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Principals Message

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Principal’s Message

Date: October 1, 2011 Author: admin Categories: Principals Message

Hello BA Community.

Two exciting beginnings this week!

Our two visiting principals from Shanghai, China will be here at BA and CMS, getting their first impressions of education and family life in California. They will be at our two schools, and hosted by our families until November 8. When you see them, please welcome Ms. Quonli Xu and Ms. Juan Li!

Second, our music program begins at Brittan Acres this week! I’ve been looking forward to this, because it means children will be humming familiar tunes, and bursting into song in all sorts of venues here on campus, as they enjoy their music instruction. Below is a brief description of the program for your information.

Best wishes,
John Triska

About Music for Minors
Founded in 1976, Music for Minors (MFM) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture in children a lifelong love of music by providing quality music education programs in elementary school classrooms.

Guiding Principles

  • Participation in school music develops creativity, social development, critical thinking, and self-esteem.
  • A solid music background is a vital part of every young student’s well-rounded education.
  • A high-quality, comprehensive, inclusive music curriculum should be offered to all students.
  • A comprehensive study of music involves singing, creating, reading, listening and responding to music.
  • A music program is most effective when there is a sequence of scope, musical knowledge, and skills taught for all students.
  • Music education positively influences other academic disciplines.

Music in Our Schools
The program provides a specially tailored music education program for our students. Professional music educators deliver comprehensive, sequential, and standards based music education in 30-minute sessions for grades K-3, and 45-minute sessions for grade 4, from the week of October 3 through the week of June 11. A common repertoire of songs and activities and a standardized program will be delivered across the district. MFM provides support for methods in Orff, Kodaly, introductory band, and practice performance-based learning via multicultural folk songs, rhymes, dances and singing games, jazz and classical art music. MFM management maintains an ongoing dialogue and relationship with district and school personnel, through the newly formed Music Advisory Committee, to focus on the continued music scope that will complement overall district music educational goals and needs.

MFM Teaching Focus
MFM students attain a basic foundation in rhythm, reading music and playing a percussion instrument, as well as an appreciation of the breadth and depth of music from a range of cultures.

  • Singing: pitch matching, posture, breath, head voice, chest voice, ear training, enunciation.
  • Rhythm: steady beat, rhythm, body percussion, rhythm instrument.
  • Movement: body percussion, folk dance, music games, action songs.
  • Listening: across the eras and across the world.
  • Playing Recorder (4th grade): reading notation and fingering notes and preparation for middle school instrumental programs.

Benefits of the MFM Music Education Program
The overarching goal of the MFM In-School Music Education Program is to provide for a strong music learning experience that can be the basis for supporting complementary performance experiences. The emphasis will be on learning and practicing music, culminating in demonstration sharing events based upon the work in classrooms district wide.

1.    MFM delivers curriculum that meets the California State Board of Education Standards for Music.

2.    MFM students learn basic music making and develop age appropriate music literacy through active participation.

3.    By 4th grade, the anticipated outcomes of an MFM music education include:

  • Ability to play a musical instrument; the recorder.
  • Improvement in ability to read music both for notes and rhythm.
  • An understanding of playing technique both in hand position and breathing techniques.
  • Improvement in successfully playing harmony.
  • Preparedness to enter the instrumental music program in grade 5

4.    MFM students develop a foundation for choral and instrumental music in later grades.

5.    MFM provides the musical instruments and teaching materials.

6.    MFM measures student progress through continual and performance-based assessments.

Coming in Winter: Choral Music Opportunity
MFM and the San Carlos SMART-E programs are currently developing an after-school performance based choral music opportunity to be launched this winter. The SMART-E Music Program will be the platform for performance opportunities for each school in addition to performance events in support of SCEF and community activities. Both in-school and after-school programs will be designed to be in complement to one another. Stay tuned for more information!