Chatham's elementary music program is based on the Kodaly philosophy of music education. Singing is central to the Kodaly approach to music education. Students sing in every music lesson from grades 1-3. They sing to experience and learn about elements of music: melody, rhythm, harmony, and form. Songs are chosen from many cultures, as well as different eras of history.
First, Second, and Third Graders receive music instruction for one 40 minute period per week. Activities include singing, dancing, playing instruments, and the development of basic skills in the rudiments of music theory. Students will continue their work in the basics of musicianship, including: development of appropriate singing voice, reading and writing of melodic and rhythmic notation, study of form, meter, dynamics, and other relevant musical concepts. In addition, students in all grades experience many types of music (American folk music, world music, classical and contemporary styles) through listening, moving and playing. Movement is an integral part of the curriculum, reinforcing many important musical concepts. Critical and creative thinking is valued and encouraged in all grade levels.
Students in Grade Three are also encouraged to participate in one of the performing groups available to all interested students: Chorus, Tone Chime Ensemble, and/or String Ensemble. These ensembles are a wonderful way for students to gain additional musical experience and the special feeling of accomplishment that comes with being part of a performing group.
The broad objectives of the music program at Southern Boulevard are as follows:
- To awaken aesthetic values in students and develop a lasting appreciation of music
- To provide a rich, varied program where each pupil has an opportunity to develop his/her own musical abilities and talents
- To familiarize students with the language of music notation, symbols, and terminology
- To develop an awareness and appreciation of current music trends and innovations as well as styles and composers of the past
- To become more knowledgeable consumers and performers of music by developing the skills needed to evaluate music literature
The music curriculum reflects the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards in the Visual and Performing Arts.