Kesling Intermediate School has gone through many exciting changes this past year, and the recent adjustment to fifth grade music is another positive change to add to the list.
Instead of the fifth grade class taking music once every week, students now take it every day for six weeks. Once the six weeks are over, they move on to taking another art or computer class.
With the music class, students are given the opportunity to advance their knowledge of instruments. They learn about the band or orchestra instruments, and the students who prefer choir are able to learn how to use their voice.
There are four classes of choir fifth grade music classes, and there are also four instrumental band classes, with roughly 25 students in each class period.
The fifth graders have handled the change well, and they have been doing a nice job adjusting to the new class.
“The fifth graders are so excited to learn! They have been a joy to teach,” Mrs. Sullivan, band director at the La Porte middle schools, said. “I love teaching them as 5th graders, but I am even more excited for them to join our performing classes in 6th grade.”
The main idea behind the new music class is to educate and communicate the different sounds instruments make, so that students are prepared to decide on an instrument to pursue with knowledge behind it.
“I think in previous years a lot of students chose an instrument because their sister played it or because they thought it looked cool,” Sullivan said. “Now, they will choose an instrument knowing more about how sound is produced, what feels good to them, and what sounds they find most appealing.”
The teachers have tried to have a more hands-on approach with the students. In the instrumental music class, the beginning musicians have been learning how to produce a sound with rubber bands, strings, balloons, and a PVC pipe.
The students in the choir class play games, talk about note names and rhythms, and work on a song.
“This batch of 5th graders are currently working on the piece ‘Raining Tacos.’ We are having a blast!” Carey Scheck, LPMS choir director, said.
With as strong as the LPCSC music program already is, the new push to immerse younger students in music education will only make Slicer musicians better.