Dr. Foley's Music at Neil Armstrong Home Page
Welcome to General Music
at Neil Armstrong!
Philosophy and Curriculum
Music is all around us. To react to that music by singing and moving is a natural human response. What we hear, feel, and understand guides our response. In general music at Neil Armstrong, we are working to develop our singing, moving, creating, listening, and reading skills so we can understand, relate to, and interact with the music all around us.
Singing is at the core of all music learning and is therefore our primary focus. It helps us learn how to hear music in our heads and how truly to “read” music. All children can learn to sing well and in tune. First we find our singing voice through vocal exploration. Then we match simple pitch patterns and work to learn simple songs. The songs then become more complex and will eventually have two or more parts going on at the same time. These pitch-matching and song-learning skills make us ready to read melody patterns and simple songs and participate in music making experiences.
Music inspires movement and movement inspires music. Movement skills allow us to internalize music. We begin to develop our skills by focusing on steady beat and flowing movements with music from a variety of styles and cultures. Then we learn to move with large and small steady beats at the same time. As our meter-movement skills (grouping the beats in twos and threes) develop, we begin moving to rhythms using body percussion and instruments. Throughout all of our movement activities, we seek to be creative and expressive and make the music come alive.
Our overall goals include the ability to sight read familiar and unfamiliar melody patterns, rhythm patterns and simple songs. We are using solfege syllables (do re mi...) and hand signs for our tonal reading (reading pitch) and rhythm syllables (a special language for reading rhythm) for our rhythm patterns. Our rhythm reading and writing skills will most likely develop sooner than our tonal skills. To help develop melodic reading, you, the parents, must encourage your children to sing at home. The best way to encourage them to sing is if you sing for and with them; children learn by example.
Why Music Education?
Singing, moving, creating, and reading music are skills, not gifts, and all students can develop their individual potential and interact with the music around them. This is a critical age for music learning, and developing musical skills is what we are all about in music class.
Students playing the harp with out guest musician!