Music classes at NewBrook School are based on a methodology from the teaching of the Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist, teacher and philosopher Zoltan Kodaly. He believed that everyone has a voice and can sing, and that we should sing before playing, reading and writing music. Lots of singing is emphasized at NewBrook! Kinders play games that help them find their singing voice, they do lots of movement that coordinates with music or keeping a steady beat, and circle games. First graders begin to understand steady beat and rhythm, and "write" rhythms with popsicle sticks, later branching out to writing simple, known songs on the music staff using mats and notes made of felt. As they graduate to upper grades, students expand their knowledge of solfege, all the while singing more and more part music, including ostinati and rounds. We use instruments for fun and to reinforce understanding of music notation, and sing lots of songs for enjoyment. Third graders play the recorder, and Chorus is optional for 4th-6th graders who are looking for a bit more challenge.
Students in grades 4-6 can elect to take up an instrument! Every Tuesday they are given semi-private lessons with Mr. Michael McKinney (our instrumental music teacher). Students perform twice a year at the high school with students from across the district.