On Tuesday, December 17, the music class (upper elementary and middle school) from Pinnacle Classical Academy will be singing a few Christmas carols at Emeritus at Pleasant Hills. This is a special way for the school to serve in the community by sharing the joy of the Christmas season! As we all know, a performance does not simply come together but requires much hard work on the part of both students and teachers. Yet, PCA believes music education is not solely about the performance but is in fact a critical part of a child’s educational experience.
Music education must move past silly songs and drive towards music theory: what makes music and infuses expression into it. Perhaps you wonder what music looks like in classical education. Teaching music classically fits into the ancient Greek and Roman mold that PCA seeks to imitate. Ancient Greeks and Romans looked at music mathematically and then put it into a beautiful form. Thus, music is not simply singing songs or playing an instrument. Instead, it leads children to think better, consequently helping with other subjects such as math and science because of the correlation.
Ideally, a typical music class would be a blend of theory and choral programming. Students are learning harmony, with theory being built in so that it is not only singing notes but also adding expression through dynamics. As time permits, the children also learn about composers, styles, periods, and the differences among sounds. The students were able to experience and learn these things first hand as they took a field trip to the symphony earlier in the year.
It is no secret that we live in a generation where people do not sing much any more and where music theory is lost on most adults. Yet, when we think of worship, we typically think foremost about singing. It is important to PCA that we come back to this discipline of singing so that our worship would be all the more meaningful. Children love to sing, and the classical model of teaching grabs onto what children love to do in order to give each child the tools they need to continue learning. We desire to capture that love of singing at a young age in order that it would stay with them as they grow and mature – training up children in the way they should go, that when they are old they would not depart from it.