Educational Services » District Music

District Music

District Music Department Chair

Rachel Horne-Hernandez, District Music Department Chair, [email protected]


Music In Our Schools

The Elementary Music Program focuses on a classroom music approach to music instruction. All first through fifth grade students receive 60 minutes of classroom music instruction a week by a music specialist. The classroom music experiences include a variety of activities that incorporate singing, note reading, composing, performance, movement, music listening, and appreciation. Through the study of music, vocabulary and reading skills are constantly being reinforced. In a similar manner mathematical skills are supported through the study of beat and rhythm that are based upon patterns and fractions.

In the Primary grades, singing songs of our heritage and of other cultures is the core of the music program. Through movement activities, compositions, and performance on rhythm instruments, students also explore the many aspects of music: beat, rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, form, and style. Listening skills are developed through active listening to a variety of musical styles.
During the fourth grade music period, students have an opportunity to apply music reading skills while playing mallet instruments and the recorder. Students in the fifth grade continue to learn and master the techniques introduced in the earlier grades. Some of the elementary schools have musical electric keyboard instruction also.
The Middle School Music Program offers the beginning and continuing musician a variety of elective courses from which to choose:
Beginning Band
Honor Band
String Orchestra
Percussion Ensemble
The High School Music Program offers students a wide variety of courses to develop and expand their musician interests:
          Mixed Choir
          A Cappella Choir
          Concert Choir    
          Barbershop Quartet
          String Orchestra
          Chamber Orchestra
          Intermediate Band
          Concert Band
          Marching Band
          Winter Percussion
          Winter Guard     
          Jazz Band
          Musical Keyboard Techniques
          Beginning Digital Music
          Intermediate Digital Music
          Advanced Digital Music

Music Standards and Curriculum


All grades strive to teach to the California Music Content Standards. They are:
1.   Artistic Perception
Processing, analyzing and responding to sensory information through the language and skills unique to music.
2. Creative Expression
Creating, performing and participating in music.
3. Historical and Cultural Context
Understanding the historical contributions and cultural dimensions of music.
4. Aesthetic Valuing
Responding to, analyzing and making judgments about works of music.
5. Connections, Relationships, Applications
Connecting and applying what is learned in music to learning in other art forms and subject areas and to careers.
Middle/High School Music:
Beginning Band Orchestra
The focus of these instrumental groups is to introduce students to the basic fundamentals of music theory and instrumental techniques in brass, woodwinds, percussion and strings. Students learn the concepts of tone production, finger dexterity, rhythmic integrity, pitch recognition as well as develop listening skills and performance practices.
Intermediate/Advanced Band Orchestra
These instrumental groups are designed to focus on continued musical development on brass, woodwind, percussion and string instruments. Students perform as individuals, as members of small ensembles or as members of large ensembles. They study intermediate and advanced instrumental techniques, performance practices and form and analysis as it relates to various idioms of band and orchestral repertoire.
Jazz Band
This is an advanced level class, therefore students are expected to know advanced techniques on their instruments. Jazz band focuses on both ensemble and solo performance. Music theory includes chord progressions, the blues scale, the pentatonic scale as well as modal scales. Various historical and musical idioms are explored.
Students focus on proper vocal technique which includes good posture, breathing, anatomy for the singer, mouth and jaw placement, choral technique i.e. the importance of text, phrasing, diction, interpretation, sight reading, performance practices and music history. Students perform as individuals, small ensembles and entire choir.