• Music


    As one of the disciplines identified within the Massachusetts Common Core of Learning, the inclusion of the Fine and Performing Arts within the basic curriculum is essential.

    Students at Marlborough High School have the opportunity to experience music through a comprehensive, sequential curriculum taught by music specialists. We believe that if they are to participate in a truly diverse, global society, students must receive a well-rounded education.

     

    CONCERT BAND  

    This course is open to any interested student who desires to become proficient on a brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument. All participants will be expected to perform with the band at all rehearsals after school, parades, concerts, festivals, and halftime shows for all home football games. The Concert Band studies music from many different historical periods and is dedicated to the development of individual instrumental technique and large ensemble skills. The important fundamentals of tone production, ensemble playing, musical interpretation and style, rhythm studies, scale and chord studies and basic musicianship are all important elements of the Concert Band curriculum. The final instrumentation and roster personnel are at the sole discretion of the ensemble director and music department supervisor.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    WIND ENSEMBLE  

    The members of the Wind Ensemble are selected by audition. The audition process will begin in May for selecting the instrumentation for the following year. The audition material for this select group may include some or all of the following: scales and arpeggios, chromatic scale over the working range of the instrument, any selection of music literature currently being studied, and sight reading. Students in this ensemble are expected to attend all rehearsals after school, parades, concerts, festivals, and halftime shows for all home football games. Performance repertoire will include masterworks for the wind band and advanced 20th century compositions. Emphasis is placed on independence of parts, technical proficiency, and musical interpretation. A minimum of one year’s experience in Concert Band is strongly recommended. The final instrumentation and roster personnel are at the sole discretion of the ensemble director and music department supervisor.

    PREREQUISITE: Audition required.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    MIXED CHORUS  

    This course is open to any interested student who desires to become a proficient singer in a group setting. Emphasis will be placed on breath support, diction, musical interpretation, harmonic blend, and sight-reading and other elements of proper vocal technique. Students will study two, three and four-part vocal music and will sing both with and without instrumental accompaniment. Participants will learn about music theory concepts, such as solfege and “movable do,” count singing, Kodaly hand symbols and will be introduced to the basics of Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Members will be exposed to styles of choral literature including but not limited to: classical, spirituals, folk, popular, and Broadway music. Attendance at all concerts, rehearsals, festivals, and community performances is expected. The final instrumentation and roster personnel are at the sole discretion of the ensemble director and music department supervisor.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    JAZZ ENSEMBLE  

    The members of this ensemble are selected by audition. The audition process will begin in May for selecting instrumentation for the following year. This group is designed for students with sufficient musical skill who would like to develop an understanding of and ability to perform music of various jazz style with specific instrumentation. The group will be limited to saxophones, trumpets, trombones, keyboard players, percussionists, bass, and guitar. Music selected will include rock, soul, jazz, swing, and standards. Students in this ensemble are expected to attend all rehearsals, concerts, festivals and community performances. The final instrumentation and roster personnel are at the sole discretion of the ensemble director and music department supervisor.

    PREREQUISITE: Audition required.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    MUSIC PRODUCTION

    This course is designed for the beginner, intermediate, or advanced student of music who is interested in learning the basics of a cappella studio recording in a collaborative setting. Members work together to arrange, record and produce music that will be released on iTunes and Loudr. Various pieces of software and hardware specific to recording technology will be introduced and utilized over the course of the semester. Students will alternate roles as recording engineer, producer, performer, observer, editor, and mixing engineer.

    Semester course: 2 Credits

     

    MUSIC PRODUCTION II

    This course is designed for the intermediate or advanced student of music who is interested in learning the basics of a cappella studio recording in a collaborative setting. Members work together to arrange, record and produce music that will be released on iTunes and Loudr. Various pieces of software and hardware specific to recording technology will be introduced and utilized over the course of the semester. Compositional techniques related to contemporary music will be studied and only original compositions will be recorded. Students will alternate roles as recording engineer, producer, performer, observer, editor, and mixing engineer.

