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General music is a music class for every student in kindergarten through fourth grade. Each individual grade level class enjoys music class for 30 minutes twice a week.
Our music teacher
Mr. Woltman has been teaching general music, band and chorus at Pleasantdale for 11 years. Mr. Woltman’s experience teaching music is not only been to elementary school aged children. He has shared his love for music while instructing high school band as a brass, student conductor and marching instructor, local middle school band camp director, adult singing classes provided by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, adult dance, percussion and handbell classes, individual private lesson instructor and adult church choir.
Mr. Woltman attended VanderCook College of Music of Chicago where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degree. His primary instruments are French horn, guitar, piano and voice. As a performer, Mr. Woltman has sung in light operas with the Light Opera Works Company, played electric guitar in a local rock band and played French horn in various local community bands.
The study of music is, in short, the study of humanity. Music is a combination of all types of study rolled into one. Rhythms are merely math fractions, hearing pitches is the physics of sound and vibration, singing songs from around the world throughout time transcends moments in history and teach us stories that were written long ago and set to music, dance is nothing but good old physical education, and understanding music beyond the notes and rhythms is the art form which allows students to communicate without words. With the help of the music textbooks, music class incorporates cross-curricular material as it relates to the music being sung, played or heard. The music the children learn are related to historical events, historical time periods, historical figures, cultural traditions of diverse peoples, mathematics in rhythm, visual art, and physics of sound.
Musicians in training
Elementary school students are at the stage where their actions and habits begin to take shape. They are, in fact, in training. For some students it takes years to sing on pitch and for others it happens much sooner. This large window of mastery is considered with the utmost care. Students must be willing to take chances and explore their potential in all subjects including music. Most of the activities in music class are hands-on. Students use a variety of pitched and unpitched instruments to perform and accompany music in class. Singing songs is the probably the most predominant activity found in the elementary music classroom. Our voice is the instrument we were all born with and if a child learns how to match pitch and/or sing with correct vowel sounds, a child will be more adapt to learning how to play an instrument and furthermore, they will understand music beyond just the notes and rhythms.