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A. A. Kingston Middle School

Matthew Gayle » AAK General Music Showcase

AAK General Music Showcase

Welcome to the AAK General Music Showcase! For the first time ever, PCS general music students now have the opportunity to share some of the amazing projects they have created this year.
Below you can read brief descriptions of the projects each grade worked on this year and find links to check out the students' projects. Please enjoy and thank you for supporting music at PCS!
In their first year of music at AAK, I like to expose 5th graders to as big a variety of music as possible. Students learned about music from America and multi-cultural music from around the globe, listened to songs both old and new, and learned how music connects with their lives and society as a whole.
Map Song Project - Students in 5th grade began their year learning about the role music played in The Underground Railroad and how special songs called Map Songs hid secret messages in their lyrics to help slaves communicate and help one another escape to freedom. Then students had the opportunity to create their own Map Songs with the online music app Soundtrap, in which they used coded lyrics to teach their classmates directions to different locations around their school and town. Here are some excerpts from their lyrics and songs:
Owen Medved - (Directions to Ives' Park) 
Go to the land of fun
Go to the land of fun
For fun wood to play on is waiting for you.
Go to the land of fun
Left step down the hill to the land of god
Turn right step up to the land of knowledge
Step left to the wetlands
Javelin Deon - (Directions to Brick and Mortar Music) 
The house of moving sounds
The house of moving sounds
The music is waiting for you
The house of moving sounds
The house of moving sounds
The place you play at by the river
The music is waiting for you
World Music ProjectTo expand their knowledge to include music from around the world, students researched a country of their choice to learn about indigenous instruments, musical styles, dances, composers, and more! 
Project DJ!To learn about a variety of popular music genres, students role played starting their own DJ business. Each student was assigned a fictional customer that had very particular musical tastes and students had to research some popular songs from that time period and style that would satisfy their customer. They presented what they learned to the class. 
In 6th grade, students have been learning about the different ways composers use music to be expressive and showcase their creativity. Students explored composition themselves with these projects:
Program Music Project - "Program music" is a term that refers to pieces of music written for the purpose of telling a story or creating visual imagery in the mind of the listener. For this project, students borrowed or created a story of their choice and retold it using only music.


Gianna Britton - "I live on Gessum Avenue where I been renting since 1942.You could say Gessum got a lot of personality.The houses all be small,but every front yard’s different-some scrubby and grassless like a baldheaded old man. Others got azalea bushes and roses and thick green grass.My yard, I reckon it be somewhere in between.I got a few red camellia bushes out front a the house. My grass be kind a spotty and i still got a big yellow mark where Treelore’s pickup sat for three months after the accident.I ain't got no trees.But the backyard now it looks like the Garden of Eden.That’s where my next-door neighbour,Ida Peek got her vegetable patch."


Jack Pitts - How the worst hockey team in the league (Detroit Red Wings) took a chance in the NHL draft and drafted Russians which were newly being allowed over hear at the ends of the Cold War and the Russians went on to win and help the Red Wings go on to win multiple Stanley Cups and went on to forever be known as the “Russian Five”.

Kacie LaBarge -
My story is about two lovers who find themselves in a tricky situation and have to escape. Then they manage to get to safety.


Molly Corbett - I am going to tell the story of a wolf hunt. The wolves will be stalking the elk, then chasing them as they run away. Then targeting one, and attacking. Finally, they kill the elk, and the hunt is over.


Oscar Shaw - A ship on the sea then a dramatic sound, then calm but then they realize that they are sinking then the music is dramatic and then they get in the lifeboats and then they are looking back at the ship and sad music plays.


Suspense Composition Project - In this project, students explored ways that composers build tension in their music by listening to some classical and modern pieces of suspenseful music. They then demonstrated what they learned by composing suspenseful songs of their own using ABA form to create rising and falling tension.
Rhythm Exercise Project - In preparation for learning to play guitar in their future music classes, students learned some basic music-reading skills like the names of the notes and how to perform various rhythms. To enhance our practice materials, students learned to compose their own rhythm exercises for their peers to perform in class.
7th grade students had the opportunity to learn about some of the ins and outs of the professional music industry this year, including the areas of songwriting and podcasting. Students also did some self-reflection about ways music has impacted their lives and the lives of their friends and family. 
Hip Hop Hamburger Project - In this project, students got firsthand experience making hip hop songs, including learning how to write lyrics and how to construct rhythms and rhymes. They organized their lyrics into sections using a hamburger analogy - a Verse (the meat) surrounded by two Choruses (the buns) - and then created beats for their songs using the online music platform Soundtrap.
Soundtrack of My Life Project - For this project, students were asked think of five important life events that connected to musical memories in some way. They chose one of these events and presented it and the song they associate with it to the class.
Podcast Project - Podcasts have become an essential part of the online world as they allow news, entertainment, and all kinds of other content to be shared on-demand with listeners. As students quickly discovered, music plays a big role in most podcasts whether it be a theme song, a way to set the mood, or simply to fill in the space between segments. Using topics of their choice, students created their own podcasts, complete with music to enhance their content.
Students in 8th grade learned about a variety of ways in which music interacts with other aspects of our culture, including film, athletics, and activism. 
Music and Activism Project - In this interdisciplinary unit, students learned about the Civil Rights movement in Social Studies and how music has played a role in activism for centuries in Music class. They then composed their own songs lyrics about Civil Rights or another important movement they were passionate about. They used songs of their choice that were connected to the Civil Rights movement to structure their lyrics and create additional verses to add to the existing songs.
Jock Jams Project - Named after the famous compilation album from the 90s, this project helped students understand how music is connected to athletics by asking them to compose songs suitable for an athletic event of their choice. When they finished, the students' projects were shared with the Phys Ed department at AAK and played in the gym to pump kids up during P.E. class!
Film Score Project - Learning about the silent film era when moving pictures were first invented helped give students a true appreciation for how much impact music has on the movies that we watch. In this project, students used Soundtrap to compose original film scores for a 2-minute video clip. In addition to setting the mood, students needed to use their music to highlight a key moment in the scene to draw the audience's attention.