Welcome to General Music and Chorus for the 2014-15 school year!
(Please click on General Music and Show Choir to find the most recent information. This is the Homepage with general information.)
Overview of the Eliot Choral Program:
GENERAL MUSIC - All sixth and seventh grade students are scheduled for general music. Grade six meets three times a week for one semester. Grade seven meets twice a week for one semester. Grade eight exploratory music students meet twice a week for one semester. This is a total of 24 general music classes scheduled weekly for music.
ElLIOT CHORUS/SHOW CHOIR - Concert/Show Choir is an elective and an outgrowth of General Music. Concert/Show Choir meets every Tuesday and Wednesday per. 8 during enrichment. Students audition for voice placement to be in show choir. Full Concert/Show Choir meets twice a week for music on Tuesday and Wednesday. Concert Band/Choir Doublers meet Wednesday/Friday; Symphonic Band/Chorus Doublers meet Tuesday/Thursday. Make-ups are also held Thursday and Friday.
Overview of Mrs. O'Neill's Uplifting Professional Development:
This past summer of 2014, I attended The Summer Music Institute at Central Connecticut Sate University and took a course entitled, "How to Engage, Maintain, and Retain Singers". As an outgrowth of this class I decided chorus needs to be more visible. I decided to have chorus officers who will oversee FILMCREW. Filmcrew will help publicize chorus by digitally taking photos, recording rehearsals, concerts,, and make an advertisement for 5th grade orientation!
The summer of 2013, I attended The Summer Music Institute at CSCU and took a course entitled, "Guitar For The Non-guitarist". The professor that taught the class is friends with Pete Seeger! He had many ideas for me to implement in the general music guitar unit.
The summer of 2012, I attended The Summer Music Institute at Central Connecticut State University and took a course entitled, "Developing a Choral Program of Depth and Excellence" instructed by Christine Bass. Christine published "Vocal Transformation Exercises" that she used with her Westminster High School choirs. Her choirs sounded like college level students. They met every day for pull out voice lessons and her four distinct choirs met daily. At Eliot School, we have a general music program described above and meet twice a week for chorus class. I believe Christine Bass' vocal transformation exercises have improved tone production as we received a score of 97 - PLATINUM AWARD - at the Clinton Music Festival of 2013. I was so impressed with Mrs. Bass'high school choirs and teaching that I have decided to include Christine Bass' Vocal Transformation Exercises into general music and chorus class. I also provided an opportunity for all sixth grade general music students to experience a three part harmony performance as part of their general music program. Sixth grade general music students have the opportunity to sing two or three chorus songs with the chorus concert night. The chorus will also sing three additional selections. It will be a fantastic performance! More information will follow.
In addition, I attended Riser Choreography workshops with John Jacobson two summers in a row! Chorus will continue to perform at least one selection using riser choreography! Another workshop very beneficial to me from two years ago, was an assessment workshop with Scott Schuller and Richard Wells (who are both music department heads) of Connecticut's Music Education Department at the state capitol. I continue to develop and utilize daily, assessment rubric and strategies gained from this workshop as well.
Last year we re-instated writing music compositions on the computer. The students loved this unit and excelled at this! Music Time Deluxe software was downloaded on the computers in the computer lab and students had the opportunity to write compositions incorporating melody, bass, lyrics, music symbols, and lyrics. Four years ago, I integrated Discovery Education Video Streaming segments into the General Music curriculum. I tapped into this resource and found eighty five video streaming segments from one minute in length to ten minutes in length. I integrated these video segments into our various units of study. These units include: Broadway Musical Theater, African Music, Native American Music, Various Genres such as Country, Rock, Jazz, Rap, Reggae, Instrument Families of the Orchestra, Program Music, Science of Sound, Spanish Music, Music of Southeast Asia, Eras such as Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary, The Voice, and many others. These segments spark much student interest in the units we study! We will continue using Discovery Education Video Streaming this year as well.
Five years ago, I integrated Social Studies with Music! The people, culture, and music go hand in hand!