Elementary Music Focus Groups

A music program for young musicians ages 7-12 who seek to explore new instruments, engage in innovative creative arts classes, and/or continue on from Early Childhood instruction. Ideal for students to take alongside or as a bridge to private instruction!

Class Descriptions

Music Theory for Young Musicians is for students who are interested in reinforcing their music literacy skills while gaining a better understanding of the building blocks of music. This class will introduce the basics of theory and ear training, guided by the specific students enrolled. Students will understand how music is read, used and written. This class is ideal as a supplement to any focus class, semi-private, or private lesson. All levels are welcome. (Max enrollment: 5)

Percussion Fundamentals is ideal for the older beginner or continuing drums student who is interested in pitched percussion instruments (marimba, etc.), intro to snare drum, and all percussion in a middle school band. Ideal as a precursor to private instruction on the full drum set. (Max enrollment: 5)

Beginning Folk Harp: Have you ever dreamt of playing the harp? A folk harp (also called a Celtic, lever, or Irish harp) is a beautiful, soothing instrument that anyone can learn. Playing the harp keeps both the hands and the brain actively challenged and exercised. Students will sample 3 different types of harps, learning about strings, tunings, hand and body position, lever changes, playing technique, and music reading. Classes will include warm-up exercises and learning to play traditional songs and tunes both by ear and with notated music. Students will learn to play melodies with 1 finger, and then progress to using two, three and four fingers on both left and right hands. Students will play in harmony, and compose our own music. Harps available to rent. (Max enrollment: 4)

Intro to Trumpet and Trombone: Beginning brass students will learn the basics of trumpet and trombone playing including breathing, sound production, how to hold the instrument, posture, reading music, instrument care, and other fundamentals. Are you interested in trumpet or trombone, but have never played one before? Are you joining your school's band? This class is for you! This 16-week session is designed to propel students into semi-private or private lessons on either trumpet or trombone. Music in a variety of styles suited to the students will be covered. (Max enrollment: 6)

Beginning Tin Whistle: The tin-whistle (also called the penny whistle) is a wonderful and expressive simple wind instrument that comes in many keys and sizes. Students will be introduced to the tin whistle and learn to connect breath and fingers, play warm-up exercises, and familiar songs and tunes by ear and from note reading. Students will advance to Celtic songs and tunes, learn simple ornamentation, and group and harmony playing. The teacher will accompany the tin whistle class with several folk and Celtic instruments. Great precursor to the recorder, typically studied in Grade 3. Tin whistles available to rent or buy. (Max enrollment: 8)

Continuing Group Piano focuses on classical technique for the older beginner or any student who has "graduated" from Early Childhood at age 7 but not quite ready for private lessons. This class is designed to bridge the gap between group classes and semi or private piano lessons, moving at a quicker pace than Beginning Piano and focusing more on hands-together playing, sight reading, scales and arpeggios, and self-sustained practice habits. (Max enrollment: 5)

Recorder, Clarinet, and Oboe for Beginners: Students will explore these members of the woodwinds group, with everyone beginning on recorders for the first 8 weeks and progressing to clarinet or oboe based on interest and ability. Recorders are a great introduction to wind playing and finger dexterity while students learn to coordinate their air, fingers, and music-reading. Students will begin on soprano recorder if they might be interested in oboe, and alto recorder if they might interested in clarinet, as the fingerings for the two recorders are very similar to the corresponding instruments. Ideal for students looking to play these instruments in school bands, or just have fun learning woodwinds! (Max enrollment: 5)

CMCB Glee Club is our youngest a cappella singing and performance ensemble that mainly focuses around ear training, intonation, and the fundamentals of music theory as relative to singers. No audition required. Students in this group will learn how to sing and identify various scales (major, minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor, chromatic, pentatonic) independently. Sight-reading skills will be given to students by introducing them to melodic and harmonic interval identification through movement games. Chord structures and progression will be taught to aid in their a cappella singing performances. (Max enrollment: 8)

Creative Movement & Dance: Movement for Young Musicians Learn to groove like the pros! This class teaches the beginnings of dance and choreography in musical theatre, vocal ensembles, show choirs, a cappella groups, solo singing and more. With a focus on rhythm, groove, and movement corresponding to specific song styles, students will learn the basics of putting movement to their favorite songs, pick up a few of the classic “moves” that we often see on stage, and become comfortable with using their bodies creatively in a theatrical setting. No experience required! (Max enrollment: 8)

Musical Theatre Performance (Singing, Acting, Dance) students will explore new and classic musical theatre repertoire, history, the fundamentals of this style, acting before, during, and after a song, and basic theatrical movements that are often found in musicals. A performative showcase will follow each 16-week session. (Max enrollment: 8)

Pop/Rock Guitar & Accompaniment will focus on rhythm guitar chords to get young musicians playing along quickly. New students are welcome. Class is ideal for continuing students from Beginning Guitar who wish to explore guitar outside of the classical repertoire. (Max enrollment: 5)

DROP THE BEAT is an audition-based a cappella ensemble for students entering grades 6-10 who are interested in experiencing a collaborative musical environment where they can learn about arranging, directing, and improvising their own music or songs that they love on the radio. Beginners are encouraged to audition. The group will collaborate with other CMCB ensembles throughout the year on performances. (Max enrollment: 8)