Choir Department (Upper School 7-12)

Elizabeth O'Leary
Upper School Choir Director
HS, MS & 3rd Grade General Music Teacher
610-983-4080 ext. 165
[email protected]

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Discipline Description

In the area of Arts and Humanities, students in Renaissance Academy will have the opportunity to experience the literary, visual, and performing arts. From this experience, students will acquire and develop skills necessary to create and appreciate their own work and the works of others.

Renaissance Academy Music Curriculum focuses on a blend of Kodaly, Orff, and Dalcroze teaching philosophies.

The Kodaly Philosophy of Music Education believes that everyone is born with a musical ability that should be allowed to grow and develop from early childhood, beginning in the home and continuing in a school music program. The aim is to instill a love of music in each child.

The principal objectives of the Kodaly musical training are:

  • to develop to the fullest extent possible the innate musicality present in all children
  • to make the language of music known to children; to help them become musically literate in the music of their own culture…to be able to read, write, and create.
  • to make the music of a child’s own culture known to him through the folk songs of this language and culture.
  • to make the great art music of the world available to a child through performing, studying and analyzing music while developing a love and appreciation for all types of music.

Ms. O'Leary's Music Courses
 High School Chorus   Introduction to Guitar   Middle School Chorus  Middle School
General Music
3rd Grade 
This course is designed to help students achieve greater vocal independence, confidence, inner hearing, and quality tonal production.  Students will study a variety of musical styles and work as an ensemble to perform and share music with friends, family, and the community.

This course will teach students to play rhythm guitar in a variety of strum patterns and finger picking styles using classic folk guitar performance technique. Students will memorize chords and chord progressions. Students will read, write, and perform melodies on strings one through six. Students will tune their instruments using relative tuning and electronic tuners.

Through group exercises, individual practice, demonstrations, and warm-ups students will become more comfortable in their vocal range, focus on proper breathing, and blending pitch.  Each student experiences a unique and positive atmosphere in which they learn to be a better performer.
Identify and describe characteristics of genre, form, and style in a variety of musical examples. Perform layered rhythmic patterns on a variety of percussion instruments with accurate rhythm and technique. Create an original work in Garageband using the principles of form and style. Examine various careers in music and describe the skills needed to achieve a professional career. 
The Kodaly philosophy is a child developmental approach.  It follows the way a child learns naturally in a step-by-step sequence.  It is highly structured and sequenced and is related to the child’s own development, physically and intellectually.   The major body of teaching materials always lies within the child’s capabilities.  The overall sequence of materials in the curricula is  determined by the song material used in the lesson.  The voice is the instrument that is used

Upper School Winter Choir Concert
Upper School Spring Choir Concert
OAKE National Conference Choir
Middle School Choir Fest
March TBD
High School District Choir Auditions

Thank you for your continued support of Renaissance Academy’s talented music students.
Warmest Regards,
Ms. O'Leary
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