“They Keep Singing This Song!”

by Mr. Nathan Jones, Elementary Music Director

I’ve heard that statement from many parents since school started back in August. That’s great to hear! Everyone loves music—singing it, moving to it, playing it—even just listening to it. Here are some ways that we’re helping our students love music in new ways this year.

A New Method

This year, I implemented a teaching method called “Gordon’s Music Learning Theory.” That’s just a fancy term for teaching music like we do language. We’re singing from two new books with hundreds of folk songs from around the world. Most are short—30 seconds or less—but students love to sing them over and over. This helps them learn facets of music that they don’t even realize they’re learning.

A New Technology

For Elementary instrumental music (3rd-4th grade recorders and Beginning Band), we introduced the SmartMusic© program.  This is a computer program that puts music on the screen, then “listens” to the students play, and shows them where they can improve. This has motivated our band students especially.  Students proclaim, “Let’s play it again to get a better score!”

New Instruments!

At the Eagle Auction this year, a gracious parent donated a set of South American and African instruments. These will be a great help as we perform multicultural versions of traditional Christmas songs at the Christmas Spectacular this year. We also plan to study Latin music this January as the students are learning about Latin literature through the “Reading Extravaganza.”  Our 3rd and 4th graders are also learning to play the recorder, which helps the transition from singing to playing band instruments when they get to the 5th grade.

A New Focus for 5th and 6th Grades

This year, our 5th and 6th grades have been focusing on how to perform and read music. Not only that, but we’ve taken breaks from our normal schedule once a month to take a look at music from history. We’ve studied Ancient and Medieval music already, and next is music from the Renaissance.

Consistent Mission

Our Fine Arts Department is such an enjoyable and vital aspect of fulfilling our mission to “help parents raise their children to live effectively in God’s world.”  Music can be used in so many ways in people’s lives for God’s glory.  Come out and see what our students have learned at our Christmas Spectacular concert on December 8th!

Jonathan Lambeth