Middle School Music - Mrs. Karen Mercer

Guardian Angels Middle School Music

GARS Middle School Music Program Music education at our Paulsboro campus includes a 45 minute general music class once a week for grades 4-8. In addition, students can choose to participate in instrumental and choral programs. The music curriculum follows the National Standards for Music Education and includes lessons on beat, rhythm, singing and ensemble. Lessons are presented in a variety of ways to meet the needs of differentiated learners. Songs, games and small group projects are assigned to teach creativity, following the Orff-Schulwerk philosophy. Recorders are introduced in grade 4 and formal note reading in grade 5. The older grades learn about different music careers, famous composers and the history of American music. Whenever possible, music lessons are designed to integrate across the curriculum.

Band is open to all students in grades 4-8 and they can choose any traditional band instrument to study. They are grouped by ability and participate in a group ensemble as well as a group lesson. They perform at both the Christmas program and the Arts at Gars concert in the spring. Advanced students have the opportunity to join jazz band. Group and private lessons are available on guitar and piano. There is a monthly fee for band students.

The choir program has many options:

Liturgical Choir - open to all students in grades 4-8. This group rehearses on Mondays during recess and sings at school Masses.

Dona Nobis Pacem - open to all students in grades 4-8. This group rehearses on Wednesdays after school from 3:15 - 4:30. They sing with Angelic choir and keep a busy performance schedule both on and off campus. We belong to a national youth choir organization, Pueri Cantores and we travel yearly to participate in their choral festival.

Angelic Choir - open to students in grades 6-8 with a voice assessment. Students in this group are advanced and ready for more challenging music and harmonies. In addition to Wednesday rehearsals, they also practice on Tuesdays at recess. During performances, they will sing their own repertoire separate from the larger group.

GARS students also have the opportunity to participate in our yearly spring musical. Students in grades 4-8 are invited to audition for parts while 3rd graders can join the ensemble as they begin to gain stage experience. Alumni with a strong interest in musical theatre may be invited back as student directors or choreographers. 

Preschool Music - the preschool music curriculum follows the Orff-Schulwerk philosophy. Teaching the children to internalize beat is the primary aim. This is accomplished through songs, games and instruments. The lesson is planned to integrate and reinforce the classroom curriculum.