Here is a glimpse of Wassail & Carols, our December 12 celebration of Christ’s incarnation through recitation and carols. This was also a night to revel in the musicianship that our music teacher, Mrs. Peng, has been teaching to our students. At Cedar, we like to say that beauty is not an elective. We think art and music are important parts of a whole-person education. We asked Mrs. Peng to flesh out this idea a little bit more. Here is what she said:
At Cedar Classical Academy, we aim to provide students with a comprehensive, well-rounded musical education in order for them to achieve skillful music literacy, foster lifelong love of music, and embrace their roles as worshipers for the glory of God.
We implement the sequential method inspired by Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály’s philosophy of music education, which emphasizes tuneful singing as the foundation of developing the inner musical ear. Our students learn to develop their voices as God-given, powerful instruments to sing musically and confidently.
The Kodály method introduces musical concepts through the steps of preparation, presentation, and practice. We prepare students by guiding them to experience the new concept kinesthetically, aurally, and visually by singing folk songs and playing singing games. Then we present the concept by identifying and labeling the sound of the rhythmic or melodic element found in the song. Lastly, we practice the newfound knowledge in the skills of reading, writing, and improvisation.
Musicianship means being able to “think in sound.” This skill will equip students, if they choose, to pursue further training in musical instruments or voice.
To cultivate fluency in the language of music, we immerse our students with the experience of hearing, singing, and understanding music. Various musical tools, such as solfege hand signs, conducting, and rhythm syllables, are used to develop musical literacy. We also weave in listening to masterworks along with building knowledge of composers and instruments.
As a school community, we strive to cultivate a singing culture by raising our voices together throughout the school day, starting and ending our day with hymns, and incorporating songs as a memorization aid.