Classes in Secular and Judaic Music

Each week the students are introduced to a new musician differing in genre,
time periods, and instruments. The lessons slowly transition into the main subject each
grade is working towards. Toddler through second grades learn about basic music
theory, rhythms, and introductions to musical form. Third grade learns about the
instrument families and Italian terms such as tempos and dynamics. Fourth grade spends
the year playing the recorders and working through the musical periods from Baroque to
Romantic. Finally, the fifth grade studies folk music and works on different songwriting
projects up to, and including, American popular music. The programs also include music
for the Jewish holidays and integrate Hebrew vocabulary and terms into lyrics and
subject matter.

The goals of the Hebrew Academy program for music education include demonstrating knowledge of classical music terms and composers, identifying components of similar songs such as key, time signature, and themes in lyrics. Another goal is for students to understand musical compositions and structure of themes in popular songs. Finally, a goal for the curriculum is to create active listeners, whether it be in identifying choices in musical instruments and accompaniment, discovering themes and meanings in lyrics, or using their imaginations to discover new stories and musical ideas. Based on the Hebrew Academy mission with these goals, the students can become independent thinkers and can align Jewish traditions with the traditions behind music and classical composers.

Through exploration of musical themes in lyrics, abstract music, and the history behind
famous songs, students can easily put their developmental and emotional needs into their
studies in the music program. There are also many opportunities to work in groups and
participate in musical ensembles that can assist and/or showcase the strengths in working together with other students to create new musical textures and harmonies.