There are many benefits to music education and many reasons for the importance of music. Music is a science, is mathematical, a foreign language, history, and most of all, art. Music is what makes humans human and affects the growth of a child's brain academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Music is an important part of our day here at Our Lady Of Lourdes, here are some highlights of our music program!
Preschoolers have music once or twice a week (depending on the number of days they attend school). Classes are 30 minutes long. The preschoolers have the opportunity to play most of our pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments, including xylophones, glockenspiels, a marimba, tubano drums, tambourines, jingle bells, triangles, maracas (and other kinds of shakers), and rhythm sticks. They learn how to hold them properly, as well as how to wait when it is not their turn to play. Preschoolers also sing, do creative movement, perform dances, and use props such as scarves, mini beanbags, and lummi sticks. Frequently, other subject areas are included during their songs and activities. For example, in the spring when we sing about spring flowers, we connect with science and talk about what plants need to grow. Their Christmas program, held in the school gym, is well attended by family members!
Kindergarten through 5th grade
The K-5th grade classes have music twice a week for 30 minutes each. Mrs. Gard follows the National and the Archdiocesan Music Standards throughout the grades, getting into more depth as the students get older. Mrs. Gard includes the Orff Schulwerk approach in her teaching, and also uses Kodaly hand signs for learning pitches. The students in these grades learn songs, dances, instrument accompaniments, and ensemble pieces (using the Orff instruments). While they learn music skills and concepts, the students connect the music to different cultures, other content areas, and their personal lives. The 3rd-5th graders also learn to play soprano recorders. The K-5th grade students perform Christmas programs in December.
Instrumental Band Program
The band program at Lourdes is open to students in grades 5-8. Beginning band members learn to play the traditional wind instruments: flute, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone. In the 6th-8th grade years, some students branch out into other instruments, which can include percussion, French horn, alto and tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, baritone horn, and oboe. The band classes meet twice per week, and perform two concerts, one in the fall and one in the spring. During some years, the combined bands march in the Jr. Rose Parade in Portland, OR.
The choral program at Our Lady of Lourdes School is open to students in middle school (6th-8th grades). The middle school choirs are taught by Dr. Teresa Dody, the Pastoral Assistant for Music at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. Healthy vocal techniques are taught, along with the musical skills needed for singing in a choir. The choirs perform two concerts, one in the fall and one in the spring.
The Worship Team is an instrumental/vocal group open to students in the 4th-8th grades. This is a volunteer group that meets once per month to prepare the worship music for one school-led Mass each month. Most of the members are vocalists, however students who are already accomplished on an instrument such as piano, guitar, or drum set sometimes play with the group.
Additional Music Opportunities
Each year there are additional music opportunities for interested students. A few of them include: regional elementary and middle school honor choirs, regional honor bands, regional Solo and Ensemble Festival, and Jr. All-State Choir. Participants in most of these groups are chosen by audition. These opportunities allow students to be challenged and to grow as musicians.
This is Mrs. Gard’s 29th year at OLL, her 15th year teaching music.
Mrs. Gard’s undergraduate work was in music education (K-12) and Psychology. She loves to sing, and she also plays piano, guitar, and clarinet. She sometimes plays clarinet in the Southwest Washington Wind Symphony.
Mrs. Gard was in band and choral ensembles throughout her early school and college years. After college she participated in contemporary music worship teams at church for over 10 years and sang in a small women’s vocal ensemble, performing contemporary and traditional Christian music. For several years Mrs. Gard taught piano privately in her own piano studio, as well.
Mrs. Dody is Our Lady of Lourdes Pastoral Assistant for Music and our middle school choir teacher.
She came to us after 17 years as a college music professor in Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska and West Virginia. She taught voice classes, opera workshop and conducted choral ensembles but has performed as a soloist in Italy, Austria and New York City.
Mrs. Dody has won many honors and awards for her outstanding operatic voice, and her love for music can be heard when she plays the piano and organ. She earned her Doctor in Musical Arts in 2010.