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Students will be performing a school musical called MUSICVILLE this week, November 9 and 10 at Hillside Middle. Tickets are $2 at the door!




Music is a wonderful tool that helps increase literacy and math skills, encourages problem-solving and cooperation, fosters creativity, and reinforces many core classroom subjects. 

Plato said, “I would teach children music, physics, philosophy; but most importantly MUSIC, for in the patterns of music . . . are the keys of learning.” 

Most of all, music is an essential subject to learn about for its own sake. Music is history that can be recreated and experienced. Music is an expression of the highest thought and emotion. 


Highland Park is lucky to have a fabulous staff of music teachers including Jennifer Purdy (Grades K, 3, 4, 5, 6 General Music block), Diana Alvarez (Grades 4, 5 General Music block, 6), Michelle Misco (Grades 5 and 6 Music Block strings), Leland Watson (Grades 5 and 6 Music Block band), and Judy Mayfield (Grade 1). Mrs. Misco and Mr. Watson establish relationships and learning that continue into 7th and 8th grade where they also teach strings and band at Hillside Middle School. 


Music lesson plans are based on the new Utah music core standards that include creating, responding, performing, and connecting. 

Each grade will also increase developmentally-appropriate skills in the following areas: 


- sing in tune and match pitch 

- become familiar with harmony by using vocal ostinati, and by singing partner songs and rounds 

- explore range of voice and use vocal play 

- accurately sing common intervals (sol-mi, do-re-mi, do-mi-sol, etc.) 

- utilize proper vocal techniques when singing 

- experience a variety of folk songs 


- differentiate between beat and rhythm 

- feel meter through strong and weak beats 

- use body percussion such as clapping, patting, stomping 

- use body movement such as marching, walking, swaying 

- properly use a variety of non-pitched percussion instruments such as sticks, drums, shakers, triangles, wood blocks, etc. 

- accompany songs using pitched percussion instruments such as boomwhackers, bells, and barred Orff instruments (glockenspiels, xylophones, metallophones), ukuleles, and recorders 

- watch and follow conducting cues 

- interpret and perform musical terms for tempo (adagio, andante, allegro, presto) and dynamics (piano, mezzo forte, forte) 


- listen, compare, and contrast a variety of musical genres 

- experience music from other cultures and parts of the world 

- learn about composers and musical eras 

- practice analyzing and assessing music performances and experiences 

- identify emotions represented in musical selections 


 - use a variety of icons to play and create music patterns 

 - read and write simple rhythmic notation 

- follow melodic contour 

- sight-read and play or sing simple tunes 


- use icons, pictures, stick notation, traditional notation, and beat charts to create new body percussion patterns, instrumental rhythms, soundscapes, and melodies 

- create body movements or actions 

- make choices about performances, groupings, staging, etc. 

- apply knowledge of form to create new variations of songs 

- write new lyrics to familiar folk tunes 


Grades K-3 receive 30 minutes of music once a week. The songs and activities in music class will relate and support what the students are learning in their classrooms. 

Grade 4 has 30 minutes of music twice a week, and an extra 30-minute music class every other week. 

Grades 1-4 will each have an “informance” to show what they have learned in music and dance that will inform the audience about what the students have learned and how they have learned it. These informances connect to classrooms subject areas. 

Grade 5 has music every week for 30 minutes. This music class connects to content they are learning in their classrooms. In March the entire grade will present a musical program highlighting American history. This will take place in conjunction with the Wax Museum organized by their teachers. 

Grade 5 students also receive 40 minutes of either general music, band, or strings twice a week. 

Grade 6 has music every week for 30 minutes. This music class connects to content they are learning in their classrooms. There is an end-of-year music performance to showcase what they have learned. 

Grade 6 students also receive 40 minutes of either general music, band, or strings, twice a week. 

Grades 5 and 6 perform twice during the school year in a combined general music, strings, and band concert to showcase what they have learned during music block. 


Our music teachers work closely with the classroom teachers to reinforce through music the core subject areas being covered in their classrooms. Our music teachers also encourage and help students make connections between music and their own lives, experiences, and emotions.