girl with headphones on reading about music appreciation through the VLACS online program

Music Appreciation: An Online High School Program.

Editor’s Note: The Virtual Learning Academy Charter School has a fantastic collection of courses, but often an online high school program deserves further explanation. While our on-site course descriptions are informative, we think highlighting the impact, importance and implications of our online high school courses will give students a better idea of the opportunity. Knowing what you can be expected to learn in an online high school program is important, but understanding why the study is relevant and how it will affect your life is something of even greater value. The Online High School Program of the Month series is our way of sharing our passion for learning. Keep an eye out for a new featured high school program every month!

Research has shown that learning and appreciating music can help a student not only gain a better grasp on other subjects while in school, but it also can enhance skills needed to tackle other academic endeavors throughout life. The truth is there are many benefits of having music in our schools.

Traditional brick and mortar schools commonly offer music appreciation classes as part of arts requirements—but sadly many of these public school programs end up on the chopping block due to budget cuts. Online schools like Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, however, are still able to offer these types of classes to their students—and so far, the reviews have been favorable.

As the Online High School Program of the Month, the Music Appreciation class at VLACS helps teach students that music is (and should be) part of everyday life and reflects the spirit of our human condition.

In order to help students know and understand music, VLACS instructors work to distinguish and identify cultures on local and global levels. Students are provided with an aesthetic and historical perspective of music, covering a variety of styles and developments from the Middle Ages through the twenty-first century. Students also acquire basic knowledge and listening skills, making future music experiences more informed and satisfying.

At this point you’re probably wondering: Is it possible for an online school to teach appreciation for music? The answer is a resounding: YES.

VLACS’ Music Appreciation class is designed to last 18 weeks (although students may work at a pace that best meets their academic needs) and features the following basic topics and concepts:

  • Learn about the basic elements of music.
  • Examine pitch and melody and their roles in a piece of music.
  • Discuss some of the notations and language used to distinguish rhythm in a piece of music.
  • Consider dynamics and its effect on music.
  • Investigate form in music and how it involves the other elements of music.

But it doesn’t stop there. Instructors don’t simply teach students the basics of music. They also help students examine the relationship between various types of music, like pop music, classical music, jazz music and more. Here are a few music areas that students can expect to learn about:

Today’s Music

Instructors strive to curate an online discussion on the characteristics that help define the idea of today’s “popular music.” Students enrolled in this online high school program will participate in the following:

  • Examine the relationship between popular music and pop music
  • Discuss the characteristics that help define pop music
  • Consider how technological advances helped shape pop music
  • Investigate the history and development of pop music
  • Discuss the current status of pop music

The History of Music

Students will also travel back in time to learn about how music was created and perceived during the Middle Ages, as well as in the Classical Era, the Romantic Period, the Renaissance and beyond. Students will participate in the following:

  • Learn about the history of music before the Middle Ages.
  • Discuss the role of music in ancient societies.
  • Examine the music of the Romantic Period and how it differs from earlier music.
  • Examine what musical instruments were used in ancient times.
  • Examine the changes in music during the Classical Era.
  • Understand the Renaissance and its relationship to the music of this time period.

Musical Types

This VLACS online course also engages students in a broader discussion on the many different types of music in our society. Topics will span all musical tastes, but will focus mainly on jazz and opera. Examples include:

  • Discuss opera and how it developed.
  • Investigate the musical traditions that combined in jazz.
  • Discuss the characteristics and features of jazz music.
  • Examine improvisation and its role in jazz music.
  • Learn about some of the musicians who helped to develop jazz.
  • Trace the development of jazz during the twentieth century.

At VLACS, our students have access to various types of online courses focused around the arts. Students can take courses that teach photography as well as theater, cinema and film production. For more information on our other online high school programs, browse our full course catalog.

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