Music is an important part of the education of a well-rounded student. As one of the arts, it balances the study of sciences and humanities to give students a creative outlet and exposes them to another sphere of learning. Music is taught from elementary to high school, and there are many different components to the subject. Classes can teach students to read and write music, to sing and play instruments, or focus on the history of music. This instruciton seeks to develop children’s musical skills, expand their interpretative abilities and increase their overall appreciation of music.
In elementary school, students learn to play simple instruments such as recorders and keyboards, sing in small choruses and learn the basics elements of music. In middle school, music education will usually continue to be a requirement, but extracurricular activities, such as joining the school chorus or band, are also options. Most schools offer clubs such as these for children to expand their knowledge and appreciation of music. Some school districts also offer more specialized classes in middle or high school, such as music history, music theory, etc. The range of music courses can focus on a variety of subjects, including instruction on basic vocal and instrumental lessons, exposure to different musical styles, introduction to the basics of musical theory and study of music history.
Chorus is a portion of music education focused on the vocal skills of students, improving these skills through performance, memorization and reading of music. Chorus can be a requirement for elementary school students in many school districts, though it is often offered as an elective or extracurricular activity through middle and high school. In elementary school, teachers introduce students to notes, pitch, rhythm and other basic choral concepts. Often, the music instructors will teach children short songs with few notes to introduce the art of singing. Middle School choirs begin to sing more difficult songs and introduce harmony, a method which will be built upon in high school.
Instrumental instruction is a area of music education dedicated to teaching students how to play an instrument through the reading of sheet music, learning of notes and practice. Students are usually introduced to basic instruments, such as the recorder, in elementary school and then decide whether or not they wish to pursue instrumental lessons in middle and high school. Each level of instrumental lessons becomes more involved and skillfully demanding. Most high schools offer band as an elective for the arts, and for students who are more dedicated to playing an instrument, many schools have selective bands that participate in performances and competitions. Instrumental teachers may also serve as general music education instructors and / or chorus teachers.