Early Childhood Music and Movement is an integrated approach to developing early music and gross motor skills. Active play is the foundation for the bi-weekly classes that our Toddlers, Beginners, Pre-K and Kindergarten students attend. Simple songs, rhymes and fingerplays are the basis for musical development. Age-appropriate percussion instruments develop foundational skills such as steady beat, and musical contrasts (fast-slow, high-low, soft-loud, short-long). During movement time, the music of various genres and cultures is used to develop gross motor skills such as galloping, skipping, jumping, marching and dancing.
Band is offered at SMES in 5th grade through Middle School. These co-curricular classes are offered year-long, meeting once weekly in Middle School. Students select an instrument (woodwinds, brass or percussion) and learn musicianship skills, instrumental techniques and care, note names and values, time signatures, musical terms and musical history. This contributes to confidence and better study skills that benefit all their academic classes. Students are expected to practice at home.
Students perform as a full band ensemble, in smaller chamber groups or even as soloists at a variety of school and community events.
Choir members work to increase their individual music skills through in-class exercises and at-home practice. We work together to achieve our goals, including performances at school and within the community. Students also learn to develop healthy vocal habits for lifelong voice use.
Elementary School Chorus
Students can participate in two choruses at the Elementary level. Fifth-grade chorus meets for 40 minutes once a week during the school day. Elementary Chorus is open to any student in 3rd-5th grades and meets weekly after school. Students participate in performances during and after the school day, including some weekends. These performances are a requirement of the program.
Middle School Chorus
St. Martin's Middle School students can participate in grade-level choruses. Sixth Grade Chorus meets in quarters, for 12 weeks. Students in 7th and 8th grade have the opportunity to take chorus for a full year and meet three times a week for 40 to 45 minutes. Performances are scheduled during and after school, including some weekends. Attendance is a requirement of the course.
Students in MS choruses have the opportunity to participate in the GISA ALL-SELECT Chorus, which is by audition. Singers in the full-year program in 7th and 8th grades are also eligible to go on the Spring Tour.
In Elementary School, students being Speech & Drama with a foundational exploration of performance storytelling, which is a balanced exercise in public speaking and acting. Mental, physical and vocal characterization are introduced along with verbal relish in narration and establishing a relationship with the audience through direct address. This begins in 3rd grade and builds to a more advanced understanding of performance storytelling through 4th and 5th grade. Students learn how to act in a play and work with a group to prepare a performance. As well, they explore the concepts of broadcast journalism, impromptu and researched public speaking. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of digital storytelling through specialized computer programs.
The Middle School speech and drama curriculum is designed to improve students' communication skills, creative thinking, artistic expression, self-confidence, ability to work with others, and awareness of their physical, mental and vocal potential. In addition, Middle School students can explore digital media through the creation of digital storytelling projects and short movies. Students also work in one of the true American art forms, musical theater.