Underlying every objective and activity in the St. James Academy Music curriculum is the Academy’s mission statement. Drama The Drama curriculum at St. James Academy is designed to help students learn the skills necessary to communicate with an audience. Each Fifth Grade student works as crew on one play and elects to have a speaking or non-speaking role in another. Grades Six through Eight take drama for one half of the year. Sixth grade emphasizes performance and perspective; Seventh transforms a known story into dialogue first for the stage, and then for film; and each Eighth grade student writes a monologue based on a familiar character, performs a monologue written by another student, and directs the performance of his or her own dialogue. Stressing group effort and tolerance, each student is encouraged to discover his or her individual talents and interests through positive risk taking in a safe environment.
- Take part in class exercises intended to increase the student’s sensitivity to and awareness of him/herself and others;
- Explore the physical elements of theatre;
- Explore the spiritual element of theatre;
- Learn the language of the theatre;
- Learn the elements of story-telling;
- Present theatrical productions for students and parents, as well as oral presentations in class;
- Begin the lifelong goal of discovering and gaining mastery over senses, imaginations, bodies, speech, emotions, and intellect;
- Develop an ability to work as a team;
- Begin to overcome unproductive self-consciousness.
Vocal Music Grades One through Four learn the basic songs essential to an understanding of Western Music and are also exposed to a variety of music from diverse cultures. In the process of internalizing these songs each student learns to hear and maintain a steady beat; match pitch; recognize melodic directions; recognize melodic accompaniment and harmonic rhythm patterns; and recognize and use dynamic and tempo markings. Grade Five through Middle School students build upon previously learned music concepts to develop music appreciation and literacy through singing two and three part songs; listening and responding to music from a variety of ancient and modern cultures; and moving to music and creating dances. Student’s original compositions are often included in Drama programs, songs for Grandparents Day, Christmas, Celebrate Arts Night, and Graduation. Chapel Choir Fourth and Fifth Grade students are invited to join the St. James Academy Chapel Choir that meets before school on Tuesday mornings. This choir sings at the Wednesday Academy Chapel Service twice a month. Solo Performances Students in all grades are encouraged to share their individual instrumental or vocal talents at Forum, Chapel, or other special school events. Instrumental Music Like Vocal Music our overall goal for Instrumental Music is to instill a love of music, especially ensemble participation, in every student, as well as, to teach each student to read music to the best of his/her ability. Grade Three, Four, and Five students develop their sight reading abilities through learning to use the recorder in Third Grade; exploring trumpet, violin, and guitar in the Fourth Grade; and continuing with their choice of instrument for one trimester in the Fifth Grade elective class; and continuing with instrumental opportunities in the Fifth Grade Performing Arts period. All middle school students elect to either sing in chorus, or play in the Middle School Band for the entire academic year. All students also take general music for one half of the academic year. A wide variety of instruments (pianos, recorders, guitars, hand-bells, African drums, and other percussion instruments) are incorporated into the music lessons, as well as folk dances from a variety of cultures.
Goals: Kindergarten – Grade Eight
- Develop an appreciation for choral and instrumental ensemble music;
- Perform vocal and instrumental music whenever possible;
- Become familiar with the building blocks of rhythm, melody, and harmony;
- Become musically literate;
- Develop the skills to sing and play with thoughtful control;
- Explore the history of music;
- Develop and appreciation for basic music theory;
- Explore music from various cultures.