The “We Tunes” music program is designed to assist the individual student in learning to play the piano, the guitar and in developing their vocals. Students will develop themselves musically and will engage in augmenting their musical Intelligence. Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton used brain-scanning technology to compare developmental changes in children aged four to six. The study found that those who took music lessons showed more changes in brain responses. As a result, their ability to concentrate will be enhanced and developed. “We Tunes” is also designed to enable each student to develop his/her unique talent and ability in making music using strings, keyboards and vocals. Each student will develop a repertoire of various pieces of music as a means of creating a “personal performance library” that is suited to their skill level and that they will be able to perform. The mandate of “We Tunes” is to help students develop technical proficiency with their chosen instrument, meaning the guitar or piano. This technical proficiency will equip the student with the skills necessary to explore the various musical styles that are part and parcel of particular genres. “We Tunes” will also focus on performance techniques within the traditions of jazz and classical strings. Stylistic fluency and repertoire competency are emphasized. Melodic, harmonic and rhythmic skill plus specific performance techniques are also developed.
Instructional Format: Students will meet with their teacher, individually or in small groups, to fulfill all course requirements. There will be regular in-class practice and quizzes in ear training, (intervals, chords, and cadences), dictation (melodic and rhythmic) and written theory.
Piano: Over the year, students will develop an ease in working within the many scales and modes, thereby developing the ability to quickly identify (“see”) the notes of any scale or mode. Students will be able to quickly find and play all triads in all inversions and learn to play basic chord progressions. Sight-reading simple melodies and playing accompaniments to those melodies, hands together, are also addressed. In the final piano test at the end of the course, students are also required to perform two pieces (one by memory), with the material to be determined in consultation with the Course Director and Course Teacher.
The following essential skills will be studied:
– Sight singing melodies, scales, and chords
– Performing a variety of rhythms
– Learning to hear, notate, and perform simple and compound rhythms
– Music Theory
– Developing vocal ensemble skills through choral singing
– Developing piano skills
– Learning to hear and notate music, in one or two parts through dictation
– Learning to hear and notate diatonic scales and modes, triads, seventh chords, and cadences, through aural exercises, writing and dictation
Vocal: Singing helps students develop their listening capacity, memorization, music reading, vocal production, intonation, phrasing and articulation. Student will be trained to use their vocal chords to set varieties of melodic and harmonic phrases.
Strings/Guitar: Students will be in a learning environment which designs a personalized course of study that addresses the musical and technical issues specific to each individual. In addition to a weekly assessment of assigned materials, the instructor will augment the student’s awareness of technical and performance elements through the recommendation of theoretical materials: audio recordings, assigned readings (books and articles) public performances, films, videos etc. Specific learning objectives include:
– Accurate execution of rhythms, dynamics, tempi, phrasing, ornamentation, intonation and, where applicable, development of disciplined practice habits, elements of style and performance practices of musical periods and specific composers
– Preparation for public performance
Assessment: Students will have a monthly quiz to determine where they stand in relation to our established success criteria. Each student will develop their own expectations for learning and will meet with their teacher to discuss their accomplishment and their prospective avenues for improvement. They will also have a monthly recital enabling them to perform in front of their parents to address any concerns, goals or improvements. Student will also have a written theory test to demonstrate their understanding of the staff, scales, notes, accidentals and dynamics that are embodied throughout their practical performance.