Malcom Bridge Middle School

Music Appreciation

Instructor: Kathleen Goggans

Course Information:

The goal of this music appreciation class is to provide students with musical skills, vocabulary, and general knowledge needed to be an appreciative patron of the performing arts. We will focus on answering the questions "What is music?" and "Why do we enjoy music?" In order to answer those questions, we will cover the six major musical concepts, music history, and basic music theory. No prior knowledge of music is required.

Why We Teach Music

Music Is A Science
It is exact, specific; and it demands exact acoustics. A conductor's full score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once with the most exact control of time.

Music Is Mathematical
It is thematically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.

Music Is A Foreign Language
Most of the terms are Italian, German or French; and the notation is certainly not English - but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics of music is the most complex and universal language.

Music Is Physical Education
It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek and facial muscles; in addition to the extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back, stomach and chest muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.

Music Is All Of These Things, But Most Of All, Music ls An Art
It allows the human being to take all these dry, technically boring (but difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion. That is one thing science cannot duplicate; human feeling and emotion.

That Is Why We Teach Music
Not because we expect all students to major in music. Not because we expect our students to play or sing all their lives. But so our students will be human, recognize beauty, be more sensitive, be closer to an infinite beyond this world, have something to cling to, have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good. In short, so our students will have more life. Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless our students know how to live?