BCA's Music Program
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing." (Psalm 100:1-2)
Bannockburn Christian Academy celebrates God’s great gift of music every day through rigorous academic methodologies combined with a loving, Christian underpinning that nurtures faithful musicians.
The Kodaly Methodology?
The Kodaly methodology (pronounced Ko-dye), inspired by the philosophy of Zoltan Kodaly, builds individual and group singing/musical skills. Research shows that the methodology associates with improvements in general classroom behavior and attitudes. Moreover, the methodology boosts reading advancements and powers learning how to learn through critical thinking. Kodaly achieves musicianship primarily through singing although the methodology utilizes instruments to enhance and support learning.
The five main dimensions of musicianship in the Kodaly method are (1) cultural heritage, (2) performance through singing, moving and playing instruments, (3) music literacy, (4) improvisation, and (5) informed audience members. These dimensions address different types of learning through a three-phase process. In the Cognitive Phase, the student experiences a new concept – before knowing the term or symbol – through kinesthetic, aural and visual knowledge. Next, in the Associative phase, the student learns the name and symbol of the new concept. Finally, in the Assimilative Phase, the student practices the new concept within a framework of known repertoire.
Kodaly at BCA: Overview
Here, at BCA, the Kodaly methodology provides a strong, foundational framework to create music and foster music literacy skills. Beginning in Kindergarten, students progressively build music concepts via a scaffolding system. The first concepts encapsulate comparatives, such as loud vs. soft and high vs. low, and then progress to steady beat and rhythm. In the years following, students experience increasingly difficult melodic and rhythmic concepts. In practicing these concepts, students use folk songs to read, write, compose, and improvise music with both voices and instruments. In order to teach pitch and intervals in singing, the BCA Music Program uses the solfege system, commonly recognized by familiar hand-signs (and referenced in The Sound of Music). Truly, the rigorous and educational standard of the Kodaly methodology influences all of the program’s activities.
Beyond Kodaly at BCA: Supplemental Activities
In addition to the core Kodaly education and training, BCA students learn music through a variety of other interactive experiences and faith-based musical repertoire.
- Pre-K | Singing and instrument experiences introduce K4 students to the world of music. Lessons typically focus on a theme, such as farm animals, nature, or family and friends. K4 students, as well as Kindergarteners, also become familiar with and create music using the classroom percussion instruments, such as drums, shakers, rhythm sticks, bells, and more.
- Kindergarten – 2nd | Students also focus on learning the names and sounds of the orchestral instruments. Students learn how to play the barred instruments (xylophones, metallophones, and glockenspiels) in order to accompany their songs and to expand on composition and improvisation skills.
- 3rd – 5th | Students learn to play recorder, which prepares them for middle school band and choir. The Recorder Karate Belt system motivates students individually to practice and master performance of increasingly difficult songs. When a student masters a song, they receive a corresponding, colored “belt” to adorn their recorder.
- 4th – 5th | Students attend the Austin Symphony’s Young People’s Concert in May. This is a great opportunity to practice one of Kodaly’s dimensions of musicianship – informed audience members – as students become familiar with and appreciative of classical masterworks. Furthermore, BCA students participate in creating classical music by joining with all other student attendees to play recorders with the Symphony.
For Veterans’ Day, BCA students learn the value of respect and appreciation for service by performing well-loved patriotic songs in honor of community veterans.
One of the special gifts of the BCA year, the annual Christmas Pageant, empowers students to celebrate and share the gift of Jesus’s birth. Pre-K and Kindergarten students typically present Christmas songs along with a brief telling of the Christmas story. 1st-5th graders present a themed musical program, complete with spoken lines, costumes, props, lighting, and microphones.
BCA’s Spring Concert marks an important milestone, highlighting the great progress achieved by students in their musical learning. Students’ performances demonstrate skills built in the music classroom throughout the year. Usually coinciding with Easter week, students also help inspire the community to fully experience the Good News of Jesus’s death and resurrection.