    PREREQUISITE: Music Production I or recommendation from the Music Production teacher.

    Semester course: 2 Credits

     

    PIANO WORKSHOP  

    This course is designed for the beginning or the advanced student who desires to continue to improve on already acquired skills and abilities or wants to learn how to play the piano. Note and rhythm reading will be stressed for the beginner as well as piano touch, use of pedals, and correct performance of the music played. Music will be of all types (rock, classical) once the student has mastered the basic abilities needed to play the piano. The intermediate and advanced student will be able to choose some of the literature to be studied and will be required to work on specific aspects of technique such as touch types, evenness, strength, velocity, phrasing, style, and all aspects of interpretation. A major objective will be to bring the pieces studied to performance level.  

    Semester course: 2 Credits

     

    GUITAR WORKSHOP  

    This course is designed for students who wish to learn to play the guitar. Emphasis in the first half of the class will be note and chord reading and learning to play strum patterns. As the playing ability of the student progresses, dynamics, phasing, and technical execution will be stressed. Several individual pieces of moderate length and difficulty will be learned and the styles will include rock and folk arrangements as well as some simple classical pieces.

    Semester course: 2 Credits

     

    FUNDAMENTALS OF MUSICIANSHIP

    This course is designed for students interested in understanding the fundamental elements of music. Students will develop their written and aural skills through reading, listening to, analyzing and constructing musical examples. Emphasis will be placed on the ability to comprehend universal musical notation. Students interested in AP Music Theory should strongly consider this course first.

    Semester course: 2 Credits

     

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT MUSIC THEORY  

    This course is designed for the serious music student who wishes to complete music studies comparable to a first-year college course in music theory. The ultimate goal of an AP Music Theory course is to develop a student’s ability to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. Working towards this goal, music skills which include aural recognition, sight-singing, composition and analysis are developed through a series of exercises such as listening, performance, four-part writing, harmonization, music dictation, and music analysis. The development of aural skills is a primary objective. A software program accompanies the main text so that students may work independently for additional training and reinforcement. Students are required to take the AP Music Theory exam in May. Recommended for those intending to major in music in college. PREREQUISITE: Successful completion of summer theory assignment and basic performance skills in voice or on an instrument.  Fundamentals of Musicianship course recommended.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    STRING ENSEMBLE  

    This course is designed for the string student interested in continuing the developmental process on the instrument. The class will be in rehearsal form and will cover a variety of musical styles including: classical, popular, and contemporary music. Students will be expected to attend all concerts, rehearsals, festivals, and community performances. The final instrumentation and roster personnel are at the sole discretion of the ensemble director and music department coordinator.

    PREREQUISITE: Previous experience and lessons on a string instrument encouraged.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    A CAPPELLA CHOIR/SIGHT-SINGING

    The members of this ensemble are selected by audition. The audition process will begin in May for selecting the instrumentation for the following year. The audition material for this select group may include some or all of the following: scales and arpeggios, tonal recall, a prepared classical solo, a prepared pop solo and sight reading. The course designed for the experienced singer who wishes to explore the madrigal literature of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, as well as folk music, spirituals, vocal jazz and contemporary music. The music is performed with little or no instrumental accompaniment, thus developing the student's musical ear and strengthening harmonic singing. Emphasis will be placed on the development of sight-singing skills by using the “solfege” method of reading notes with the “movable do” system. Students will study two, three and four-part vocal vocal music. Participants will learn about music theory concepts such as count singing, Kodaly hand symbols and Dalcroze Eurythmics. Attendance at all concerts, rehearsals, festivals and community performances is expected. The final instrumentation and roster personnel are at the sole discretion of the ensemble director and music department supervisor.

    PREREQUISITE: Audition required.

    Full year course: 4 Credits

     

    LEARN TO JAM

    This is a class for beginning musicians who are not taking another music class. Students will learn the fundamentals of music through performing. Some of the activities include African Drumming, Rock Band, Guitar, Piano. The focus will be on instrumental technique, reading and performing.

    Semester course: 2 Credits