Music

Because music is an innate and distinct form of human thinking and expression, the students are offered a variety of music classes which focus on, but are not limited to, one of the three fundamental music processes – performing, creating, and responding to music. Students will:

  • Acquire skills in singing or playing instruments, improvising, composing, reading and notating music.
  • Acquire knowledge and understanding to describe, analyze, and evaluate music and music performances.
  • Discover and understand through music their own historical and cultural heritage and connections with other cultures and disciplines.
  • Develop healthy personal attitudes through music participation, including curiosity, risk-taking, initiative, and independence, while learning the important social virtues of commitment, cooperation, responsibility and respect.

Graduation Requirements

Students need to earn two credits in the Visual and Performing Arts. All Music Department courses may be taken to fulfill Visual and Performing Arts or general elective credits.

Course Offerings

Introduction to Music Theory

This course is for the music student wishing greater depth in understanding the fundamentals of music. Students compose, study harmony, read chord charts, harmonize melodies, analyze form, perform original compositions, and practice various ear-training exercises. In lieu of a textbook, students purchase Finale PrintMusic, a notation software package for Macintosh and Windows operating systems. This course is highly recommended for students considering music as a career or as a possible major or minor in college.

An original composition in vocal or instrumental form is the final project. Music Theory will be offered in odd-numbered years in the Spring semester, beginning Spring 2017.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Prerequisites: Ability to read standard notation and Music Department Head’s consent. Semester course. One-half credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement.

Comprehensive Musicianship for the Guitar

This course is intended for students with little or no formal guitar experience. While learning to play this popular instrument, students learn the fundamentals of music, including reading and writing standard music notation, basic theory, and creating original compositions.

Students learn beginning ensemble and solo guitar literature while exploring classical guitar technique, basic accompaniment styles, blues and rock improvisation, and slack key guitar technique. Listening and analyzing a wide variety of guitar music from different cultures and time periods are an important component of this class.

Students are required to complete written assignments and to practice guitar skills outside of class in order to achieve performance expectations. They also demonstrate performance competency through regular individual and group observations. A classical, nylon-string guitar and guitar footstool are required for this class.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement.

Classic Guitar Ensemble I

This course is for the intermediate-level guitar student. Students learn to perform in small and large guitar ensembles. In addition, students study music history, music theory, improvisation, and composition/ arranging. Students should already be comfortable reading standard music notation in open position and using classical guitar technique, and they must have a good working knowledge of chord playing. A classical, nylon-string guitar and guitar footstool are required for this class.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Audition with instructor. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Classic Guitar Ensemble II

This course is for the advancing guitar student. Students learn to perform in small and large guitar ensembles. In addition, students study music history, music theory, and composition/arranging. Students should already be comfortable reading standard music notation in upper positions and using classical guitar technique, and they must have a good working knowledge of chord playing and improvisation. A classical, nylon-string guitar and guitar footstool are required for this class.

Open to Grades 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Audition with instructor. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Hawaiian Music Ensemble I

This course offers all students the opportunity to learn basic guitar, ukulele, bass, and vocal styles as they apply to Hawaiian music. Other instruments may be used in the ensemble as well. Students are expected to play multiple instruments throughout the year. Performances, both formal and informal, are scheduled throughout the course.

Students learn a varied approach to music making. Not only do they learn by ear in a kanikapila style, but they also learn the fundamentals of western music as it applies to Hawaiian music. Topics covered include reading and writing basic music notation, chord theory, improvisation, and composition.

Because music of any culture requires historical context, students are required to do considerable research into the music they are playing, and write and present orally its evolution and place within Hawaiian culture and society.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated once for credit.

Hawaiian Music Ensemble II

This course is intended as a secondary performance-driven option for students who have already taken Hawaiian Music Ensemble I. Students expand their guitar, ukulele, bass and singing skills by exploring more advanced music.

