Music classes at PS 295 support students in developing an understanding of music through singing, playing instruments, performing rhythms, moving to music, and listening. The music curriculum at PS 295 is holistic, taking into account students’ physical, social, cognitive, and aesthetic development. The curriculum aligns with the NYC Department of Education’s Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Music and addresses the Blueprint’s five strands of music learning: music making, music literacy, making connections to other disciplines, community and cultural resources, and careers and lifelong learning.
Kindergarteners learn a repertoire of songs, games and dances from many countries, and master skills such as singing tunefully and keeping a steady beat. They create music by choosing instruments to create sound effects for stories and poems. The year is divided into six units: moving to a steady beat, soft/loud, fast/slow, high/low, question and answer songs, and patterns of rhythms and melodies.
First graders learn songs and singing games that include la, sol and mi in different combinations. They begin to read rhythms and melodies on a two-line staff. They learn to identify the form of different songs. Toward the end of the school year, they play xylophones and learn a few simple songs.
Second graders learn to recognize elements of formal music notation and play Orff xylophones, glockenspiels, and other percussion instruments. Students build basic music skills in the classroom as they learn songs from different cultures, reflect on their own communities, and develop singing and listening skills.
Third graders learn to sing in two parts and perform complex arrangements with xylophones, glockenspiels, and other percussion instruments. Their year begins with a unit on stick-passing games. There is also a bucket drumming unit.
Fourth graders explore musical concepts through playing the recorder. Students create original compositions that transcribe their thoughts and emotions into musical form. Students also demonstrate the safe and responsible use of materials and instruments. They become proficient in appropriate rehearsal and performance etiquette.