills, learn to read and write music and continue to develop a joy of singing, dancing and playing together. They review familiar concepts and learn a variety of songs, play parties, singing games, rhymes and dances. We explore music through American folk song, learning melodic elements, including the pentatone (do, re, mi, sol, la) and rhythmic elements (ta, ti-ti, ta-ah and rest). We connect to the classroom curriculum by hearing and learning music of Native America and of different countries in Africa. Additional musical concepts are woven into our music lessons such as form, listening, singing canons, performing ostinati, pitch matching and group singing. We also continue to develop social skills by working with partners and cooperating in groups.

Third Grade

Throughout the year, students continue to develop confidence and improved technique in singing and proficiency in matching pitch individually and in a group. Students learn to perform part work by singing partner songs, two- and three-part rounds and canons, and performing melodic and rhythmic ostinati. Students learn the new rhythm "tibi-tibi" and extend their skills in melodic reading and writing by singing, using hand signs, reading and writing in stick notation, and reading staff notation in F, G and C positions. Third graders learn more advanced songs, dances, games and activities, requiring responses to multi-step directions. Working individually and as a group, they demonstrate cooperation and respect for others in all class activities.

Fourth Grade

Fourth graders continue using the Kodaly Concept, a comprehensive program to train basic musical skill and teach the reading and writing of music and develop a joy of singing, dancing and playing together. Students build on what they've learned, adding the melodic elements low la and low so and 16th notes and dotted rhythms to their rhythmic repertoire. Their repertoire of part-singing expands with more difficult rounds and partner songs, as well as reading in two parts. This is the year the students begin playing the soprano recorder using the absolute note naming system. Listening skills are honed through examples of symphonic, choral and folk music. The dance program continues with learning to square dance, and social skills are reinforced through small-group dances and ensemble work. As in the earlier grades, the primary goal is to foster independence, enjoyment and confidence in singing, moving and playing music.

Fifth Grade

The fifth grade students continue using the Kodaly Concept, a comprehensive program to train basic musical skill and teach the reading and writing of music to develop a joy of singing, dancing and playing together. Students add syncopation to their rhythmic repertoire and solidify the melodic concepts learned in previous years. Repertoires are expanded through of part-singing with longer and more difficult rounds as well as part songs. The students also continue playing the soprano recorder, using the absolute note naming system, and playing duets and ensemble pieces. Listening skills are enhanced by analyzing symphonic, choral and world musics. The students continue square dancing and moving expressively to music, solidifying social skills by working cooperatively in dance groups and small ensembles.

Computer coding is an interactive, hands-on pursuit at Foote. For a third grade STEM project, students design robots using LEGOs and program their movements using click-and-drag Scratch coding.