Music possesses unique qualities that can promote a child’s affective and cognitive development. The mission of the music education program of the Chesapeake Public Schools is to empower students to experience music as a source of personal enrichment, as a vehicle for the constructive expression of emotion, and as a complex intellectual discipline.
Inherent in that goal is the development of skills in the areas of music literacy, music performance, and critical thinking, as well as the fostering of life-long enjoyment and appreciation of music. Music education is an integral part of the overall curriculum of the Chesapeake Public Schools.
With this in mind, a structured, sequenced program of instruction has been developed. The Chesapeake Public Schools music curriculum is aligned with the National Standards for Music Education as well as the Virginia Music Standards of Learning which are organized in four content strands: Perform, Create, Investigate, and Connect.
* The Perform content strand includes activities in which students demonstrate their mastery of musical concepts through singing, playing instruments, and moving to music.
* The Create content strand highlights self-expression and use of notational tools in creating original compositions as well as improvising, both vocally and instrumentally.
* The Investigate content strand involves theoretical skills such as notating, reading, and analyzing music, as well as historical perspective and evaluative tools.
* The Connect content strand explores the commonalities between music and other disciplines.
Although presented separately for organizational purposes, the content strands are integrated throughout music instruction at all grade levels. They provide the framework that guides the instructional process and shapes the activity or experience. All elementary students in the first through fifth grades receive weekly instruction in music. Fifth-grade students may choose to participate in beginning string orchestra classes. An elective, performance-based program of study in band, chorus, and orchestra is provided in grades 6 through 12. In addition, non-performance music electives, including music theory, music survey, and beginning guitar, are offered at the high school level. Each year, computer technology plays an increasing role as a valuable tutorial and instructional resource in all music classes.