Performing Arts at Cedar Hill Prep School
The Cedar Hill Performing Arts program gives children the tools to read music, and perform, but also to connect art to their lives, and see the beauty in the world. Art imitates life, and children are the greatest artists of all.
Our vision for the Performing Arts Program at Cedar Hill Prep School is all about the students. Through an Instrumental, Choral, General Music program, we want to watch the kids grow from curious young people, holding an instrument, acting, or singing for the first time, into a talented musician who is creating art in front of our very eyes. We want to take these students and give them the tools to compete at the region, state, and national level. We want our kids to display the confidence needed to audition for regional and state band or chorus, or compete in solo competitions across the great state of New Jersey. Performing Arts in the state of New Jersey is at a crossroads, and Cedar Hill Prep School is looking to move forward, and take charge.
General Music Program
Music is an integral part of humankind. No known culture is without some aspect of artistic experience. Music is an important key to understanding our own cultural history and provides an understanding of other cultures. It is an indispensable tool to one who seeks an understanding of the past, the present, and the future. Music can provide the universal communication to overcome the barriers of language, politics, and geography. (Adopted from the NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR ARTS EDUCATION)
General Music begins in Kindergarten and ends in fifth grade, and beginning in 5th grade, choral singing becomes the primary, but not the only tool, by which music is taught and experienced by our students. (Adopted from the K-12 National Standards and the Music Educators National Conference)
General Music Grades 1 and 2
The production aspect of the general music class is centered around singing, movement and playing simple rhythmic instruments. Through the use of these three venues, the students will learn to use a good singing voice, match pitch, maintain steady beat and clap and use syllables to perform a rhythmic pattern on sight, understand basic music concepts, distinguish upward and downward melodic motion. They will also perform for audiences and will participate in at least one musical theatre experience each year. They will sing and play from various cultures, style and genres, and will have opportunities to do so both as a group or individually if they choose.
General Music Grades 3 and 4
Once the students have a firm grasp of the foundations of music, they can accomplish more difficult music challenges, such as improvising, expanding vocal ranges, breath control and other important features of quality vocal musicianship, performing a rhythmic and simple melodic pattern on sight, and many more. In production, they will learn to expressively sing and/or play independently, improvise on instruments when given a steady beat and a range of pitches, demonstrate proper dynamics ad tempos. They will be able to sing in 2 parts, rounds and as a soloist.
Choral/General Music Grades 5 through 8
In the fifth through eighth grades, the primary focus is on the choral aspect of music, although instruments will continue to be used, and aspects of general music class will be incorporated every day. The students will achieve a beautiful head voice with a pure tone, and when boys voices change, a richer, stronger voice. Singing in tune will be emphasized, as well as the use of all good singing techniques. They will be exposed to a great amount of music of all different genres, styles and ability levels.
From September through November, grades 1 through 8 are visiting Grounds for Sculpture. Grounds for Sculpture is a magical place that incorporates historical and contemporary art into the scenic landscape and architecture. This art field trip allows students to see the difference between a photograph of an artwork and seeing the artwork in person.
Ellen Callahan, CHP Middle School Teacher / Social Studies, began her story many years ago as a seed planted in another time waiting to take root and grow. In the early ‘80s, she began her journey as an educator working with physically and intellectually challenged children. It was hard work, and the children often made very minimal progress. However, the rewards far outweighed the obstacles....