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    Philosophy: 
         Music has played an important role in cultures across the world for thousands of years. It is hard to say how far back in history music dates. Scientist have found pottery and drawings of instruments and dancers which were created before written language was even developed. Plato and Aristotle both wrote about the tremendous effect music could have on one's soul and how music was an important part of any education. The fact that music has existed in almost every society since the beginning of history suggests that music is more than a mode of entertainment. It is integral part of the human spirit.
        In our society, music is all around us. Music is everywhere, from video games to restaurants and from school buses to stores. Businesses use music to keep customers in the stores longer or to keep them entertained while holding on the telephone.  Advertisers use music to get our attention and to ingrain the name of their product in our memory.   Movies and television programs are more dramatic or exciting because of the musical soundtracks.  It's often said that a "picture is worth a thousand words." However, a picture set to music is priceless.
         With music being such a large part of our society, an understanding and appreciation of music is a vital part of any education. The best way to understand music is to actively participate in making music.  What better way to appreciate a concert pianist than to practice diligently on the piano and then show off your hard work by playing for your peers? Music should be more than just a spectator sport.

         Sixth grade students learn rhythm counting and note reading skills. They apply these skills to the piano and guitar.  Beginning piano students learn to play easy or moderate songs with left-hand chords.  Advanced pianists are taught how to use their knowledge of chords to create their own original left-hand accompaniment parts and begin to chord by ear.  On guitar, students start with simple melodies and then quickly move to three-string and six-string chords.   Sixth graders will also use their keyboard skills when composing with Apple’s GarageBand.   Throughout the year, we listen to music from a variety of genres. Students learn how to discuss music using the Elements of Music. 

         Seventh grade music builds upon the skills developed in 6th grade.  Students will learn to play more complex music on piano or guitar.  For their midyear composition project, students compose a movie soundtrack for a short film clip using Apple’s GarageBand.  A main focus in seventh grade will be popular genres of the 20th century.  Students will explore the question, “How is music affected by society and how is society influenced by music?”

         My hope is that students' experiences give them two things.  First, they leave with enough information that later in life that they could pick up a piece of music and sing it from sight or play it .  Second, I hope they leave with the motivation to try.

    Please note that all assessments are done on a 4-point scale.