The focus for Grade 4 general music is learning the differences in genres of music. In October and November the focus is comparing and contrasting Native American music and culture to American popular music. The next focus is a comparison of West African and American popular music, and the year culminates with a unit of study on jazz, America's art form. The students will learn how to differentiate instruments and styles in several genres of music.
In Grade 5 the focus is on what proper singing looks and sounds like. We focus on proper posture and breathing techniques as well as tone quality. The students are tested throughout the year, singing a capella (no instrument accompaniment) and in rounds (one group starts a song, another starts and ends later).
In Grade 6 the focus in general music is literacy: reading and writing music, with a specific focus in 6/8 meter which is new for grade 6. In order to gain proficiency in this area, students sing and dance in 6/8 meter, practice writing rhythms to familiar songs in 6/8 and also work on dictation, when the teacher plays rhythms on a drum or other instrument and the students write what they hear.