Concert Choir is a two-semester course dedicated to the performance of quality chorus literature. Students will improve vocal technique and develop a high level of musicianship. Diverse repertoire will foster an understanding of the power of music across cultures.
8th Grade Elective Music units of study include level II guitar, level III piano instruction, classical music listening, basic music theory, African drumming, musical theatre and Blues guitar. Emphasis is placed on class participation both individually and in group projects and self-management of the learning process is stressed.
The sixth-grade general music class will introduce students to the science of sound by increasing their awareness of the music around them. By examining the basic elements of music such as rhythm, melody, harmony, dynamics, and tone color, students will have the opportunity to experience many different styles of music. Sixth-grade music focuses on instruments of the orchestra, classical music listening, basic conducting techniques, beginning piano instruction, program music, and Broadway musicals.
The seventh-grade general music class will continue to develop the skills practiced during the sixth-grade year. Through listening and performance activities, students will further develop skills related to rhythm, melody, harmony, dynamics, and tone color. Focus units of seventh-grade music include classical composers, music history, level II piano instruction, and basic guitar instruction.
Guitar I is a one-semester course for beginner guitarists, dedicated to providing a musically enriching experience for students who wish to keep music in their lives. Students will learn to play guitar by ear and from music notation while studying various musical styles and introductory music theory.
Introduction to Music Theory is a one-semester course for students who have a strong interest in learning music theory but have a limited background in music theory or reading music notation. The course provides students with an in-depth study of beginning music theory concepts. Introduction to Music Theory, along with Piano I, is recommended for students who would like a head start in mastering the basics, prior to taking AP Music Theory.
Jazz Class is designed to provide students with the opportunity to perform and encounter the various styles that make up the music of Jazz. The styles of music performed and examined will allow the students to gain access to musical concepts that are not consistently part of the marching or concert band experience. A combination of improvisation, ear training, basic theoretical knowledge, and performance will serve as the focus of this course. There also will be an emphasis on the history of jazz and its’ style development.
Concert Band at the Middle School level will meet between 3 and 5 times throughout the course of a 6-day cycle, depending on individual scheduling formats. Performances will take place in December for a Winter Concert and in March or April for the Spring Concert. These concerts are mandatory for all students who enroll in the Concert Band program at Wilson West Middle School. Additionally, all students will be involved in a rigorous, developmentally based course of study during small group lessons. These lessons will take place during class time and will meet once per 6-day cycle. Lessons are scheduled on a rotation and students will not be removed from each class more than once per quarter. The ability to play an instrument is recommended, but beginners are welcome. School-owned instruments are available for student use depending on their availability. Students who sign up for the band are expected to remain in the band for the entire year.
Membership to the middle school chorus is open to all students in grades six, seven, and eight. Chorus at the middle level provides the singer with many musical experiences. Primarily, the student is challenged to use both the musical score and their vocal abilities to the fullest. Additionally, each student has the opportunity to experience a variety of musical styles. Through their participation in chorus, students will learn the importance of cooperation, patience, trust, courage, honesty, respect, tolerance and the self-management of their own learning. Most importantly, however, is the hope that singers will gain a life-long appreciation for music. The course is developed around two major performance events each school year; A holiday concert and one in the spring.
The orchestra consists of students playing the violin, viola, cello, or bass ranging from beginning to advanced abilities. The orchestra performs a holiday concert and a spring concert. Various string ensembles also perform during the school year. Some school instruments are available for student use. 1-2 years of previous string instrument study is strongly recommended. Students interested in beginning the study of a string instrument for the first time should contact the teacher to arrange individual study before adding orchestra as a class.
Advanced Placement Music Theory is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to create and analyze music. The content will focus on a combination of ear training, writing, music history, and analysis of music. It is essential that a student has performance skills on any instrument — wind, percussion, string, voice, or keyboard. This course is strongly recommended for the student considering music as a college major or
career. Students are encouraged to earn college credit by demonstrating their competence on the AP examination in May. Students are required to do several assignments during the summer as preparation for this course.
The Wilson Orchestra is a two-semester course dedicated to the performance of orchestral literature. The Wilson High School Orchestra performs two concerts annually and consists of students who play the violin, viola, cello, and string bass. Each concert includes both string and full orchestra repertoire with wind, brass, and percussionists enrolled in Symphonic Band. In class, we focus on advancing string techniques and explore a variety of genres of string repertoire while enhancing musicianship and critical listening.
Piano I is a one-semester course for beginner pianists, dedicated to providing a musically enriching experience for students who wish to keep music in their lives. Students will learn to play piano by ear and from music notation while studying musical styles and introductory music theory. Piano I, along with Introduction to Music Theory, is highly recommended as preparation for AP Music Theory.
Piano II is a one-semester course for intermediate pianists, dedicated to providing the opportunity for students who wish to continue to develop the skills obtained in Piano I. Students will encounter new time signatures, tonalities and keys, and advanced musical terminology. The student will broaden their musical horizons by being able to obtain a higher level of technical proficiency.
The Wilson Symphonic Band is a two-semester course dedicated to the performance of quality band literature. The Symphonic Band will perform a number of concerts and community events throughout the school year. The emphasis of the course is the love of life and the uplifting of the human spirit that comes from positive human and musical interaction. The student will improve skills as both an individual and an ensemble performer while enhancing knowledge of music history and critical listening skills.