Throughout the year, student-driven choices in repertoire are made in addition to a core set of Hawaiian mele. There is ample in-class rehearsal time, but the focus is more on creative/theoretical treatments of the music, rather than simply learning the instruments.

Students are expected to share performances, both formal and informal, throughout the year. Additionally, students work on in-class projects/assignments ranging from composition and improvisation through lyrical/cultural analyses.

Open to Grades 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Hawaiian Music Ensemble I. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Creative Music Studio

In this course, students collaborate with their classmates to create music to perform publicly and/or record and distribute digitally. An emphasis is on current popular, rock and jazz styles, although other styles may be explored.

Although students are expected to read and notate music in standard notation, they are also asked to play by ear, arrange, improvise and compose music. Projects, conceived by students, are the primary vehicle to teach methods used by professional musicians to create original music. In order to create music, students are also asked to analyze, imitate and create variations on other artists’ music.

A polished recording or concert at the end of each semester is the final class project.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Pre-requisite: One year of an Academy Music Department course or by audition. Semester course. One-half credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement.

Creativity and Composition (Perf Arts (ID))

Creativity is not something that some people are born with and others are born without. All humans have the capacity for creativity, and this course teaches and cultivates imagination and the ability to apply creativity to artistic work. The course is interdisciplinary, focusing on music and creative writing. Guided by artists and teaching professionals in each field, students in Creativity and Composition discover tools for composing songs, poems, stories, essays and other artistic products. By reading critical and creative work, by experimenting with language and music, and by working on interdisciplinary projects designed by teachers, students not only improve their language and music skills, but they also develop tools for applying creativity to many different aspects of their lives.

Open to Grades 11, 12. Prerequisite: English 2. Semester course. One credit (one-half English, one-half Music) Satisfies English and Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirements.

Concert Orchestra I

For players of violin, viola, cello and string bass, this class offers study of orchestral music representing a broad range of styles and composers. Fundamentals for technique and musicality are advanced through the study of major and minor scales, rhythmic reading, bowing techniques, the higher positions and musical phrasing.

The compositions studied and performed reinforce the fundamentals and build musical understanding. As performance is an integral part of music, students must participate in scheduled concerts throughout the year.

One sectional rehearsal and three full string rehearsals are scheduled per cycle.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Approximate Grade III performance level. Placement by audition. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Concert Orchestra II

For the advancing string student, this class offers the continuing study of orchestral literature in a variety of styles and a continuation of technical advancement through extended scales and arpeggios, advanced bowing techniques and the higher positions.

Class sessions include work for advancement of technical skills while integrating them into the orchestral literature being studied. The compositions studied and performed emphasize growing musical understanding and represent a broad range of styles and composers. As performance is an integral part of music, students must participate in scheduled concerts throughout the year.

One sectional rehearsal and three full string rehearsals are scheduled per cycle.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Approximate Grade IV performance level. Placement by audition. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Symphony Orchestra

The Punahou Symphony Orchestra strives to perform concert repertoire at the highest possible level. Several major performances are presented each school year. Students of orchestral string instruments are selected through audition. Students study performing practices and styles through the music of numerous composers from all periods of music history. The annual Concerto Concert provides an opportunity for seniors, selected by audition, to perform as soloists with the orchestra. In addition, many opportunities exist for performance in chamber music ensembles for interested and qualified students.

Class meets daily.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Selection through audition. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Marching Band

Students from Concert Bands I and II, the Wind Symphony and the Wind Ensemble combine to form the Punahou Marching Band. Beginning in July, the Marching Band meets for a required marching band pre-camp at Punahou School, then for a band camp on the Big Island, and finally three times a cycle as a regularly scheduled course during the first twelve to fourteen weeks of the school year.

This course emphasizes marching and musicianship skills, in preparation for effective and quality field and parade performances. It provides a setting for students to develop their sense of teamwork and leadership skills while improving individual stamina and physical coordination. The band performs at marching band festivals, parades and Punahou Varsity football games.

