A comprehensive understanding of musical concepts is promoted at each grade level with emphasis on rhythm, melody, dynamics, tempo, tone color, and notation. Students apply concepts and develop musical skills through singing and playing instruments. Listening skills are refined to aurally identify music and instruments from various historical periods, composers, and cultures. Music vocabulary strengthens the ability to analyze music and describe the elements and emotions that resonate with each individual.
Kindergarten through fourth grade explore all of these musical concepts through an Orff Schulwerk lens. The Orff Schulwerk motto is “Movement through Music, and Music through Movement.” Our music staff collaboratively design instruction to ensure that all students are able to experience music in its many facets. These grade levels also participate in choir each week with a focus on developing the singing voice, working together as a team, learning to follow a director’s cues, and gaining confidence in performing on stage.
All BCD fifth grade students participate in an Introduction to band course. Fifth grade students may elect during second trimester to choose either band or choir.
Middle School students are given the opportunity to participate in either a band or choir ensemble. Additionally, students can explore other musical offerings such as guitar, ukulele, music appreciation, songwriting, and other various choices. Students are also given the opportunity to audition for the BCD Bravura Bulldog Choir, a select performance group that rehearses outside of school hours.
BCD is in its third year of growing a full band program. Students begin classroom instruction of band in fifth grade. This beginning year focuses on learning one octave of notes on a wind instrument or xylophone and the following musical concepts: blending timbre, dynamic contrast, rhythm in duple and triple meter, articulation, and sight-reading.
As students continue into middle school, they are given the option to elect choir or band. Once a student selects band, his or her musical education will continue to cover the previously mentioned concepts, and add: repertoire of cultural diversity, intonation, complex syncopated rhythms, and improvisation.
Our foundational method book series is Sound Innovations. This method book fuses music theory and pedagogical concepts with ease, and helps prepare students to become lifelong musical learners. It comes with a “play along” accompaniment CD and an instructional DVD specialized to the student’s instrument.
To compliment technology in the classroom, the band program uses SmartMusic, an ingenious software that can monitor a student’s performance, practice, and sight reading. The software is equipped with a metronome and the ability to listen and follow the student through the exercise. SmartMusic provides a vast library of music literature of all playing levels and can be purchased and downloaded onto a student’s tablet for practice assistance at home.
For detailed information on the program, and acquiring a musical instrument, please see the BCD Band Handbook