Elementary students in the Plano Independent School District attend music classes taught by specialists trained in the Kodály methodology. This approach to music education includes a sequential organization of concepts and skills to be developed through hearing, singing, deriving, writing, reading, and creating music, thereby contributing to the development of the whole child. This method is now used in school districts around the world in the music education of children and adults alike. It has been specifically adapted to meet the needs of the Plano I.S.D. as the basis for the elementary music program
The goal of the Elementary Music Curriculum is to present a program of sequential musical learning designed to develop an appreciation of the joy of music making; an understanding of culture and fine arts from a variety of periods and peoples; and skill and independence in performing, reading, writing and creating music.
This goal will be achieved as the students:
- Build a repertoire of songs, rhymes, singing games, play parties and dances from a variety of cultures.
- Understand musical concepts.
- Achieve mastery of musical skills.
- Perform, analyze and listen to great art music.
- Create, improvise, and compose original compositions.
Performance Ensembles in Elementary Schools
While public performance is not the primary focus of the Plano Elementary Music program, it is recognized that student performances are an appropriate outcome. Grade level performances that demonstrate classroom learning are typical at most campus. In addition, many elementary schools have a campus-wide choir or other musical ensemble typically for students in the upper grade levels. These groups usually meet weekly outside the regular school day and perform at various school and community functions, as well as business locations, throughout the school year. Check with your children’s music specialist about such offerings at your school.
The Plano Children’s Chorale is an elite music ensemble composed of 90 auditioned 5th grade singers from across the district. They rehearse weekly and present a variety of performances. Auditions for this group are by invitation of the campus music specialist and take place in late August of each year.
Plano Children’s Chorale
The mission of the Plano Children’s Chorale (PCC) is to provide developmentally appropriate choral experiences to identified musically exceptional students in grade 5. The Chorale rehearses weekly and presents one concert per year. In addition to this performance, the choir performs at various district events, and tours elementary campuses.
Singers for each year’s chorale are selected from the district elementary schools through a formal, by invitation, audition process that takes place in the fall of the school year.
Fifth grade students will receive information about PCC during their music classes this fall!
The Kodály Method
The primary method used in teaching music concepts and skills by music specialists in the Plano Independent School District is the Kodály Method.
Based on the philosophical writings of Hungarian composer and educator, Zoltán Kodály, an approach to music education was developed based on the ideals that:
- Musical literacy (the ability to read, write and think music) is the right of every human being.
- Musical learning begins with the child’s natural instrument, the voice.
- Music must begin with the very young – in kindergarten and the primary grades.
- It is through the folk music of the mother tongue that the skills and concepts should be taught.
- Only music of the highest quality – both folk and composed – should be used in the education of children.
* adapted from The Kodály Method – Lois Choksy, pp. 6-8