Music Department

The Music Department provides classes for academic requirements and career direction. There are partnerships with the Washington Opera, the Choral Arts Society, the National Cathedral Choral Society, the Kennedy Center Education Department, and the Washington Performing Arts Society, and the SWWHS choir performs in citywide performances and programs.

U35 Orchestra
Provides the student with ensemble ability on orchestral instruments and development of orchestral repertoire. Skills developed include listening skills, appropriate bowing techniques, interpreting the gestures of a conductor, tuning, balance, and development of standard orchestral literature. The course focuses on repertoire expansion and involves the use of easy level music.

U62 AP Music Theory
Provides advanced study of music theory, composition, and harmony. Students demonstrate proficiency in their knowledge of melodic and chordal construction and progressions, scales and arpeggios (major/minor), rhythm and meter, modes, and compositional principles. Activities include: sight singing; rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic analysis and dictation; transcription; transposition; keyboard sightreading, and some study of harmony and counterpoint in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach. Students are required to complete an original composition in 18th century fugue or chorale style according to specific guidelines given by the instructor.

UA1 Applied Technique
Provides individual or very small group instruction on an identified instrument, including vocal. Students review: correct instrument position; correct standing and/or sitting position; identified playing positions; tuning, and identified major scales played one octave. Additional studies are included as identified by the instructor. Easy level 1 and 2 method books are used. A specific section must be specified:

A—Vocal;  B—Piano;  C—Flute;  D—Oboe;  E—Clarinet;  F—Bassoon;  G—Saxophone; H—Trumpet;  J—French Horn;  K—Trombone;  L—Tuba;  M—Euphonium;  N—Violin; P—Viola;  Q—Cello;  R–String Bass;  S—Guitar;  T—Brass;  U—Woodwind; V—Percussion; X–String

UA2 Applied Technique II
Continues individual or very small group instruction on an identified instrument, including vocal. Students review: correct instrument position; correct standing and/or sitting position; identified playing positions; tuning, and identified major scales played one octave. Additional studies are included as identified by the instructor. Easy level 1 and 2 method books are used. A specific section must be specified: (as above)

UD5 JAZZ BAND/ORCHESTRA I
Provides the opportunity for students who demonstrate good technical and improvisational talent to play music in a jazz/popular ensemble. Easy  to low intermediate level standard/original jazz and popular literature is introduced. Activities include the study of scales, chords, and various approaches are used to instill improvisational techniques. Students participate in field trips and in-house/public performances. Students may perform at the citywide jazz festival.

UD6 Jazz Band/ Orchestra II
Provides progression of the jazz experience in the exploration of standard and original jazz and popular literature. Students continue to enrich skills through increasing study of scales, arpeggios, chords, chord progressions and motifs. A variety of methods and practices are used to instill and enhance improvisation, technique and ensemble passages. Students participate in field trips and in -house/public performances. Students may perform at the citywide jazz festival.

UJ1G String Ensemble
Teaches students to play instruments at the beginning level. Students will care for and maintain instruments properly, apply techniques for good tone production, and execute correct playing posture. Students will also execute diaphragmatic breathing, interpret symbols for standard notation of music, perform the B flat concert scale and arpeggio, tune instruments to concert pitch, and perform exercises and music from beginner methods books. Students may possibly participate in the city-wide adjudicated solo and ensemble festival.

UJ1H Brass Ensemble
Teaches students to play instruments at the beginning level. Students will care for and maintain instruments properly, apply techniques for good tone production, and execute correct playing posture. Students will also execute diaphragmatic breathing, interpret symbols for standard notation of music, perform the B flat concert scale and arpeggio, tune instruments to concert pitch, and perform exercises and music from beginner methods books. Students may possibly participate in the city-wide adjudicated solo and ensemble festival.

UJ1T Guitar Ensemble
Teaches students to play instruments at the beginning level. Students will care for and maintain instruments properly, apply techniques for good tone production, and execute correct playing posture. Students will also execute diaphragmatic breathing, interpret symbols for standard notation of music, perform the B flat concert scale and arpeggio, tune instruments to concert pitch, and perform exercises and music from beginner methods books. Students may possibly participate in the city-wide adjudicated solo and ensemble festival.

UJ2 Ensemble II
Introduces new skills and reinforces skills learned in Ensemble I at the easy to intermediate level. Students will: perform articulations and phrasing; play and sing major scales and arpeggios; sight read music at the easy to intermediate level; perform exercises, music, and solos from intermediate methods books, and participate in the city-wide adjudicated solo and ensemble festival. A specific section must be specified: (see Applied Technique sections).

U14 From Bach to Rap
This course is designed to enhance and encourage the aesthetic appreciation of music in students. With emphasis on the affective elements of music, students will develop competencies in discriminatory listening, form analysis, and cross/cultural comparisons. It will begin with music from the period of Bach and continue up to the present contemporary trends, including rap music. This course may be used to satisfy graduation requirements.

U17 Music History/Literature I
Presents a detailed study of the historical development of music from primitive man to the late 19th century. Relationships will be made between the important stylistic characteristics of various historical periods and major musical events. The lives and works of notable musicians and composers will be identified and analyzed by the student. This course may be used to satisfy graduation requirements. 

U51 Concert Choir I
Offers students an opportunity to acquire a fundamental choral experience. Students are trained to demonstrate correct breathing, tone quality, voice blending diction, and interpretation of music notation. Aural recognition of basic voice categories is developed and three and four part harmonies are emphasized; using appropriate choral techniques for artistic performance is stressed. Students may participate in the city-wide adjudicated choral festival.

U52 Concert Choir II
Provides a choral ensemble experience through which students continue to develop skills identified in the Concert Choir I course description. Through listening and performing experiences, effective techniques will be demonstrated in phrasing, dynamics, choral diction, and other aspects of choral interpretation.

UE5 Show Choir I
This course focuses primarily on show and jazz music with movement. The course will establish a choral performing ensemble that may sing music in any style, but the first year includes basic training in choral singing and movement. Students may participate in the adjudicated city-wide choral festival.

UG1 Computer Music Applications I
Explores introductory and beginning integration of music performance, improvisation, composition and notation technology applications. Students explore internet basics and the use of multimedia/MIDI software and equipment. They use such programs as Band-In-A-Box to generate rhythms in various styles, enter chord changes, control the tempo and style, and/or transpose changes to a different key. Music fundamentals are reinforced through use of software designed for learning to read, play, and interpret music.

UG2 0.5 Computer Music Applications II
Students explore more advanced music software, such as Finale or CuBase to enable activities in MIDI sequencing, notating/printing music through computer applications and digital recording. Extends skills in computer music to include technology integration in analysis and evaluation.