Focus on Music: Enriching our children's lives, one note at a time...

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Did you study Tchaikovsky at age 6? Could you read a musical score at age 10? Could you explain how vibration creates sound at age 8?

Our kids do and our kids can.

Our gifted and award-winning music specialist, Kimberly Taweel, has taught music at Carpenter for 20 years. In 2004, she was honored by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Matters as "Unsung Hero" (music teacher of the year) at Hollywood Bowl. Mrs. Taweel holds a B.S. in Music Education from Lebanon Valley College, PA, a Master of Music degree from Pennslvania State University, was the former Assistant Director of Education for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the former Executive Director of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.

She provides our children with a comprehensive music program that includes the history of music, singing, music appreciation, and movement and instrument instruction. Consulting with teachers, Mrs. Taweel provides a music curriculum that supports Science, Open Court, Social Studies, and the Cougar Character Program. In addition, she orchestrates the school's annual Winter Holiday Program, 4th and 5th grade chorus, and the 5th grade musical.

"From studying Tchaikovsky to Mozart, Beethoven to Vivaldi, and so much more, I try to give our children unforgettable musical exposure and knowledge," says Mrs. Taweel. "Music connects us with our emotions, and for our children to have an appreciation and understanding of music, is a gift they'll have for their lifetimes."

Here is an inside view of just some of what your child might be learning in Music:

Kindergarten: Study Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet and Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf; differentiating high and low notes, fast and slow tempos and the structure of music. Playing percussion instruments.

First grade: Study Mozart; reading and performing notes of the scale: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do; reading and performing whole, half, quarter, and eighth note rhythms and rests; identifying patterns in music and variations in music.

Second grade: Study Beethoven; reading and performing raps about each family of the orchestra, analyzing how each instrument makes sound; explaining vibration and how it creates sound and how we hear.

Third grade: Study Vivaldi; reading and identifying parts of the musical score such as treble clef, coda, bar lines, measure, staff; writing poetry inspired by music; analyzing music using tempo, tonality, texture, mood, dynamics, instrumental effects.

Fourth grade: Study Foster and Saint-Saens; student compositions of original, autobiographical lyrics to "O Susanna"; playing recorders and reading musical notes G, A, B; completing a Venn diagram. Continue to learn musical score reading, use appropriate musical language when discussing music.

Fifth grade: Study The National Anthem, music of the colonies, slaves, and Civil War; learn basic stage directions, participate in a dramatic performance using music; identify ways a composer uses music to tell a story. Continue to refine musical score reading and discover and identify music's important role in our country's history.

As we all know, the importance of music has been recognized for centuries. As Greek philosopher Plato stated "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." And, more recently, studies show that "Music optimizes brain development, enhances multiple intelligences, builds social-emotional skills, promotes attention to task and inner speech, develops impulse and motor control, and communicates creativity and joy." - Educator Lorna Heyge.

At Carpenter, our mission is to educate the whole-child, and through superb enrichment classes such as our Music Program, we give our children the best education possible.

For more information about PFC's Enrichment Programs, please contact Amber Schaeffer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it