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MUSIC
OVERVIEW AND OBJECTIVES.
The main goal of the Music department is to foster the musical development of each individual student. We strive to develop self-motivated musicians who want to continue life-long learning, pursue excellence and make a difference in their world, regardless of their decision to pursue music as a profession. The music department encourages and develops individual as well as collective musical, artistic and intellectual development. In addition, the music department at CPFA provides all students with a musically academic environment rich in opportunities for personal growth, musical interaction and community service utilizing their talents and gifts.

The rigorous training in the Music department includes vocal as well as instrumental music classes in small ensemble settings. Students are welcome to take any or all classes in vocal musicianship, technique and performance; piano keyboard; wind and brass instruments (clarinet, flute, oboe, sax, trumpet, etc.); string instruments (violin, viola, cello, etc.); acoustic guitar; digital music composition; and advanced music theory.

Students learn to utilize the principles of effective practice techniques, care of instruments, healthy development of vocal chords, and musicianship. All students learn to read music or enhance their sight-reading skills. Ear training is an important component to the multi-faceted curriculum. Theory is incorporated into all classes.

Course Offerings

Middle School - Piano Skills and Technique
Students in Piano keyboard class develop strong technical keyboard skills as well as broad musical knowledge. The course covers how to perform on the piano, interpret basic musical notation, how to define and use musical terms, to discuss the various stylistic periods of musical history and understand how to practice effectively. This course offers a wide range of musical topics, and it is expected that the students will develop musicianship in the art of piano playing through technique exercises, sight reading, harmonization and repertoire appropriate to level. With our small class sizes combined with a concentrated focus, we are able to work closely with students who possess a vast array of piano experience.

Middle School - Applied String Instruments
Students in Applied String Instruments begin or continue formal study of a bowed string instrument (violin, viola, cello, string bass). Students study proper tone production and articulation, extended range (shifting or upper octave work), technical vocabulary (major and minor scales and arpeggios), music reading skills, ensemble playing techniques, proper use of vibrato, and proper music practice etiquette. Students also explore music theory and improvisation by arranging and composing their own music, using traditional and electronic mediums. Students master content knowledge by performing alone and in small ensembles during class, by completing assigned assessment activities, and by performing publicly in our Instrumental Music concerts in both the winter and spring.

Middle School - Applied Wind Instruments
Students in Applied Wind Instruments begin or continue formal study of a wind instrument from either the woodwind or brass family. Students build a strong base of knowledge in mechanics and maintenance, proper tone production and articulation, technical vocabulary (major scales, arpeggios), music reading skills, ensemble playing techniques, and proper music practice etiquette. Students master content knowledge by performing alone and in small ensembles during class, by completing assigned assessment activities, and by performing publicly in our Instrumental Music concerts in both the winter and spring.

Middle School - Orchestra Ensemble
Students continue formal study of a either bowed string instrument (violin, viola, cello, string bass) or wind instrument (woodwind or brass). Students will work to develop and enhance proper tone production and articulation, extended range (shifting or upper octave work), technical vocabulary (major and minor scales and arpeggios), beginning to advanced music reading skills, beginning to advanced ensemble playing techniques, proper use of vibrato, and proper music practice etiquette. Students also explore music theory and improvisation by arranging and composing their own music, using traditional and electronic mediums. Students master content knowledge by performing alone and in small ensembles during class, by completing assigned assessment activities, and by performing publicly in Instrumental Music concerts in both the winter and spring.

Middle School - Guitar Skills and Technique
Guitar Skills and Technique teaches students how to perform and read music on the guitar. The course requires students to learn basic music theory and composition in relation to the guitar. Various styles of music are studied, including rock, jazz, classical guitar and blues. An introduction to improvisation is included during the course. Students are required to perform in group recitals.

Middle School - Vocal Technique and Training
Vocal Technique and Training provides training for the singer as both an individual and an ensemble member. Students study proper vocal technique, including breathing and vowel placement as well as develop basic music reading skills. Additionally, students are exposed to the concepts of stage presence, performance practice, concert etiquette, and audition techniques. Vocal repertoire from a variety of genres, time periods, and cultures is learned for both solo singing and ensemble singing. Eventually, students explore the concepts of intonation, vocal blend and balance, and how to follow a conductor. Students develop their understanding of emotional and personal connection to music as it relates to performance. Additionally, the class continues to build on music reading skills, focusing on rhythmic, melodic, and intervallic sight reading and ear training development. Choral repertoire from a variety of genres, time periods, and cultures is studied, including music in foreign languages. Enrollment in this class requires participation in two outside rehearsals and concerts (winter and spring) per school year.

High School - Piano Musicianship and Performance
Students learn and/or refine how to perform fluently on the piano. Students also learn to interpret basic musical notation, define and use fundamental musical terms, discuss the various stylistic periods of musical history and understand how to practice effectively. This course offers a wide-ranging base of knowledge, and it is expected that the students develop musicianship in the art of piano playing through technique exercises, sight reading, harmonization and repertoire appropriate to level.

