PHILOSOPHY
Music education is an integral part of aesthetic experiences and, by its very nature, an interdisciplinary study that enables students to develop sensitivities to life and culture. Students will develop attitudes, knowledge and performance skills that will enable them to perceive music as an art. Preparation, understanding and participation of students in Catholic schools in religious celebrations enrich both the mind and heart in the offering of prayer to God through song, instruments and dance.

INTRODUCTION
The basic structure of the music curriculum includes 3 levels in which to complete specific educational objectives.
They are:
  • Primary Level: Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2
  • Intermediate Level: Grade 3, Grade 4 and Grade 5
  • Middle Level: Grade 6, Grade 7 and Grade 8

The music curriculum is centered on 7 Strands: Vocal Expression, Instrumental, Improvisation and Composition, Artistic Perception, Evaluating Music, Connections and, Historical and Cultural Context. Each strand is aligned to competencies identified in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and National Standards set by MENC, Music Educators National Conference.
A critical component of the diocesan curriculum is the development of basic Values and Attitudes. Values and Attitudes highlight key issues that will enable students to develop a critical conscience in regard to music appreciation and evaluation. These are not necessarily quantifiable but rather identified in a student’s respect for music. APPLICATION The music program at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School gives students a variety of learning opportunities. All grades develop a broad repertoire of music through singing, playing, listening, composing and otherwise participating in classroom activities. Students are encouraged to participate fully in school liturgies and have opportunities to practice songs for the assembly and music ministry. Students at our school have special opportunities to sing in the school choir, lead sung prayer as cantors, play in the Wildcats Band, and audition for North Carolina Honors Chorus. Finally, all students also participate in our annual celebration of Advent and Christmas. In Kindergarten, students learn rhythm through movement and composing activities. Yes, young children can successfully begin composing and recognizing musical patterns! Such musical skills create a valuable foundation for developing critical thinking skills such as looking for patterns in science, reading comprehension, and mathematics. Grades 1-2 build upon these basics. Students further develop their understanding of pitch intervals using Kodaly methods. They improve their recognition of instruments by sight and sound, and they play pitched Orff instruments alone and in ensemble. Finally, learn about dynamics, form, style, pitch matching, and timbre.
Grades 3-4 focus additionally upon playing technique with their classroom recorders. We use a fun supplement called Recorder Karate whereby students work their way through levels similar to Karate classes. Each song learned and set of musical concepts demonstrated is rewarded with a color-coded "belt" for the recorder.


Grades 5-6 engage in world music through their Silver Burdett Making Music textbooks. Within the first few weeks of school they explore geography, culture, and economics of East Asia and the Carribean through Vietnamese and Jamaican songs. Additionally, they are encouraged to develop their independence and confidence in learning and performing multiple parts in ensemble. Students demonstrate strength of character and community by supporting one another in their musical efforts.


Grades 7-8 apply their repertoire of skills in music to projects that enhance their ability and enrich their community. Students progress in reading, composing, and performing music. Through their study of contemporary and historical music, they are encouraged to use teamwork and hone critical thinking skills such as analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information. Additionally, they deepen their experience of the arts as society’s gift to itself, linking hope to memory, inspiring courage, making our tragedies bearable, and enriching our celebrations.

Mission Statement

St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School,
Finding its source and summit in the Eucharist,
Unites with parents and parish,
To model the teachings of Jesus Christ in daily actions,
And to provide for children an education
That forms and enlightens spirit, mind and body.

Vision and Purpose
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School, as a unified body, grounded in its faith in Jesus Christ, extends the teaching mission of the Church to educate children in the love and joy of our Savior. Students from Kindergarten to Eighth Grade are challenged and inspired to achieve spiritual growth, academic excellence, and social awareness. Administration, Faculty and Staff accept the challenge to recognize and support the diverse talents and needs of all students whose families have entrusted their education to this parish school. Encouraged to begin discernment of their vocation now, they will be prepared to lead and light the way for their fellow Catholics into the new millennium.