Middle School
MS Curriculum

Music

Given proper training and abundant encouragement, a young musician’s skills blossom during grades five through eight.
Performers in major ensembles have the opportunity to develop their individual potential in voice or instrumental music. Students enrolled in minor courses will learn more about the value and power of music in our society from a non-performance perspective. Embarking on a musical journey, Middle School students will deepen their understanding of musical language through thoughtful listening and collaborative performance with peers.

Fifth Grade Music Courses

List of 3 items.

  • Introduction to Band

    Open to students who wish to learn to play flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, or percussion, students enrolled in this class will develop expertise on their chosen instrument while learning the fundamentals of musical language. Students will receive group lessons three times per seven-day cycle and are expected to spend time reviewing their lessons at home. Additional private instruction is offered through the Hackley Music Institute after school or through referral to area music professionals.
  • Introduction to Chorus


    Students in this class work on fundamental choral skills such as tone production, pitch matching, intonation and part singing through the study of time honored musical exercises and tailor made repertoire. Singers are introduced to the idea of musical independence, learning to expand the “inner ear” and generate musical ideas from within. Emphasis is placed on developing a strong sense of relative pitch. Much of the work is done a cappella (without accompaniment) to help singers gain confidence in their own newly acquired skills. Whenever possible, the chorus will meet as two groups, split by gender so that the teachers may tailor instruction to the students’ different voices.
  • String Orchestra 5

    This course is open to any student who plays violin, viola, cello and string bass. Students learn the techniques of ensemble playing and proper rehearsal habits while reviewing the fundamentals of pitch and rhythm reading. Short works of major composers are performed. Private lessons are strongly encouraged.

Sixth Grade Music Courses

List of 3 items.

  • Band 6

    Open to students who play or would like to play flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, or percussion, the ensemble will perform elementary band materials, transcriptions of major classical works, and popular tunes. Students learn techniques of ensemble playing and good rehearsal habits. Students are expected to practice their band music at home. Private lessons are strongly encouraged and may be scheduled through the Hackley Music Institute or with an area music professional.
  • Chorus 6

    This course continues to develop choral skills, stage movement, diction and vocal technique while reinforcing and enhancing the fundamental musical skills acquired in fifth grade. Repertory is drawn from classical, folk and popular music. Curriculum also introduces some analysis of musical forms and styles and use of appropriate musical terminology. Whenever possible, the chorus will meet as two groups, split by gender so that the teachers may tailor instruction to the students’ different voices.
  • String Orchestra 6

    A continuation of String Orchestra 5, this course is open to any student who plays violin, viola, cello and string bass. Ensemble skills and rehearsal techniques are enhanced and fundamentals are reinforced as students prepare more challenging repertoire to suit the grade level.

Seventh Grade Music Courses

List of 5 items.

  • Chorus 7-8 (Major)

    This course is open to seventh and eighth grade students who have received sufficient choral or vocal training through participation in Introduction to Chorus, Chorus 6, or equivalent work at a previous school or with a private teacher. The five meeting times per seven-day cycle allows the opportunity for enhanced reading and ensemble skill development.
  • Concert Band 7-8 (Major)

    This course is open to seventh and eighth grade students who have received sufficient training on their chosen instrument (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, or percussion) through participation in instrumental programs in the fifth and sixth grade, or through equivalent experience at a previous school or with a private teacher. Students in this ensemble study works from the standard repertoire written for this age level while enhancing ensemble skills such as intonation, rhythmic accuracy, dynamics and tonal blend.
  • Orchestra 7-8 (Major)

    This course is open to seventh and eighth grade students who have received sufficient training on their chosen instrument (violin, viola, cello or string bass) through participation in instrumental programs in the fifth and sixth grade, or equivalent experience at a previous school or with a private teacher. Students in this ensemble study works from the standard repertoire written for this age level while enhancing ensemble skills such as intonation, rhythmic accuracy, dynamics and blend.
  • All Things Musical (Minor)

    This course offers a survey of musical genres and invites students to savor the universal appeal of music. After reviewing the elements of music, students will study a variety of historical styles and idioms, focusing on exemplary composers and performers who defined and transformed their musical worlds. They will consider ways in which music reflects and affirms cultural values, and they will learn about the use of music in therapeutic settings. Various composers in the Western classical music tradition will be considered, as well as major contributors to Jazz, Rock and Roll, Electronic Music, and students’ own cultural heritage.
  • Introduction to Musical Theater (Minor)

    This class explores the history and evolution of musical theatre in America. Students will learn about operettas, ballad operas, vaudeville, minstrel shows, and the emergence of what is now the traditional Broadway Show. Examples from the various time periods will be studied closely. Students will become familiar with the works of notable composers and lyricists, including Irving Berlin, Gilbert and Sullivan, Rogers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, and many others.

Eighth Grade Music Courses

List of 4 items.

  • Chorus 7-8 (Major)

    This course is open to seventh and eighth grade students who have received sufficient choral or vocal training through participation in Introduction to Chorus, Chorus 6, or equivalent work at a previous school or with a private teacher. The five meeting times per seven-day cycle allows the opportunity for enhanced reading and ensemble skill development.
  • Concert Band 7-8 (Major)

    This course is open to seventh and eighth grade students who have received sufficient training on their chosen instrument (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, or percussion) through participation in instrumental programs in the fifth and sixth grade, or through equivalent experience at a previous school or with a private teacher. Students in this ensemble study works from the standard repertoire written for this age level while enhancing ensemble skills such as intonation, rhythmic accuracy, dynamics and tonal blend.
  • Orchestra 7-8 (Major)

    This course is open to seventh and eighth grade students who have received sufficient training on their chosen instrument (violin, viola, cello or string bass) through participation in instrumental programs in the fifth and sixth grade, or equivalent experience at a previous school or with a private teacher. Students in this ensemble study works from the standard repertoire written for this age level while enhancing ensemble skills such as intonation, rhythmic accuracy, dynamics and blend.
  • Introduction to Musical Theatre (Minor)

    This class explores the history and evolution of musical theatre in America. Students will learn about operettas, ballad operas, vaudeville, minstrel shows, and the emergence of what is now the traditional Broadway Show. Examples from the various time periods will be studied closely. Students will become familiar with the works of notable composers and lyricists, including Irving Berlin, Gilbert and Sullivan, Rogers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, and many others.