The Silver Spur TK - through - 3 music program is structured to provide a fun, challenging and stimulating approach to music appreciation. Multiple pathways are utilized to foster student engagement: singing with and performing for each other (while learning proper audience comportment), choreography, playing rhythm instruments, paper-based worksheets, dry-erase boards, interactive iPad apps, video presentations and listening-only exercises, to name a few.
To a degree in second grade, but more so in third, students learn to code and decode! Written music is a language comprised of symbols, and Silver Spur students learn to interpret those symbols and give them meaning and artistic expression. Deploying those new skills in the second half of the year, 3rd grade learns to play the recorder. As they learn to identify notes on the musical staff, decipher rhythmic notation, identify dynamic markings and learn some Italian (the accepted language of musical expression), they are developing processing skills and making cultural and historical connections.
While all students TK through 3 receive in-class general music education once per week, grades 4 and 5 have the incredible opportunity to participate in an instrumental music program as part of their weekly curriculum - as well as a before-school, extra-curricular program. Strings, Woodwinds and Brass are all taught by outside experts in those instrument families. While not required, the instrumental program is strongly encouraged, for the benefits of instrumental music study are easy to imagine and profound to witness. Of course, individual success is predicated on personal investment, for those students who develop the self-discipline required for engaging in regular practice sessions quickly increase their skill level, and satisfaction. Meanwhile, successfully making music while playing in a grade-level group or ensemble is a team effort, not unlike sport.
Third, fourth and fifth grade students are also encouraged to participate in Chorus, which meets one morning per week before school, and culminates with a televised concert at the Norris Center for the Performing Arts. Students can participate in both the after-school instrumental program and Chorus, for they meet on different days.
Music at Silver Spur is a vital and thriving activity embraced by teachers and students alike, and is an important part of the fabric of the school. Additionally, as the program is funded by the Peninsula Education Foundation and supported by the PTA, the parental community demonstrates that they feel (and think!) music education is a critical, necessary and valuable part of their children’s education. With your ongoing generosity, music at Silver Spur will continue to provide your children with an enrichment activity that is unique and lasting.