Bailey’s students in all grades receive instruction in General Music for a minimum of one hour per week. Students experience music in large and small group settings. They learn to listen to music with a ‘critical’ ear, read, analyze and understand written music and explore various instruments, styles and genres. The music specialists work closely with the classroom teachers, other arts specialists, and the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program to find natural connections within varying subject areas and integrate music providing a rich multi-level learning experience. Each music specialist at Bailey’s is a music educator as well as an active performing artist in the Washington DC Metropolitan DC area.
Bailey's Music Tech program gives students the opportunity to interact with music in a variety of contexts and to compose original pieces. Working cooperatively in pairs, students use templates and software appropriate for their level of learning. Music is written in a variety of styles i.e., rounds, two part, vocal, and instrumental. Compositions are frequently inspired by poems, picture books and /or visual artworks. The program integrates music with other areas of curriculum allowing the students to gain a deeper appreciation for and knowledge of both areas of study.
Ensembles: Chorus, Band, and Strings
Students may choose to join one instrumental ensemble and/or chorus. Students may not be in two instrumental ensembles simultaneously.
Chorus is offered to all interested 4th and 5th grade students and requires no audition. Participation in chorus provides students with an education in vocal technique, music theory, stage performance, and teaches students how to function as a member of a community. Both chorus ensembles perform at various functions in school and the surrounding community throughout the year. Past performances have been for the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC; singing the National Anthem to open a Washington Capitals Hockey game; singing for the Federal Election Commission and performing as part of Arbor Day Ceremonies at The Wilson Library in Falls Church.
Bailey’s Band is open to all interested 4th and 5th grade students and requires no audition. 4th grade students are allowed to select one instrument from the following: flute, clarinet, bass clarinet trumpet, trombone and percussion. During this year, students learn basic instrumental technique, music literacy and theory and perform during the Annual Spring Concert at the end of the school year. 5th grade students are allowed to continue on their 4th grade instrument and become members of the Bailey’s Advanced Band. These students learn advanced instrumental techniques, theory and aspects of performance. They also are selected to perform at the Annual Bailey’s Barnes and Noble Fundraiser Concert and at District Ten Solo and Ensemble Festival and other performance opportunities. If a 5th grade student wishes to switch to one of the following instruments: oboe, bassoon, saxophone, French horn, baritone or tuba, or is brand new to band, they will perform with the Beginning Band and at the Annual Spring Concert with the 4th grade.
Third graders at Bailey’s have the unique opportunity of learning violin. All third graders receive a once a week, thirty minute violin class. In fourth grade, the students have the opportunity to continue with strings and take any of the stringed instruments – violin, viola, cello or bass. They also have the option of playing in an afterschool group, known as Pop Strings, where fourth and fifth grade students learn popular music. In fifth grade, the students are broken into ensemble-style classes. These students also have the opportunity to participate in Pop Strings, as well as Area Orchestra, where fifth graders from across the pyramid meet and play challenging music as a group. Fourth and fifth grade classes meet once a week for one hour.
The fourth and fifth grade general music curriculum is supplemented by a guitar program that is meant to reinvigorate students' curiosity for music. Using an instrument that many students can relate to helps them stay motivated to be creative and musical. Students use class guitars so that the physical aspect of playing is standardized as much as possible. This also means that students do not have to carry another instrument to school. In addition to the curriculum standards, the course covers the fundamentals of guitar playing taught through various musical styles. Guitar classes include multimedia composition activities, examples, and exercises to enrich the students' experience in music.