Middle School Electives

IN 2013-14, 6th grade students at Seward attend a music elective three days a week (Weds, Thurs, Fri).  

This course is paired with a required media class two days a week (Mon / Tues).  


Below is information about music electives offered in previous school years.  These classes may be offered again in the future.

  • Middle school students at Seward may choose a music class during their elective hour.
  • *--Students attend class daily for 55 minutes during 6th hour for one quarter (nine weeks) of instructional time.
  • *--General Music classes offered as 6th hour electives are Composing Music with Garageband, Beginning Guitar and World Music Drumming.
  • *--Classes emphasize hands-on music-making and performance with a performance project culminating the class. Students learn by rote and by using a notation system appropriate to the music being studied or created. Students have opportunities to work alone, in small groups and as a large class group. Students also have opportunities to arrange &/or compose their own music for the instrument(s) being studied.

(offered Quarter 1 in 2013-14)

Learn to play the guitar or improve your existing guitar skills. After a brief group instruction of a new technique, song or music theory, guitar students spend most of their class time working independently or in small groups to practice music they have chosen. Students are evaluated on their knowledge with a written test. Guitar playing skills are evaluated whenever the student performs informally for the teacher. Students also prepare a piece of music to perform for the class. As a final project, some students visit Children's House and E-1 classrooms to perform guitar music for them and answer questions about the guitar.  This class follows MPS 6th grade curriculum as much as possible.  (The curriculum is written for classes that meet daily for a year; our class meets three times weekly for one quarter of the year.)



(offered Quarter 2 in 2013-14)

Learn to play melodies on xylophones and classroom percussion.  Perform music from the United States and around the world.   Perform in large and small ensembles.  Create your own music with a group.   Students will prepare a piece to perform for the class by the end of the quarter.

(Quarters 3 & 4 in 2013-14 school year)

Create your own music using Apple's Garageband program. In the process, learn about musical form and how music is used to communicate. At the end of the quarter, burn your very own CD of music you have created in class complete with CD cover & artwork you create for the cover.
(not offered in 2013-14)

Using your hands you can make a drum sound melodic! Perform traditional and newly composed music based on the music of West Africa and Latin America. Create and perform music for percussion ensemble using speech and language as a starting point. Learn about drumming traditions around the world. Students will play conga drums, tubanos and classroom small percussion in this class. Curriculum comes from a variety of sources including Will Schmid's "World Music Drumming" and Jim Solomon's "Hands-On Drumming".

Students should expect a lot of large-group music-making and instruction with some opportunities to create their own music in similar styles in small groups. This class does not teach traditional drum-set nor orchestral or band drums.