Gault Elementary School prides itself on it’s dedication to providing excellent instruction in music from our high quality program El Sistema to our 4th and 5th Grade Band to the year round music taught in the classrooms. Read below about our music programs.
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Music in Classes & After School Band
Gault Elementary School offers music classes to 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Through music class we learn to sing, play instruments and learn about music notation and music history via music videos and modern electronic media (traditional yet modern). We also arrange for special performances by professional musicians, dance troupes, and performers throughout the school year.
After School Band is available to all 4th and 5th graders. This year Band will meet on Thursdays from 3:00pm – 4:00pm and on Fridays from 3:00pm – 4:00pm. As we prepare for performances students are often invited to extend their lesson time to 4;30. Parents will be notified.
El Sistema Santa Cruz
Mission: El Sistema Santa Cruz seeks to bring high quality music instruction and the attendant academic and social benefits to our diverse school communities and increase participation and diversity in performing arts programs.
The Program: El Sistema Santa Cruz has two distinct programs: the kinder introduction to El Sistema and the pre-orchestra and orchestra after school program.
Introduction to El Sistema: Kindergarten students are introduced to El Sistema in their classroom in the spring of their kinder year with a developmentally appropriate, 5-week 2-day per week, 1-hour session. Five and six year old students participate in singing, rhythm and musical games and are introduced to the orchestra by attending one performance a week.
El Sistema Santa Cruz
Students from first grade to fifth grade attend El Sistema after school. Students are met at the end of their school day by El Sistema’ teachers and gather for a healthy snacks. The pre-orchestra students then proceed to a circuit of ensemble vocals and musical games. They learn about the orchestra by creating playable instruments and listening to guest instrumentalists. Rhythm and pitch are taught through musical games. Orff instruments are used to teach ensemble dynamics. By third grade, students start playing instruments including violins, clarinets and flutes in both wind and string sectionals.
Isabelle Tuncer (Executive Director): A Fulbright scholar specialized in trade laws founder of El Sistema Santa Cruz and volunteering as the executive director of the program.
History of El Sistema
Over three decades ago in Venezuela one man dreamed of a better world for children: “give children musical instruments and they will never carry a gun: teach them to play classical orchestra music and they will learn how to live a meaningful life.”
That man was Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu. He gathered 11 children in a parking garage in Caracas, Venezuela to play classical music over 40years ago. The organization now teach ensemble music to 300,000children, demonstrating how family-school-community partnerships in the arts can positively change the lives of a nation’s youth and the communities to which they belong.
Why El Sistema
El Sistema, “The System,” is firmly grounded in philosophical,psychological, and sociological theory and research, all contributing to its success. The philosophical frameworks of Paulo Freire and Lev Vygotsky guide its dual emphasis on comprehensive education of the individual and the collective nature of learning. Psychological theories on self-efficacy, scaffolding, modeling, and initiative development in form its teaching methodologies, connecting how learning music follows a similar trajectory to advancing in other arenas of life. El Sistema’s sociological roots reach far beyond the role of arts and music. The partnership between teachers, musicians, politicians, community leaders,families, and the public is also aimed at creating social change. In Venezuela, 60% of the children in El Sistema programs were at risk of dropping out of school, were already outside of the educational system,or were victims of family violence or social neglect. Through its Social Action Center and numerous supporting institutions, El Sistema has improved the lives of marginalized young people throughout Venezuela(Sanchez, 2007).