Music and Movement - Ms. Jaffrey

The Learning Community Charter School

Music and Movement Curriculum


The  K-4th grade music and movement curriculum at the Learning Community Charter School adheres strictly to the New Jersey State Standards for music and dance education. Though content may vary from year to year, the skills the students develop through the years remain constant. By the end of fourth grade students will:

1) become aware of sounds, rhythms, and movements in their environment

2) be able to sing with proper vocal and breathing  technique, accurate pitch, rhythm, dynamics and tempo

3) be able to read music  

4) play the recorder, xylophones and an array of percussion instruments with attention to phrasing, tone, tempo, rhythm and dynamics  

5) express ideas and feelings through creative movement with attention to space, time, energy, direction, pattern and form

6) express ideas and feelings through original music compositions with attention to time signature, rhythm and tone notation, style, form and structure

7) listen to music or view dance critically and with sensitivity to detail and nuance,  and be able to give critique using appropriate and precise music or dance vocabulary

8) become aware of the different genres of music from the United States: folk, gospel, blues, rock and rap

9) be aware of music and dance traditions from around the world  

10) compose original music pieces and choreograph original dance pieces based on particular ideas, themes  or feelings

11) work effectively in collaborative situations to create music or dance  

12) make great personal choices to maximize participation and potential  

13) develop the CIRCLE values through participation and performance 14) gain comfort confidence performing for an audience

15) reinforce science, social studies, English and math concepts through music and movement

16) use music and dance as a tools for relaxation, self-expression and social connection

The LCCS music and movement curriculum incorporates many music methodologies including Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze.  We use a developmental, child centered approach to helping students develop the skills needed to become active and successful participants in music and movement exploration and expression.. By using solfege hand symbols,  students are made conscious of changes in pitch of a song. Rhythmic notation is taught in a sequential manner starting with quarter notes (ta) then moving to eighth notes (ti ti or ti ki) to sixteenth notes (tiri-tiri), dotted notes and rests. Dynamics and timbre are taught through song games.  Students begin to explore time, direction, energy and space through a variety of creative movement activities. These games and activities not only build music and movement skills, but also build social and emotional skills. Students develop CIRCLE values and learn to collaborate effectively as they interact with one another.  Every year students are involved in multiple performances either for their peers in class or before the entire school. This helps students develop confidence making creative choices, and presenting themselves before an audience. Students attend live performances and workshops by a wide range of professional musicians and dancers from Jersey City and surrounding areas. They use expressive vocabulary to critique and comment on all performances.

Much of the curriculum involves integration of music and dance with subjects taught in the classroom. This type of collaboration and connection helps students deepen their understanding of music and dance concepts and also reinforces concepts taught in their classrooms. By engaging all of their senses and collaborating with peers to create dances or songs based on units such as the water cycle, the life cycle of a frog, or butterfly, slavery or immigration, students are more likely to retain pertinent information.

Students are assessed on their level of participation, their ability to critique work they see or hear, their involvement in group activities and discussions, their performance skills and their ability to display CIRCLE values when working with others.

Students are always welcome to share music or dance they are working on outside of school. Parents are also always welcome  and encouraged to come perform, participate or share some aspect of music or movement in our classroom or at a concert or sing-along.

How Can I Help My Child At Home

Parents frequently ask me, how can I support my child at home with music or dance. Here are some suggestions: Sing with your children.

As much as possible, expose your child to live performances of music, dance and theater.

If your child seems to enjoy listening to a particular instrument, watch youtube videos of some of the best musicians playing that instrument.

Listen to music at home and dance with your children. Act out stories he/she is reading or dramatize a poem.

When listening to music at home, have your child draw pictures they imagine as they are listening.

Help students deal with challenging interactions in school by dramatizing the incident and helping your child to use effective words to deal with the situation.

Create a family band, even if you are just playing kitchen items, pots, spoons, strainers etc. Make music together.

If your child has decided that he/she would like to play an instrument, help your child set up a regular practice routine (for example 10 minutes before or after dinner).

Encourage your child to improvise on instruments he/she is not familiar with.

Involve your child in after school and summer music and dance camps/clubs.

Support your child’s interests. Even if you do not have money for particular lessons, classes or live performance look for free opportunities and scholarships. Below are some suggestions:




Music in the community

Free Irish Music at The Hutton in the Heights, JC every Sunday afternoon (small donation)

Live Band at Liberty House, JC every Sunday for brunch

Free live music at The Fox and Crow on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Great Jazz for very cheap at Moore’s Lounge on Monticello Ave and Jewett

Inexpensive instrumental lessons:

The Guitar Bar Palisade Ave, in the Heights in JC

Metropolis Music, Newark Ave. JC

For Musical Theater

For Dance

For Performing Arts

For Musical Theater