Performing Arts

Performing Arts in Grades 6 and 7

Experiencing All the Arts

Grade 6
General music class is a twice weekly, year-long course for all sixth graders. Designed to be the foundation course for music studies at the Academy, this class encompasses a wide range of skill building for every musician and includes singing, active listening, writing and composing, integrated projects, and guest performers.

Sixth grade students must also select which of the performing arts disciplines — band, chorus, dance, guitar, orchestra — to participate in for the school year.

In addition to the two arts requirements above, sixth graders spend half the school year in theater arts, and half the year in visual arts.

Grade 7
Seventh grade students may choose to continue their study in band, chorus, dance, guitar, and orchestra, or select a different discipline. Participation requires a year-long commitment. Students will continue to spend half the school year in theater and the other half year in visual arts.

Students in both grades 6 and 7 have a variety of extracurricular activities to chose from. Click here to download a list of 2013-14 options.
A long standing tradition in sixth grade is the Friday "song-of-the-week" in the dining hall after lunch when everyone sings. It is also a part of the community service mentor project in the elementary schools.

General Music for Grade 6

List of 5 items.

  • Singing

    Each class begins with aural rhythmic and vocal drills developed by music education researchers Edward Gordon and John Feierabend to teach, monitor, and assess musical comprehension. In these drills, music is deconstructed into chanted tonal and rhythmic segments that are answered by the students as a solo or in groups. The rhythmic drills, using rhythmic solfège, teach duple and triple time and unusual meters. The tonal drills, sung using solfège, teach intervals, major and minor keys, and chords.

    In addition to the singing drills, students learn to sing major and chromatic scales using solfège, and learn lots of songs by ear. The class gives students a greater vocabulary from which to learn and understand music.
  • Listening

    Developing active musical listening skills is part of the sixth-grade program. Using a non-hierarchical study of the world of music, all genres, including classical, tribal, folk, electronically generated, historical, and new experimental are included. The skills of analyzing and intellectualizing music, coined "SHMRFT"-ing, include the study of sound, harmony, melody, rhythm, form, text, texture, vocal ranges, and different instruments. Students take notes, learn vocabulary and terminology, become familiar with the extensive CD collection in Simms Library, and write CD reviews.
  • Writing

    Students experience a hands-on study of music theory, including tonic, sub-dominant, and dominant chords, and key and time signatures. They learn to write down the music as it is sung to them. They also write and perform their own solo and ensemble compositions in various clefs and write for and direct classmate performances.
  • Project

    The sixth-grade faculty plans interdisciplinary projects to deepen understanding of the inter-connectedness between disciplines. One such event is a collaborative project with science. Students research, design, and construct their own invented musical instrument. Additionally, they compose and perform a piece on their invented instrument.
  • Guest Performers

    In the past, students have enjoyed performances by Cooper-Moore, Kevin Kinane ("The Recycle Man"), Tomás Lozano, and La Musgaña, to name a few.
Albuquerque Academy is a private, coeducational, college preparatory day school serving middle school and high school students in grades 6 through 12, located in Albuquerque, NM.


6400 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109-3899
ph: 505-828-3200