Middle School VOCAL MUSIC
7/8th Major, 6th Major,
Jr. Men’s Choir, Jr. Women’s Choirs
SYLLABUS
2013-2014
INSTRUCTOR: Mr. Lassman


Vocalizing

  • Improve vocal production
  • Sing with good tone and proper, pure vowel sounds
  • Sing in the ‘head’ voice and chest voice registers
  • Sing in-tune
  • Sing rhythmically
  • Sing long, sustained, spinning phrases
  • Sing using movements that will reflect good singing practices
  • Learn basic singing techniques to be used in classical, pop, Broadway and jazz singing (solo and ensemble)
  • Sing in English, Latin, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Hebrew and other languages
  • Sing solo and in parts
  • Sing solo in class (Majors only) to prepare for scheduled Juries such as the Assessment for high school; non-Majors can schedule after-school sessions to rehearse.
  • Sing solo (Majors only) to improve confidence and technique
  • Sing unison pieces, working toward 2-part in 6th Grade
  • Sing unison, 2/3/4-part in 7th and 8th Grades

Theory and Sight-singing
  • Learn the basics of Music Theory using daily worksheets in choir rehearsals
  • Learn Basic to Advanced Music Theory using a workbook (6/7/8 Majors only)
  • Learn and practice music theory independently at home using a computer/tablet/smart phone and Musition Music Theory Program (6/7/8 Majors only)
  • Practice Ear Training and Interval Recognition independently at home using a computer/tablet/smart phone and Audition Ear Training Program (6/7/8 Majors only)
  • Transcribe pieces the instructor plays on the piano
  • Write familiar easy melodies without the use of a keyboard
  • Learn the basics of GarageBand sequencing with Communication Arts Majors (6th grade Majors only) if it can be scheduled.
  • Learn the hand signs for the Kurwen-Solfege diatonic and chromatic pitches
  • Learn Sight-singing in choir rehearsals.
  • Sing pitches and rhythms in unison and in parts
  • Sing using Solfege and the hand signs
  • Learn standard music symbols (DS, DC, Coda, etc.)
  • Periodic in-class quizzes to assess progress
  • Apply reading skills when reading new literature
  • Understand Form Analysis by analyzing pieces sung and heard
  • Write simple-to-complex musical compositions related to the level of comprehension of music theory (Majors only)
  • Learn to read and interpret written music

IPA
  • Learn the basics of the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and apply it when reading and notating languages.
  • Periodic quizzes on comprehension of IPA symbols.

Literature
  • Perform a variety of styles of music that encompass Renaissance, Classical, Modern, Jazz, Broadway, Pop and World Music
  • Add movement to music when appropriate
  • Learn how to sing each style appropriately
  • Compare and contrast musical styles/literature sung

History
  • Learn about significant composers and performers from a variety of musical time periods and countries and their relationship to the music we perform.
  • Study the evolution of music; how music has reflected history and changed over time.
  • Compare other art forms with music forms and conventions.

Performance
  • Majors classes and all choirs will be given the opportunity to perform in school concerts, ShowStoppers and scheduled out of school performances. Because of time limitations, not every choir will be in ShowStoppers.
  • Pieces will always be performed memorized unless it is a major work that has several movements and takes 30 minutes to perform.
  • Proper concert attire is a major part of the performance grade.
  • All performance dates will be posted on the web site
www.CCSAVocal.org and also in weekly updates.
  • Students will be graded on their knowledge of the music to be performed using Performance Assessment Examinations.

Writing Prompts
  • Students will be asked to reflect on and analyze their own and others performances. Papers will be graded using a rubric that will reflect the thoughtfulness of the writing.
  • Students may be required to attend a specific number of out-of-school performances and write a report on specific areas of that performance.

Other Topics
  • Work on projects particular to that grade level as appropriate
  • Incorporate Science, Math, Composition, Reading, Social Studies/History, Geography, Foreign Language, Art, Dance, Drama, and Instrumental Music into the curriculum as appropriate
  • Learn lifetime-values for appreciating all the Arts and all performers
  • Learn lifetime-values for discerning quality in the Arts
  • Correlate all work to the State Music Standards

Grading
  • Grades are based on
  • class participation in daily warm-ups, vocalizing and singing.
  • behavior in class
  • promptness in arriving to class on-time with a pencil, music and a positive attitude.
  • completion and quality of theory, IPA and other assigned work (in class and homework)
  • neatness of the music folder at periodic folder checks
  • improvement in sight-singing
  • the grade earned in Juries; rubric to be provided (Majors only)
  • improvement in singing and hand signing skills
  • Performance Examinations
  • participation in Concert Performances
  • A student who misses a performance without prior excuse will earn a grade of zero for that performance. This grade can not be made-up. Students will be excused if they are absent from school the day of or the the day after the performance. Students also will be excused if they let Mr. Lassman know of the conflict within two weeks of the announcement of the performance date.

Grades for all class are determined based upon Cumulative and Summative scores. Not all of the following categories may apply in a given marking period and not all classes will cover all topics.
  • Class Participation
  • Performances
  • Performance Test
  • IPA
  • Music Dictation
  • Music Theory
  • Sight-reading
  • Writing Prompts
  • Garageband (6th Vocal Music Majors only)
  • Guitar and Keyboard (Vocal Music Major 7/8 only)

Extra-credit
  • Extra-credit (work done over, above and in addition to the regular class work) is not available.

Materials
  • Bring the following to every class:
  • Music and handouts distributed in class
  • a pencil (not pen) to mark music and work on music theory and IPA
  • (optional) a closed container of water; not soda, not juice and not ‘Fill-in-the-blank’ Water.
  • Concert Attire (Formal)

GIRLS:
  • Black palazzos that will be issued in school and must be returned at end of school year.
  • Purple blouse provided by the Instructor; cost is about $25.
  • Black closed-toed shoes
  • Black socks or black or sheer tights

BOYS:
  • Black dress pants
  • Black shirt
  • Colorful tie (not bowtie)
  • Black dress shoes (not sneakers)


Please note--> It is expected that all students will earn an ‘A’. A lower grade is a cause for immediate alarm and is an indication that the student is regularly misbehaving, missing class or not participating in classes or performances. Students with a ‘C’,’D’ or ‘F’ in more than one marking period should not continue as a Vocal Major or in a choir the following year.

August 2013