High School - Chamber Orchestra
Students continue formal study of a bowed string instrument (violin, viola, cello, string bass or woodwind/brass instrument). Students continue their study of proper tone production and articulation, extended range (shifting or upper octave work), technical vocabulary (major and minor scales and arpeggios), intermediate to advanced music reading skills, intermediate to advanced ensemble playing techniques, proper use of vibrato, and proper music practice etiquette. Students also explore music theory and improvisation by arranging and composing their own music using traditional and electronic mediums. Students master content knowledge by performing alone and in small ensembles during class, by completing assigned assessment activities, and by performing publicly in our Instrumental Music concerts in both the winter and spring.

High School - Guitar Technique and Fundamentals of Music Theory
This course teaches students how to perform and read music on the guitar. It also requires students to learn basic music theory and composition in relation to the guitar. Various styles of music are studied, including rock, jazz, classical guitar and blues. An introduction to improvisation is included during the course. Students are required to perform in group recitals.

High School - Jazz Guitar Performance and Theory
The book Melodic Rhythms for Guitar by Bill Leavitt is utilized in order to teach the students how to read complex rhythmic patterns in standard type melodies. This book emphasizes placing rhythm within the melodies on off beats, thereby making a basic melody more complex than normal. This book also introduces much more complex jazz chord progressions which the students are required to perform. Students are expected to read and perform all melodies given in all jazz standards. Also the students are required to play the arpeggios of all triads and 7th chords. In this class we learn how to perform more modal chord constructs, i.e. upper structure triads as well as voice leading chord tones in contrast to just playing the block shapes of given chords. This allows the student to see how to create chords using multiple melodies and classical voice leading techniques. Students learn how to break away from scale patterns and start to identify and use chord tones as the primary pitches for their solos. Students learn how to perform a solo guitar jazz standard. They incorporate melody, chords and a bass line within a chosen jazz standard tune to be performed at one of the recitals. Each student has his or her own classical guitar piece to learn and also perform at the recital.

High School - Advanced Guitar Performance
The objective of this course is to create a highly accomplished guitarist who can perform almost any music given on the guitar. This course is focused primarily on reading and performing complex music. Composing and arranging for guitar will be added to the advanced study of guitar introduced in Jazz Guitar Performance and Theory.

High School - Digital Music Composition
Digital Music Composition is the study of music using technology as a tool to capture, manipulate, edit, record and reproduce music. Students taking this course do not have to be able to read music notation or have any extensive performing background, but need to be willing to learn to use computer software and be willing to learn how to compose their own original musical sounds and work with partners. Students learn about rhythm, pitch, melody, harmony, form, and expression by completing solo and team projects utilizing MixCraft 5, Moodle, and other computer software and web-based tools.

High School - Vocal Development Sight Singing and Ear Training
Vocal Development: Ear Training and Sight Singing highlights proper vocal technique as it relates to small group and individual singing, with a focus on music reading and aural training. Students develop rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic sight singing and dictation skills, as well as understand intervals both aurally and visually. The concepts of intonation, vocal blend and balance, and how to follow a conductor are explored, and students develop their understanding of emotional and personal connection to music as it relates to performance. Vocal repertoire from a variety of genres, time periods, and cultures is studied, including music in foreign languages. Enrollment in this class requires participation in two outside rehearsals and concerts (winter and spring) per school year. Students have the opportunity to perform individually, in small groups (duets, trios, quartets), and as a full ensemble. Through these varying opportunities, students learn proper concert/performance etiquette as well as how to sing freely and expressively in a formal concert setting.

High School - AP Music Theory
This course is designed for students who plan on entering the collegiate level as music majors. Students in this course must have either studied music theory or have demonstrated an adept ability to read and write musical notation. Dictation, solfege syllables in major and minor keys and composition are incorporated into the curriculum. In addition, students learn how to use a tuning fork and present to the class on a given problematic issue in the study of music theory. The student must have, at minimum, basic keyboard skills in order to be successful at this level. 

Remote Access Digital Studio - Instrumental Music
Students in CPFA Remote Access Music classes engage in an individualized course of study in instrumental music performance, all done online from any location in the Commonwealth. Students are required to practice on their own regularly as they learn effective practice techniques. Students utilize currently available technology to record performances for assessment by the CPFA music staff. The course is designed to allow students to work at their own pace through the available course material, which includes exercises, performing repertoire, music theory, ear training, and music composition. Students are required to meet in an online class chat with the instructors a minimum of four times per marking period. They also have the option of participating in on-site residency programs, including participation in Winter and Spring Instrumental Music concerts.

Remote Access Digital Studio - Vocal Music
Students in CPFA Remote Access Music classes engage in an individualized course of study in vocal music performance, all done online from any location in the Commonwealth. The course covers vocal music of all styles including classical, Broadway, jazz, and pop. Students are required to practice on their own regularly as they learn effective practice techniques. Students utilize currently available technology to record performances for assessment by the CPFA music staff. The course is designed to allow students to work at their own pace through the available course material, which includes exercises, performing repertoire, music theory, ear training, and music composition. Students are required to meet in an online class chat with the instructors a minimum of four times per marking period. They also have the option of participating in on-site residency programs, including participation in our Winter and Spring Vocal Music concerts.



E-mail: music@palcs.org

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