Music At Pali
The Music program at Palisades Elementary with Teacher Lawrie Chiaro is funded 100% with PEP funds. Teacher Lawrie teaches classes to Kindergarten through third grade. Every class meets in the auditorium once a week. In the spring, grade level concerts showcase the skills they have worked on throughout the school year.
Teacher Lawrie practices the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music education. Orff-Schulwerk is an internationally accepted approach to musically educating children in a group setting. The famous German composer and educator, Carl Orff, developed this approach. "Schulwerk" is a German word meaning 'work for the school". Today, the Orff-Schulwerk approach is widely used by music educators in private and public schools throughout the United States and the world.
Below is an explanation of how teacher Lawrie includes the elements of music - melody, rhythm, form, texture, and harmony - in her lesson plans.
1. SINGING – Every class includes a lot of singing. Besides group singing, there are opportunities for solo singing. Students cannot hear themselves as well singing in a group as they can singing alone. Solo singing gives each student a chance to practice matching pitch, and it gives the teacher a chance to work with them one-on-one.
2. BEAT/RHYTHM – In Kindergarten students experience the steady beat through feeling it in their bodies and playing the beat on different instruments. Then, in grades 1-3, the students build on their knowledge about the steady beat and learn about different rhythmic building blocks in music.
3. MOVEMENT – Moving to music is essential in a music class. The "feel" of music starts in the body, whether it's a singing game, a folk dance or improvising movement to a classical piece. Kinesthetic learners, especially, benefit from movement.
4. INSTRUMENT PLAYING – In music class the students play unpitched percussion instruments, like the drums or triangle, and the Orff instruments, like the xylophones. This gives them an opportunity to experience and enjoy ensemble playing – listening and waiting for their parts. In 3rd grade recorder playing is added to their repertoire.
5. IMPROVISATION – Whether playing an instrument, choosing a way to move to music or making up verses for a song, there are frequent improvisational opportunities for the children in class.
6. LISTENING – Through listening the students can develop a high level of discrimination for such concepts as high-low, fast- slow, soft-loud, etc. Also, the students learn to appreciate and enjoy different styles of music from classical to folk to an occasional rock song!
7. NOTATION – Just as the students learn to read and write in the classroom, so do they learn to read and write basic melodic and rhythmic "sentences" in music class.
"Mostly, music needs to be a joyful and fun experience for each and every child. That's my overriding goal for all grade levels that I teach. " – Teacher Lawrie
Palisades Enrichment Programs is thrilled to have a passionate and talented professional like Teacher Lawrie be part of our enrichment programming.
Music in the upper grades
In the upper grades music is taught by Mr. Monty Turner. Monty Turner has been an LAUSD vocal music teacher for 24 years. Whenever he goes to the market, the movies, or just for a walk around the block, former students always come up to him and thank him and tell him how much they enjoyed his class. In 2005, Mr. Turner was ordained as a Rabbi. He has been with his synagogue, Makom Ohr Shalom, first as Cantor, now as Rabbi for over 30 years. His compositions and Jewish songs are sung across the United States.