Music at

Gen. John Nixon


Welcome to music at Nixon! All children in grades K-5 at Nixon have general music class once a week for 40 minutes, with Kindergarten students having a second period of instruction during part of the year. String instrument instruction begins in grade 4 and Band instrument instruction begins in grade 5.

Our general music program (K-5) focuses on developing strong music skills such as matching pitch (singing in tune) and singing independently, keeping a steady beat, and playing songs and rhythms on instruments including recorders, drums and xylophones. I like to keep the students moving, using singing games, folk dances, and props such as scarves. We sing and play traditional songs and chants from many cultures and may perform more contemporary music on our in-school concerts (see Concert tab).

A major focus in general music will be on literacy--teaching the children to read music. We will follow a sequence of rhythmic and melodic elements, using “du” and “du-de” rhythm names and melodic solfege (do re mi, etc.). These elements are taught using songs, games, rhythm instruments, and, in grades 3 and 4, recorder. We will listen to music in varied styles and genres and learn a bit about composers and musical instruments. I like to use techniques from various pedagogies such as Music Learning Theory and the Kodaly and Orff approaches.

The Sudbury music staff is studying the new national arts standards (see which emphasize creating, performing, and responding; these standards exist along with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks (1999). I hope to be able to give your children the tools they need to enjoy making music and listening to music.

Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions about your child’s musical education.

Leslie Dooley

For information about our String instrument program, contact Ms. Leedy-Andreozzi.

For information about our Band instrument program, contact Mr. Donegan