GSS offers music classes in Concert Band, Jazz Band, Concert Choir, Vocal Jazz & Guitar at all grade levels. Secondary students are enrolled into the appropriate level of Band on the basis of previous Band or instrumental experience. Students new to GSS and their parent(s) should meet with the Music teacher prior to registration to determine the appropriate level. It is expected that students will develop: an interest in playing an instrument, technical ability, a sense of ensemble playing, and a skill and appreciation which will carry on beyond Secondary School.
** Please note that all students participate in a minimum of three performances, all rehearsals and related activities. Students are to be evaluated on: intonation, phrasing, dynamics, balance, tone quality, tempo, articulation and style for all performance tests and 35% of the mark is derived from an understanding of written/theory concepts. Furthermore, students are graded on attitude (self-improvement, commitment, confidence, leadership, pride, involvement, and ability to follow instructions) attendance/participation and home practice. Students will be involved in a number of activities including concerts, retreats, tours, workshops, clinics and travel to various performances around the Lower Mainland. Opportunities will arise for travel and exchanges with bands from across Canada and other countries. These trips have to be earned by displaying a good attitude and work ethic, knowing the music well, attending rehearsals, and only with parental support.
Instrumental Music 8: Band – No pre-requisite or musical experience Beginning Band is an introduction to reading music and playing an instrument in a group setting. Students do not need prior musical experience to succeed in this course.
Concert Band 9 – Prerequisite: 1-2 years playing experience with a Concert Band instrument
Concert Band 10 – Prerequisite: 2-3 years playing experience with a Concert Band instrument
Concert Band 11/12 – 3-4 years of musical experience with a Concert Band instrument
Jazz Band 9 – 12 – These groups are for musicians who are in their 2nd to 5th year of playing. Classes take place outside the regular timetable Students are also allowed to learn a 2nd instrument in the Jr. Jazz group if they wish. The focus will be playing rock, swing, blues, Latin, funk, and ballad styles and learning to improvise. As new concepts come up, they will be explained, discussed, and reinforced throughout the year. The pace of learning is therefore dictated by the progress of the group as a whole. The music teachers will make the decision of whether they should be in the Junior or Senior level based on ability.
Choral Music 9 – 12: Concert Choir – This class is designed to provide students an opportunity to learn proper vocal technique in a group setting. This is a practical course in choral singing and performing. Emphasis is placed on the development of individual vocal technique, the ability to sing in parts, as well as the ability to sing in concerts. Some other areas of study will include: ear training, sight singing, learning to read music, basic piano skills and the study of various vocal artists. Students with or without vocal experience will be able to expand their abilities through the use of exercises and music designed to improve range, tone quality, diction, breath control, and interpretation. Although a wide variety of choral music and styles are studied, the emphasis is on modern music. Evaluation will be based on daily participation, singing & written work. All students will be required to participate in group performances as part of the course. With enough interest, there may end up being two classes of concert choir – Junior & Senior.
Choral Music 8 – 12: Vocal Jazz – Prerequisite: This is an auditioned entrance or by permission of the teacher. Students must be in Concert Choir. This course will meet outside of regular school hours and is designed for dedicated vocal students wishing to work in a small group setting. The focus will be singing rock, swing, blues, Latin, funk, and ballad styles and learning to improvise. Some other areas of study will include ear training, sight singing, reading music, basic piano skills and the study of various vocal artists. This is a performance-based class; regular attendance is mandatory.
Guitar 9 – This course expands on the skills introduced in the guitar samplers portion of Fine Arts 8
Guitar 10-12 -. Students will focus on fundamental rock & roll chord progressions, basic music literacy and develop the basic techniques of a blues guitar player. Students will also explore basic recording techniques using current recording hardware and software. Students are required to play in at least one public performance during the year.