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Bala Cynwyd Middle School

Off-Canvas

Music

General Music

Areas of study include melody, harmony, meter, form and texture. Music in history is explored. Our textbook, Silver Burdett’s Making Music, surveys myriad musical styles, cultures, genres and venues in an extraordinarily comprehensive manner. Lessons are accompanied by professionally produced digital recordings. Students who are not in chorus, band or orchestra take this General Music course.

Chorus

Repertoire reflects a broad variety of styles. Emphases include individual vocal technique, breath control, head voice development and part singing. Unison, two and three-part music will be performed. The chorus curriculum also includes much of the General Music program described above.

Band

Band is for all grade levels and open to all woodwind, brass and selected percussion players who have completed at least one year of lessons. Entrance is based on the recommendation of their former music teacher and the assessment by the middle school instrumental music teacher. Emphasis will be placed on improving technical skills and ensemble playing. Specific requirements must be met throughout the year to complete each quarter successfully. Group pullout lessons are required and scheduled on a rotating basis to avoid interference with any specific class. Full band meets as a scheduled class once per cycle. Representative literature of varying musical periods and styles is presented in progressive levels of difficulty throughout the year. Band is a year-long commitment; therefore, careful consideration should be made prior to registering for this course. Students will be expected to attend all performances scheduled throughout the year.

6th Orchestra

Sixth Grade Orchestra is open to all sixth grade string players who have completed at least two years of lessons, sufficient music reading ability is necessary for success in 6th grade orchestra. Entrance is based on the recommendation of their former music teacher and the assessment by the middle school instrumental music teacher. Representative literature of varying musical periods and styles is presented in progressive levels of difficulty throughout the year to prepare the students adequately for orchestral experiences outside of school. Specific requirements must be met throughout the year to complete each quarter successfully.  

All string players will be expected to attend weekly group lessons that will rotate to avoid interference with the same class period. In addition, students will be expected to attend all performances scheduled throughout the year. Full orchestra meets once per cycle as a scheduled class. Orchestra is a year-long commitment; therefore, careful consideration should be made prior to registering for this course.

7th & 8th Orchestra

The seventh and eighth grade Orchestra is a curricular extension of the orchestra school class that takes place during the school day. This group is open to all seventh and eighth grade string players who have reached a sufficient level of preparation to enable them to participate successfully. Representative literature of varying musical periods and styles is presented in progressive levels of difficulty throughout the year to prepare the students adequately for orchestral experiences outside of school. Specific requirements must be met throughout the year to complete each quarter successfully. All woodwind, brass and percussion students will be expected to attend one sectional every other week that will rotate to avoid interference with the same class period. In addition, full orchestra meets once per cycle as a scheduled class. Orchestra is a year- long commitment; therefore, careful consideration should be made prior to registering for this course.

Extracurricular Instrumental Music Ensembles

Chamber Orchestra

Chamber Orchestra is an advanced string orchestra. Any 6th, 7th or 8th grade student who is enrolled in orchestra may audition for Chamber Orchestra. Auditions take place in September. A limited number of students will be selected to maintain the desired instrumentation and balance of ensemble. Chamber Orchestra rehearses once a week before school. Because of the difficulty of the music, most Chamber Orchestra participants study privately.

Junior Jazz Band/Senior Jazz Band

Any student who is enrolled in band or orchestra may audition for junior and senior jazz band. Auditions will take place in September. A limited number of students will be selected based on the accepted standard instrumentation. Junior Jazz Band and Senior Jazz Band rehearsals will be held before school on two days each week from 7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Members of either jazz band will be expected to attend all performances scheduled throughout the year. More information will be given out to interested students at the beginning of the school year.

Advanced Choir

The Advanced Choir is a select choir for seventh and eighth grade students. Students may audition to be in advanced choir in September, or January. Advanced Choir meets during the LEARN period. Advanced Choir always meets as a full ensemble, so students are learning their music with multiple different parts at the same time. This choir is appropriate for seventh and eighth grade chorus members who love singing, and would like to learn challenging music. Advanced Choir performs at two school concerts per year.