Students at Bellefonte and Benner Elementaries learn music via a Kodaly inspired method. Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967) was a musicologist, composer, educator, and philosopher who is the inspiration to the leading music methodology of today. Students work through a vigorous curriculum (seen above) by learning music from sound to symbol - that is to say that they learn a concept deeply before ever being presented the notation - we don't learn to read and write before we learn to speak after all!
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Kindergarten: Students are introduced to their different voices and singing tunefully. They learn about the steady beat, and different ways to perform the songs we sing, notably fast/slow, high/low voice, etc.
1st: Students learn their first rhythms (quarter note, two eighth notes, and rest) as well as their first pitches (la, so, and mi). Students read these from hands, on the staff; and write them using 2/4 meter.
2nd: Students add new rhythms and solfege to their repertoire: half note and four sixteenth notes; do and re. They are introduced to the do pentatonic scale as well as 4/4 meter.
3rd: Students learn new rhythms combining eighth and sixteenth notes and learn the extended solfege low la, low so, and high do. Upbeats are introduced as well.
4th: The la pentatonic scale is taught, as well as syncopation (eighth, quarter, eighth) and dotted rhythms. Students in fourth grade learn to label fa and low ti, and the half steps that coinside with them. Triple meter is taught as well.
5th: Having learned most of the building blocks of basic music, we label advanced scales including natural minor, harmonic minor (si), dorian (fi) and mixolydian (ta). Compound meter and it's accompanying rhythms are learned as well.