Music as a form of creativity may feel like common sense, but at Sea Crest, it is also an expression of three of our other four C’s: curiosity, compassion, and courage. From our Kindergarteners developing tools to explore their curiosity about instruments and sound, to our middle school students demonstrating courage every time they perform for the lower school Friday assemblies, a focus on music helps to engage the whole child. By working in concert with one another to make music and explore music from the world, students develop compassion.
Our music program wouldn’t be possible without Mr. Marcus Cooper. Mr. Cooper is in his third year at Sea Crest, where he leads our K-8 music classes as a part of the overall enrichment program. Owning the curriculum from start to end allows Mr. Cooper to help students build from year to year. We also wouldn’t be able to have our showcase events without him. Last December, our Winter Showcase was dedicated to color with each grade providing a different and colorful musical performance.
These performances emerge largely from our music enrichment classes which flex for our different grade levels.
Grades K- 2
With our youngest children, the music program explores simple instruments and performs short skits and nursery rhymes. Currently, these students are exploring the xylophone and percussion. Through the Orff approach, students have also participated in singing a range of folk songs from around the world and learned fundamentals of movement. The music curriculum is also tied to the grade-level nature curriculum, learning about critters like birds, bees, caterpillars, butterflies and snails.
Students begin to master different instruments in the second half of their primary years. Our Third Grade students began studying the soprano recorder this year, applying their practice to written notation. This trimester, those classes have begun combining both the recorder and xylophones to prepare for larger pieces. At the same time, our Fourth Graders progressed through a series of movement lessons in the first trimester and have recently begun their exploration of the ukulele. Next, they will progress through folks songs and songs in odd meters. Our Fifth Grade students have worked through a variety of scales on the xylophone and will soon pick instruments that they will focus on for the remainder of the year. Choices include: guitar, bass guitar, piano, voice, drums and keyboard.
In middle school, music becomes an elective, allowing for an experience that is even more driven by individual student interest and passion. Students select and practice full arrangements and share them with the school community. Just last week, students completed their first pop song “Happier,” performing at the K-5 assembly.
Looking forward, students will progress through “High Hopes” by Panic At The Disco. If you noticed, the selected songs also support the social and emotional learning topics we discuss with our students.
Mr. Cooper also offers passion-based enrichment classes as part of the school’s extended day program. Both Pop Choir and Rock Band are going very well this winter. Students have prepared a fun repertoire of songs, including pieces by Adele, Gorillaz, Muse and songs from The Greatest Showman and A Star Is Born. Please stay tuned for our Spring Tour!