King David writes in Psalms 33, "Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully and shout for joy." The elementary students from Pre-K through third grade have music class once per week. Fourth grade students receive music class twice a week to allow time for learning recorder as well as vocal music. Fifth and sixth grade classes have music class once a week for one semester in addition to band. In addition, the 3rd graders are involved in a keyboard unit to learn the basics of treble-clef notation. The 4th graders enjoy learning to play the soprano recorder and celebrate the end of that unit with a mini-concert on the evening of our Academic Fair. As the students engage in healthy singing techniques and the basic elements of rhythm and notation, our goal is that they discover the joyful pleasure of worshiping their Heavenly Father with the expression of their very souls in music through singing and playing a variety of classroom instruments
It has been noted through several studies that engaging in music education contributes to higher academic achievement as well as to several life skills that positively affect many areas of our lives far beyond grade school. To continue that growth, our secondary music program aims to give our students as many opportunities as possible to be involved with learning music skills. In middle school, the 7th and 8th graders are all required to take band. In the 9th-12th grades, band is offered as an elective. Students continue to hone their skills and, more importantly, put into practice ministry for the glory of God! All these groups perform in a concert at least twice a year, giving them the experience of sharing their skills with family and peers. In addition, all our secondary music students participate in the Indiana/Michigan ACSI Music Festival held in Indiana. This event further builds their understanding of the pleasure of performing in a very large group with other students attending Christian schools.
No matter what grade a student is in, band provides an outlet for students to learn real teamwork and at the same time express their individual God-given talents. Not only that, but it's good for brain development!
Algoma Christian School's band program is special because it starts in the fifth grade. Many public schools don't offer band until sixth grade. This gives Algoma students a head start in learning how to read and play instrumental music.
Middle school band is divided into two class periods: one is just for sixth grade and the other is a seventh and eighth grade combined class. Separate classes make it easier for the students to learn on level and easier for the teacher to provide necessary instruction for them to advance their musical skills. Middle school band students also have a wonderful opportunity to participate in the above mentioned ACSI Music Festival.
High school band meets two to three times a week in an alternating schedule. Emphasis is on learning advanced band literature that includes Christian and some secular pieces, such as marches and the like. These students also participate in the ACSI Music Festival in Indiana.
Photo credits: rogiro, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/, :::Mer:::, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/, Martijn de Valk, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/