Students, with the exception of oboists and bassoonists, are required to participate in the Marching Band in their first year of membership in the Academy Bands program. Attendance at summer band camp is absolutely mandatory for all students regardless of previous experience.

Membership in the Marching Band’s color guard is open to instrumentalists and non-instrumentalists alike. Prospective members attend training sessions that may begin in March that prepares them and ensures their success in a later audition.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Successful audition for and enrollment in an Academy concert band, except for color guard. One-quarter elective credit. This course may be repeated for credit.

Concert Band I

This band course is based upon the premise of music education. While performance is a key aspect of this class, the acquisition of musical knowledge and creating lifelong music-lovers is the primary goal. This course is designed to educate students in all aspects of music, including theory, history and performance. It emphasizes the fundamentals of wind and percussion playing and performance. Students complete extensive work on major and minor scales, embouchure development, tone production, listening, and basic music theory, with mallet keyboard work and rudimental drumming for percussionists. Course requirements include performance of playing tests, participation in all performances, attending other concerts, and may include a written assignment. Concert Band I combines with the other bands to form the Marching Band in the fall. Students, with the exception of oboists and bassoonists, in their first year in an Academy band course must participate in the Marching Band. Concert Band I presents one concert at the end of each semester. Opportunities are provided for individual participation in island-wide select band auditions, Hawaii Youth Symphony auditions, and solo and ensemble adjudications and performances.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Previous instrumental experience. Placement by audition. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Concert Band II

This course continues the fundamentals of music performance with increased competence expected in tone production, articulation, listening, sight reading, musical awareness in ensemble, ear training and music theory. Course requirements include written performance evaluations, written assignments and an individual performance or observation outside of the regular class. This group of students combines with the other bands to form the Marching Band in the fall. Students, with the exception of oboists and bassoonists, in their first year in an Academy band course must participate in the Marching Band. Concert Band II presents a concert at the end of each semester along with additional performances elsewhere in the community. Opportunities are provided for individual participation in island-wide select band auditions, Hawaii Youth Symphony auditions, and solo and ensemble adjudications and performances.

This course meets once in sectional rehearsal and twice per cycle in full rehearsal during the first semester. Another full rehearsal is added per cycle in the second semester.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Previous instrumental experience. Placement by audition. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Wind Symphony

The Wind Symphony performs advanced wind band literature, while refining technical skills. Due to the high demand of music, private lessons are recommended and may become necessary prior to placement. Course requirements include individual playing tests, written assignments which may include music theory and music history, and attendance and participation in all required performances.

In addition to class meetings, the Wind Symphony performs in concert at the end of each semester and may also participate in at least one adjudicated event in the spring semester. Opportunities are provided for individual participation in island-wide select band auditions, Hawaii Youth Symphony auditions, and solo and ensemble adjudications and performances.

The course meets once in sectional rehearsal and twice per cycle in full rehearsal during the first semester. Another full rehearsal is added per cycle in the second semester.

Members of the Wind Symphony combine with members of the other Academy Bands to form the Punahou Marching Band in the fall. First-year members in Academy Bands, with the exception of oboists and bassoonists, must participate in the Marching Band.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Previous instrumental experience. Placement by audition. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Wind Ensemble

Open by audition to students of advanced musical development, this course explores all types of wind band and ensemble literature and performance techniques. The course emphasizes a high level of performance and seeks to nurture students’ life-long interest in music as performers and listeners. This course is designed to educate the student in all aspects of music, including theory, history and performance. Gaining knowledge and skills in music are important for this course, however it is the attitude and character of each student that will have the most significant impact on their musical success. Students need to dedicate a generous amount of time to their practicing which requires discipline. Course requirements include performance of individual playing tests, participation in all performances, attending other concerts, and may also include a written assignment. Private lessons are highly recommended.

