Calgary Board of Education Interactive School Maps Student Results International Students Why choose the CBE? Click here to email us

Our Music Program

Glendale SchoolI am pleased to be joining the staff of Glendale as the music teacher this year.  My primary background in music education is the Kodaly method – an international teaching method, originating in Hungary, which has as its basis a process of inquiry for discovering the fundamentals of music literacy, such as reading music and understanding rhythm and melodic contour, for example.  All of this is done through exploration of the singing voice.  I also employ teaching methods from the Orff method – which uses music instruments such as xylophones, and non-pitched percussion instruments to explore and discover music principles. The ultimate goal of the music program is for children to have a basic understanding of music concepts such as rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and history; which can enable them to continue to participate in music programs as they progress through secondary and post-secondary education – and hopefully as a participant, or audience member, throughout their lives.

The philosophy of Kodaly very much models the ideas in the Teacher Effectiveness framework, a guiding document used by Glendale staff.  For example, children start with prior knowledge – songs they already know, and new songs that become part of their repertoire. Using songs they know, students identify conceptually a rhythmic or melodic motif within the song (using their knowledge conceptually).  They demonstrate their learning by singing/playing instruments, and/or writing or demonstrating their learning with manipulatives, on the smart board or on their individual white boards (building assessment into the fabric of the learning). The process is a cycle of reinforcing known material while learning new material. Students demonstrate their learning through singing, playing instruments, moving, writing and reading music, improvising/creating.

At the basis for all of this is the idea that only the best music literature is good enough for children.  The “meat and potatoes” of the program uses folk songs from many cultures, as well as art music from reputable composers, past and present.

During the month of September, I have enjoyed getting to know the students of Glendale.  I am finding them to be enthusiastic, and willing to participate in the singing of new songs, playing singing games, practicing concepts of rhythm and beat through movement, playing instruments, and listening to and discussing the music of Mozart (div. II).