Davis School is fortunate to have a large, dedicated space in which to learn and enjoy music. Students participate in weekly classes that combine activities including but not limited to singing, playing percussion instruments, improvising, dancing, creative movement, rhythmic games and dramatic play.
Learning on the elementary level is frequently intuitive and pre-intellectual. The focus is on active participation by everyone in the music making experience. This "hands on” approach also requires an environment based on mutual trust and respect. All music concepts taught in the upper grades are introduced in elementary school but often without explanation or labels. In this way, young students can be involved with more complex and satisfying materials. Explanations will come later at a time when they will be appreciated. Teaching in this manner values process over product. Fun and joyful music making is the ultimate goal.
In addition to focusing on the development of the basic elements of music (i.e. melody, rhythm, harmony, form and style) music classes integrate other subjects such as reading, social studies, science, history, literature and visual arts. Musical activities provide children with important experiences that can help them develop physical coordination, memory, visual, aural and language skills. The cultivation of important student traits such as concentration, discipline, social interaction, cooperation, critical thinking, spatial awareness, physical coordination and creative thinking allow music sessions to make valuable contributions across the curriculum.
For a more detailed explanation of the individual strands focused on in the elementary music classroom, please refer to the Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Frameworks.