Middle School Music

Department:  Middle School

The goal of the Waterford music program is to teach students how to love music in all its form, preparing them for a lifetime of enjoyment and added enrichment. The best way to develop a deep love for music is to know what musicians know, and to do what musicians do. Through detailed interaction with the art form in one of several performance ensembles, Waterford students sharpen their musical perception and sensitivity, while also building skill as musicians. Students study music history and music theory, but most importantly they perform the great music of the world as singers, instrumentalists, and composers.

Music: MS VI Chorus
Students explore their individual talents and potential as it relates to ensemble singing of many different styles of vocal music.  Drawing heavily on Kodaly-based training, they acquire and develop the listening, singing, reading and interpretive skills which are required of confident and successful performers.  As each choir develops its own identity, students gain facility in cultivating group unity and individual responsibility.

Music: MS VI Strings
The students develop beginning string techniques, which include posture, bow grip, note reading, rhythm, different bow articulation and good intonation.  Working together as an ensemble is very important. Often this is the student's first experience playing with a group. Listening to each other and working to blend tone and quality of sound will be the focus during the year.

Music: MS VI Woodwinds
Class VI woodwinds students study techniques of tone production, with emphasis on embouchure and breathing.  Playing ability is enhanced by learning proper finger position, posture, articulation, and listening skills. Basic musicianship and literacy improve with the study of rhythms, music theory, and ensemble skills of intonation, dynamics, and blend. Both classical and jazz repertoire is studied and performed. Performances include concerts, student assemblies, and in-class presentations.

Music: MS VI Brass
Brass VI students develop fundamental playing skills on their instruments such as embouchure formation, breathing, posture, articulation, fingering, range, timbre, reading, and rhythm.  The class experience helps the students develop their new instrumental "voice" through a process of imitation, experimentation, and thoughtful listening and evaluation. As members of a musical ensemble, the students learn to deal with the challenges of playing in tune and blending with one another.  The study of music theory and terminology enhances the students' ability to think and perform musically.

Music: MS Strings
String students continue to focus on intonation and quality of sound, both as an individual and as an ensemble.  String technique becomes much more challenging with the introduction of shifting, vibrato, position work and much more difficult bow technique.  Emphasis is placed on ensemble playing and improving their overall musicianship.

Music: MS Percussion
The middle school percussion program focuses on basic percussion skills. Students spend a majority of the sectional time working on music reading and technique. Basic knowledge of snare drum and mallet instruments is the primary content of the sectional part of this class. Auxiliary instruments and timpani are incorporated throughout the year. Music fundamentals are stressed and the basic theory of music is emphasized as it applies to each instrument. The percussion students work on band literature and focus on basic ensemble skills with a larger group of musicians. While working with the band percussionists are given the opportunity to play a wide variety of percussion instruments. The musical application of the basic knowledge students have gained culminates in a performance each term with the band.

Music: MS Girls Chorus
Students explore their individual talents and potential as it relates to ensemble singing of many different styles of vocal music.  Drawing heavily on Kodaly-based training, they acquire and develop the listening, singing, reading and interpretive skills which are required of confident and successful performers.  As each choir develops its own identity, students gain facility in cultivating group unity and individual responsibility.

Music: MS Boys Chorus
Students explore their individual talents and potential as it relates to ensemble singing of many different styles of vocal music.  Drawing heavily on Kodaly-based training, they acquire and develop the listening, singing, reading and interpretive skills which are required of confident and successful performers.  As each choir develops its own identity, students gain facility in cultivating group unity and individual responsibility.

Music: MS Winds and Brass
Wind Ensemble students enhance their abilities as instrumentalists both individually, through studying music that is both challenging and satisfying, and collectively, as integral members of a large ensemble.  Although a good portion of the curriculum deals with instrumental technique, the students begin shifting their attention outwardly as they consider how their individual voice functions within the larger musical picture.  To achieve this end, special attention is given to intonation, blend, and linear function. Through studying the elements of music, the students gain a clearer understanding of, and a greater appreciation for, the art of music.