Students at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School have the opportunity to participate in music and performing arts in many different ways. Our classroom music program develops our children’s abilities to sing, play and perform.
Choral and solo singing opportunities abound. In the younger grades, matching pitch is emphasized, and classes progress from unison singing, to echo, to round and to part songs. Students sing solos in the classroom, at weekly liturgies, and at various performances throughout the year.
Students also learn to play a variety of instruments, including percussion, bells, recorders, and keyboard. The goal is that students learn to play simple melodies on keyboards and recorders by the time they graduate. Our kindergarten and preschool parents can choose Suzuki violin lessons for their children. Our budding violinists perform at the Christmas program and again in May at Performance Arts Night. This program is in its first year with us, we hope to see it grow with the children.
Also, new to St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School as of the 2013-2014 school year is the option for sixth, seventh and eighth graders to choose between general music and choir. General music continues the same strong foundation in music history, instrumental music and singing begun in the earlier grades. Jr. High Choir emphasizes vocal skills, more complex choral singing and allows frequent opportunities away from school to perform.
Children exposed to performing experiences develop a strong sense of self-esteem and confidence. St. Margaret of Scotland students participate in the Archdiocesan Music Festival yearly, and classrooms have a variety of opportunities to perform throughout the area. We stage a wonderful Christmas musical each December that includes in entire student body. The Junior High students perform a Spring Musical every other year.
St. Margaret of Scotland School receives praise for its fine music program, and has held the honor of having students perform in the Muny Opera each summer. Many of our graduates have gone on to become excellent performers at their high schools and colleges, with quite a few going into the Arts as their careers. Parents and faculty alike fully support our performance arts program, creating an atmosphere that encourages our children to try something new. Our ultimate goal for all students is that they graduate from St. Margaret’s musically “literate”, with a love and appreciation for many styles of music, and the confidence and desire to express themselves in song, dance, and theater.
Youth chorus is an excellent means of expanding upon the choral singing experience begun in the classroom. Open to children in 4th and 5th grade, the youth chorus meets after school and is directed by our music teacher, Ms. Boczek and our parish pianist, Mr. Hesed. There are three basic goals for each child: vocal excellence, musical proficiency, and choral opportunities.
Children learn to sing correctly, using the body as an instrument, and learn proper projection and solo techniques. Time is spent at the beginning of rehearsals on sight-reading skills, and students expand on those skills as they read through performance music together.
Children in the Youth Chorus perform with the Jr. High Choir throughout the year on site and away from school and parish. The yearly performance at the Missouri Botanical Garden is always much enjoyed by all singers and audience. Our Lady of the Snows and Cardinal Glennon Hospital and various nursing homes are just some of the off-site venues. The youth chorus and the Jr. High Choir lead the music at the Christmas Eve 4:00 p.m. service at St. Margaret of Scotland church.
St. Margaret of Scotland does not offer theatre as a separate class, but students have many opportunities to perform in their classrooms, as a whole school for one another and for their families throughout the year. Often these performances are outgrowths of curriculum. Students also have the opportunity to perform at the Christmas musical and the Jr. High Musical. Frequently, St. Margaret students have the opportunity to enjoy participating in theatrical experiences through on-site programs provided by such groups at STAGES and Springboard. Students learn a sense of confidence and poise as they experience being on stage.
At St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School the fifth graders participate in St. Louis Dancing Classrooms. This national program promotes poise, confidence and a cooperative spirit through the use of ballroom dancing. In the midst of learning the steps to international dances such as the tango, the merengue, the polka, the foxtrot and more and their cultural significance, fifth grade students grow in respect for one another, learn to support one another and overcome hurdles to friendships.
Art@SMOS is a parent-led, innovative art program in which parent and grand parent volunteers bring art class to our students. Volunteer artists meet with students bi-weekly to guide students through a variety of different art skills and mediums. For an introduction to Art@SMOS please go to Academics in the blue menu bar and click on Art@SMOS and enjoy the powerpoint of summary of art during the 2012-2013 school year. Or stop by school and see the peace crane art installation from March 2013. In the fall of 2013 besides the wonderful art classes taught by the Art@SMOS volunteers, they hosted Artists in Actions. Set up through our school gym were 11 artists each one displaying and demonstrating his or her art for the children to view: paper cuts, ceramics, tile work, metal work, print-making and more. The children were then given the opportunity to try their hands at one of the many mediums. Art@SMOS has transformed our art curriculum.