National Standards for Music Education
How do I meet the National Standards for Music Education at the Abalonemoon Studio?
Singing alone and with others. – I often ask my students to sing parts of their pieces and match my pitches.
Performing on Instruments, Alone and with Others, a Varied Repertoire of Music. – This one is obvious. The students play alone but we also play duets and some Ensembles. I will be working towards more mixed Ensembles as the students grow.
Improvising Melodies, Variations, and Accompaniments;
Composing and Arranging Music within Specified Guidelines;
Reading and Notating Music. – All my students learn to read. They learn basic theory notation and this expands as their awareness does. A few students asked me about composing and I guided them to an inexpensive computer program (Finale/Notepad) they can use to compose at home and with friends. Two of them have been writing together. This program also reinforces notation skills. And experiments can be done with accompaniments to their melodies.
Listening to, Analyzing, and Describing Music;
Evaluating Music and Musical Performances. – Often in the lessons I will put on a piece for a student to listen to and also will play for them. We then discus what was heard in musical vocabulary that has been taught. I also encourage and assign music to be heard at home. Discussions in the family are a wonderful way to connect. Some of my families started a listening time on the weekend where they would all sit and listen and discuss what they heard, whether they liked it, how it made them feel, and even explored more of that composer’s works.
Understanding Relationships between Music And Other Arts, and Disciplines outside the Arts;
Understanding Music in Relationship to History and Culture:
I believe that experiencing movement (having had a dance background) is very important for ease of playing. I often incorporate movement exercises into lessons. And being an art lover, I also try to bring awareness of balance, style and color and apply it to our music making. I take out ballet DVDs to observe how the music is interpreted and the symmetry and how that relates to what we do. I always discuss historically the time period a piece is from and what life was like at that time.