Our formal Music class replaces the science class for a minimum of one year's credit required for graduation from Atheneum. This class includes basic music theory and reading and writing sheet music, hands on practice of an instrument, voice lessons, and the history and philosophy of music from various cultures. Students start with careful listening and bring their own personal favorites into class presentations. As they learn more, they see what is compelling in many forms of music and study more broadly. The importance of music in our society is discussed and compared with its importance to the ancients and other societies. A critique of our contemporary music always inspires controversy and good discussion. Philosophical discussions about what music is and why it is compelling always challenges and excites students even when they may have many years of performance or theory. Music also happens in other classes in smaller units when we discuss its importance to other subjects, its relationship to mathematics, science, language, art, and so on.
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