MUSIC PROGRAM With Ms. Christine Gabel
Our PTA fundraising pays for music programming in all six grades for 32 weeks a year! Our beloved Ms. Christine Gabel is a third generation music teacher. This will be her 7th year of teaching at PS154–every year fully funded by our PTA! Ms. Gabel has a background in musical theater and Suzuki. She is also certified to practice early childhood education.
In Kindergarten, the children are exploring and learning tonality by ear with their singing voices, and rhythm through rhythm instruments and body movement.
The 1st Graders are building on the same goals but because the songs are more familiar to them their understanding is going deeper. So, the Kindergarten may not have been able to get the right pitch or rhythm but as a First Grader they start to really get it and feel good about being musical.
And then in 2nd Grade, Ms. Gabel introduces xylophone which allows the children to visually see where the pitches are in a C Major Scale as well as singing by ear. The 2nd grade also takes a step further with learning some simple music theory with note values, major scales and key signatures. They balance of learning while having fun in class.
In the lower grades, each class also explores rhythm through body movement and dance to recorded music or while singing songs. It’s a great way to introduce different types of genres or cultural music. This continues in the upper grades but in a more mature approach.
The 3rd Grade will be learning to play simple songs on recorder, building on previous learned notation skills, and singing melodies in unison, in parts and rounds. Children will be given recorders to use in class and take home to practice 5 min a day. A practice agreement will be sent home.
The 4th Grade will be learning to play chords and sing simple songs on Ukulele, as well as, singing melodies, parts, rounds and descants all while continuing to understand music theory.
The 5th Grade will be building on previous learned ukulele skills and music theory, as well as, singing melodies with an emphasis on Musical Theater songs that will be staged.
In class, 4th and 5th graders will use school ukuleles, and have an option to rent or buy instruments for home. It is recommended that students practice consistently (i.e. 10-15 minutes a day) if possible. An order form for the rental of ukuleles will be sent home in student backpacks.