Middle School Music
See also The Arts under School Life
With a focus on performance, literacy, and appreciation, Dalat's middle school music program provides a unique opportunity for all students to participate actively in music. Research has shown that learning a musical instrument promotes brain development, as playing requires the use of both hemispheres of the brain and involves kinesthetic skills, language decoding, and personal expression. Music is a required course for every middle school student at Dalat, based on the conviction that musical experiences provide tremendous educational benefits. A variety of courses are offered at this level.
Music 5 is designed to build upon previous musical experiences and provide students with a final year of general music in preparation for 6th grade band. Course objectives include vocal production, instrumental technique (on classroom instruments such as recorders and xylophones), musicianship, and musical literacy and appreciation. Fifth graders also participate in Dalat's Intermediate Musicals as well as other school and community performance opportunities.
Beginning Concert Band
Two courses, Beginning Concert Band 6 and Beginning Concert Band 7 & 8, for students with no prior experience on a wind or percussion instrument, comprise Dalat’s beginning level instrumental program. These courses are designed to help students with little or no band experience to develop fundamental musical skills.
At the beginning of the year instruments are introduced to students and they are encouraged to try several. With the guidance of the instructor an instrument to learn is then selected. Once regular classes begin, students first meet with like instruments on alternating days until the group has advanced to the point of all being able to work together. As individual practice is a must for sufficient progress, students take instruments home or arrange to practice at the school for 70 minutes each week. All Beginning Concert Band members perform on three concerts each year, one at Christmas and two during the second semester.
Middle School Concert Bands
The Junior and Advanced Concert Bands are our second and third year instrumental performing groups at Dalat. One or two bands may be offered at this level, depending upon enrollment. Students in the Middle School Concert Bands will focus on advancing their musical skills and will perform concerts mid-semester, for Christmas, and at year-end, as well as throughout the year at various school and community events. Students are expected to practice 70 minutes (75 minutes for Advanced Band), per week.
Middle School Concert Choir
The Middle School Concert Choir is offered as an exploratory for middle school students in grades 7 and 8, and sometimes for those in grades 5 and 6. Course objectives include the refinement of vocal production, diction, pitch, harmonization, note reading, ear training, and musicianship. Students participate in up to four concerts or other major performances per year, and may also sing at other events.
Middle School Worship Team
The Middle School Worship Team is designed to equip and train musicians to use their musical talent to praise God. A variety of praise and worship music is learned, and the students lead worship times for selected chapels. The group usually consists of rhythm section players, which may include guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums.