On this page:
- Supporting School Music Programs
- Building Life Skills
- Value of Music Education
- National Standards for Music Education
Supporting School Music Programs
The JoeyDCares Rock Orchestra supports school music curriculums in many ways:
Music Theory: The orchestra utilizes both method books and performance music to work on music theory and elements of music such as rhythm, harmony, melody, structure, form, texture and expression. The group also practices sight reading, scales and other musical concepts.
Audition Skills: While any music student can rehearse with the group, in order to perform, students must pass an audition that parallels the All County audition process by performing memorized All County scales, challenging prepared pieces, and sight reading, while being scored in a similar way. This helps prepare students for the rigor of All County Band and Orchestra auditions.
Younger Musicians: The orchestra’s music is simplified for young students so they can work their way up to more challenging arrangements. Beginning students rehearse with and learn from their musically advanced peers and often progress quickly.
Advanced Musicians: The orchestra plays music that can challenge even advanced high school musicians. Students have the opportunity to create and perform instrumental solos. Students who enjoy composing and arranging music can compose a piece with assistance from the director and have it performed by the orchestra.
Building Life Skills
The orchestra strives on having fun while promoting growth and personal development, building friendships, emphasizing the importance of everyone’s role in the ensemble, and performing high quality productions while understanding that through the power of music, we can help others.
Confidence: Students who have gone through the JDCRO program have improved confidence from meeting challenges and successfully performing in front of large public crowds.
Leadership: Older students build leadership skills mentoring younger musicians and leading sectional rehearsals.
Community Service: The JoeyDCares Rock Orchestra is a non-profit that performs concerts for charity to help raise money or awareness for a cause. We foster an ethic of serving the community, and students learn about and support many charitable causes. They also earn service learning hours for their time.
Value of Music Education
There are many studies that show how music can help students achieve in other academic areas, but music education also has value and merit on its own. Some are the development of aesthetics, the constant self-critique and refinement of performance in order to improve one’s musical self, and a means of expression that goes beyond spoken word.
In a country where school budgets are tight, more and more programs are being cut. Music is not only part of a well-rounded education but helps children build confidence, discipline, and long lasting friendships.
National Standards for Music Education
The JoeyDCares Rock Orchestra strives to fulfill the nine National Standards for Music Education including, but not limited to, the following ways:
Content Standard 1: Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music
Lead and background vocalists have the opportunity to sing a varied repertoire, sometimes in small or no musical background, to an entire orchestra of musicians and audiences. This is something that is not provided to vocalists this age, or otherwise, very often. By doing so, vocalists gain confidence in singing and therefore themselves.
Content Standard 2: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music
All instrumentalists who join perform a varied repertoire of music. From band to orchestral instruments to drums and electric guitars, students solo alone or perform as an entire orchestra. By soloing, students learn self-confidence, and by performing with the entire group, students learn teamwork and communication skills.
Content Standard 3: Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments
Students learn to stretch their imagination by creating solos and accompaniments prior to or during a performance. Many times sections of the orchestra change their written music to better fit their performance ability. This shows critical thinking and problem solving, as well as communication skills when discussing the changes with their group or orchestra as a whole.
Content Standard 4: Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines
Students who enjoy composing and arranging music have the opportunity of composing a piece and having it performed by the orchestra. Those who choose to do this work with the music director and discuss how to make a piece playable for all musical levels of the group. Because this group is made up of students from 6-12th grade and community members who are sometimes professional musicians, it is important to compose and arrange music that fits every need. By composing and arranging with guidelines, students increase literacy awareness when writing lyrics, self-confidence when a piece they write “works” well with the orchestra, communication and teamwork skills when relaying the musical message to the orchestra, and imagination in writing music.
Content Standard 5: Reading and notating music
Students of the orchestra often read new and exciting music that may be on their level, a fun piece below their level, or a challenging piece above their level. Students get a chance to notate music when changes need to be made to the piece due to performance ability or an idea not thought of by the composer. All of this enhances student musical notation literacy.
Content Standard 6: Listening to, analyzing, and describing music AND Content Standard 7: Evaluating music and music performances
After concerts, students listen to music they performed as well as analyze and describe aspects of the show they did well and those that need work. Students not only do this after, but also during a performance. There is a constant state of listening and evaluating when performing music. This implements cognitive thinking skills that are used in other school curriculum.
Content Standard 8: Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts
When the orchestra performs, it doesn’t just play music, it rocks the music! Horn pops throughout, a power chord on the guitar in the style of Pete Townshend or Jimi Hendrix, a glissando on a piano like Jerry Lee Lewis, and our vocalists reincarnating the original singers themselves! By doing all of these things the orchestra becomes a conglomerate of the arts – theatre, dancing, and music! The visual arts can be seen by the posters our students have made for shows, or our logos spread throughout the orchestra. Our students learn about the art of public speaking when talking to the audience, and community awareness by performing and discussing our group to others.
Content Standard 9: Understanding music in relation to history and culture
Our songs range from the 1930’s to current songs of the day. When performing genres from swing, jazz, classic rock, rock, pop, funk, soul, Motown and others, you can’t help but discuss the influences to history and culture of the time. Rolling Stones music speaks of the Vietnam War, Sam and Dave sing about the soul of the city, and Taylor Swift sings about being a teenager in love. In singing and discussing these songs, students are empathetic to the plight of others and understand world culture and why artists choose to write music about their livelihoods. Community awareness and learning about who we are as a society from the music of our past and present is inevitable.