Members of the Wind Ensemble combine with members of the other Academy Bands to form the Marching Band in the fall. Students, with the exception of oboists and bassoonists, in their first year in an Academy band course must participate in the Marching Band.

The Wind Ensemble presents a concert at the end of each semester along with additional performances elsewhere for the school and community while being consistent with school policies and philosophies. Opportunities are provided for individual participation in island-wide select band auditions, Hawaii Youth Symphony auditions, and solo and ensemble adjudications and performances.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Previous instrumental experience. Placement by audition. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Elements of Ensemble Singing: Men’s Chorus

Elements of Ensemble Singing (Men’s Chorus) provides an introduction to group singing, focusing on the training and development of the male voice, heart and mind through the exploration of the wide body of literature for men’s choirs. It is a preparatory course to develop skills that will lead to successful participation in another school choral ensemble and/or vocal music-making independent of a choir.

Development of healthy vocal techniques, rehearsal skills and musical literacy/sight-singing skills is strongly emphasized. Additional activities include improvisatory music-making, critical listening activities, and performance in solo and small group settings. Men’s Chorus performs in Chapel and participates in a concert at least once a semester.

Open to Grade 9, 10, 11. Prerequisite: none. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement.

Elements of Ensemble Singing: Women’s Chorus

Elements of Ensemble Singing (Women’s Chorus) provides a strong introduction to group singing, focusing on the training and development of the female voice, heart and mind through the exploration of the wide body of literature for women’s choirs. It is a preparatory course to develop skills that will lead to successful participation in another school choral ensemble and/or vocal music-making independent of a choir.

Development of healthy vocal techniques, rehearsal skills and musical literacy/sight-singing skills is strongly emphasized. Additional activities include improvisatory music-making, critical listening activities, and performance in solo and small group settings. Women’s Chorus performs in Chapel and participates in a concert at least once a semester.

Open to Grade 9, 10, 11. Prerequisite: none. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement.

Academy Chorus

The Academy Chorus is an intermediate-level mixed voice ensemble that provides an opportunity for students with previous choral experience to continue to develop fundamentals of choral performance and musical literacy. Development of healthy vocal techniques, ensemble, and rehearsal skills is emphasized through the performance of secular and sacred choral works from Western and World choral traditions, both historical and contemporary. Additional activities include development of basic music literacy and sight-reading skills, critical listening activities, improvisatory music and performance in solo and small group settings. The Academy Chorus performs in Chapel and participates in a concert at least once a semester.

Open to Grades 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: Completion of a 9th grade introductory ensemble and/or permission of the instructor. Placement by audition only. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Camerata

Camerata is a treble voice ensemble composed of female students with demonstrated advanced singing and musicianship skills. Enrollment is limited. This select choir performs advanced choral literature written specifically for treble voices in unison to 6+ parts. Students are expected to perform independently and in small ensembles. Development of critical listening, sight-reading, ear training, music theory, rehearsal skills and improvisatory music is an integral part of this course. Camerata performs in Chapel and participates in a concert at least once a semester.

Open to Grades 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: A 9th grade introductory choral ensemble and/or demonstration of advanced choral musicianship skills in audition. Placement by audition only. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.

Chorale

The Chorale is a mixed voice ensemble composed of students with demonstrated advanced singing and musicianship abilities. Enrollment is limited. This highly select choir performs advanced choral literature selected from Western, multicultural, contemporary, and avant garde styles in 4 to 8+ parts. Students are expected to perform independently and in small ensembles. Development of critical listening, sight-reading, ear training, music theory, rehearsal skills and improvisatory music is an integral part of this course. The Chorale performs frequently in a variety of settings, including the Academy Winter and Spring Concerts, Punahou events, and community programs.

Open to Grades 10, 11, 12. Prerequisite: A 9th grade introductory choral ensemble and/or demonstration of advanced choral musicianship skills in audition. Placement by audition only. Year course. One credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement. This course may be repeated for credit.