Holy Family Academy Music Curriculum
The study of each element is age-appropriate.
- Grades five and under incorporate a larger percentage of games and fun learning activities.
- Solfège – Solfège is the sung language of music: Do, re mi, fa sol, la, ti & te. Developed in the 11th century and used worldwide for the past 500 years, it is the lingua franca of not only Gregorian chant but of the majority of music of the last 1000 years. Every HFA music class uses Solfège.
- The Ward Method – Developed by Justine Ward from 1910-20, the Ward Method is a system of teaching music to Catholic school children, from grades one through twelve. Elements of the Ward Method are used in each HFA music class.
- Vocal Pedagogy – Each child spends quite a bit of time learning how to sing. Elements of these lessons include posture, breathing, forming vowels, vocal production, legato singing, listening and tuning.
- Liturgical Music – Focus on the sung music of the Mass is chief, including parts of the Roman Catholic liturgical music which pertain to priest, people and choir. Alongside preparation for leading the life of an educated Catholic, students are able to fully participate when they attend daily Mass.
- Gregorian Chant – As the official music of the Roman Rite, children are exposed to and participate in singing exploratory selections of the Gregorian chant repertory, a body of works containing tens of thousands of works. Emphasizing those chants which both children and adults should know, the classes include chant hymns, responses and parts of the Ordinary of the Mass.
- Latin – As a complement to the Latin language program at HFA, children study the ecclesiastical pronunciation and meaning of Latin words, appropriate to the child's age. These may range from the simple - "Et cum spiritu tuo" - to the complex - "Adoro te devote ...".
- Standard Modern Music Notation – Any music curriculum would be incomplete without a basic study of standard music notation, including learning to read and understand note values (quarter notes, half notes, etc.), key signatures, time signatures, Italian music terminology, and rhythm.
- Part-singing – In the upper grades, part-singing is introduced, with the class learning to sing in two or three parts.
- Classical Music History – Whenever possible, a discussion about the origin of the music at hand takes place in the class, e.g., the composer, time period, innovation found in the work, style and quality. Additionally, a more systematic approach to learning about the great Western composers and their works is undertaken.
- Grades 7 & 8 music classes are separated by gender