The general music program serves to expose students to the art of music from a variety of cultures and periods in history. Lessons in the early elementary grades emphasize basic listening, singing, and playing skills, with a predominant focus on rhythm and movement. In addition to their general music classes, early elementary students are offered a 10-week Introductory Violin program
. Building on these fundamental skills, students in the middle grades apply this knowledge to playing pitched instruments, such as recorder. Upper elementary students further develop their music literacy skills by reading and playing notated music in Handbell Ensemble
. Throughout this scaffolded instruction, students arrange, compose, and critique music, using higher order thinking skills. Music teachers design lessons that integrate the Pennsylvania State Standards for Music Education and incorporate classroom In-Depth Investigations and Expedition topics. All students are given the opportunity to perform publicly and attend performances in a wide variety of musical genres. It is our hope that through all these musical experiences, Russell Byers students will graduate with a profound respect and passion for music.
Clockwise from top, left: Marj Goldberg
tunes violins before final showcase., Correct playing position, Demonstrating pizzicato and bow grip, Demonstrating pizzicato, Demonstrating "rocket ship" bow exercise, Demonstrating "windshield wiper" bow exercise, Professional bow;
View larger image.
In addition to the general music program, RBCS third through sixth grade students are given the opportunity to audition for Horsefeather Singers, the RBCS choir.
The ten-week Introductory Violin Program was specifically designed for the Russell Byers Charter School by string players, Jon Fink and Marjorie Goldberg. The program offers all 2nd grade students the experience of hands-on instrumental instruction in a small group setting through one, 20-30 minute lesson per week. Parents/students that wish to continue private instruction after the 10 week introductory program will be provided with contact information for possible string teachers.
- I can name the parts of the violin.
- I can describe how a violin produces sound.
- I can stand comfortably in rest position.
- I can transition from rest position to playing position.
- I can demonstrate proper pizzicato position.
- I can name the four strings of the violin.
- I know how to hold the bow.
- I can put the bow on the string in the proper position.
- I understand DOWN bow and UP bow.
- I can hold the violin with the Advanced Left Hand position.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
View additional videos of student participation in the Introductory Violin Program.
2009 Graduation Processional
Handbells are used as an enhancement to the upper elementary grades' General Music program. Students participate in Handbell Ensemble as part of their regularly scheduled Music period. This class provides RBCS students with the opportunity to apply their existing musical knowledge through a unique instrumental experience. In addition to developing music-reading skills, students learn the necessary strategies that allow them to play successfully in an ensemble setting. Through annual concerts, Handbell students showcase this knowledge and use the tools they learned to confidently perform in front of an audience.
Choir Swap Performance at the School in Rose Valley, February 6, 2009
The RBCS Horsefeather Singers are an audition-based choir of 25 to 30 selected third through sixth grade students. The Horsefeather Singers rehearse once each week, during regular school hours, and perform for programs and special events, at least once a month throughout the school year. A highlight of the Horsefeather Singers is the annual "Choir Swap" with a partner choir from The School in Rose Valley, which culminates in joint performances for students and parents at each other's schools.