Arts

Performing Arts

Philosophy

Learning, creating, and enjoying music, as a primary cultural force are fundamental parts of the core curriculum that enriches the lives of our students and the school community. St. Gabriel’s music education utilizes the Kodaly and Orff methodologies: philosophies that train the ear, mind, and heart; develop music literacy, sequential learning, and conscious knowledge; represent many cultures; and use folk and art music of intrinsic value. The Kodaly and Orff methods empower all learners to flourish and allow students to become musicians who are capable of reading, writing, improvising, and performing music at a high level. The students demonstrate these skills throughout the year at various performances, such as weekly Mass, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, the Thanksgiving program, the Valentine’s program, and Open House days.

St. Gabriel’s Catholic School embraces the performing arts with a focus on not only each individual student’s development as an artist, but also the development of that artist within a coordinated ensemble, choir, cast or team. Saint Gabriel’s Catholic School offers many of the traditional performing arts courses such as choir, band, theater and dance, but also includes many additional exciting elective courses such as our Middle School spring musical, ukulele, guitar, string ensemble and our new “SGTV News” student-led news production.  In each of these courses, students will not only improve their own skills and talents, but will be guided in being part of a performing group with multiple opportunities to perform in front of a variety of audiences.

Pre-Kindergarten

In prekindergarten, children’s love and appreciation for music are fostered through musical games, instruments, stories, and movement activities. Between learning to speak and learning to read, children can learn the language of music by playing instruments, performing, and exploring music of different cultures. Prekindergarten students learn fundamental elements of music such as pitch, dynamics, tempo, and sound. Children begin communicating through actions and connecting sounds with movements and ideas. In prekindergarten, the students experience a large choral setting as they prepare songs and perform them at weekly Mass.

Kindergarten

In kindergarten, students continue to explore the joys of making music through dancing, singing, playing instruments, and listening to various works. Students also continue developing their knowledge of the elements of music through active participation, round and partner songs, music games, and composition. Students explore musical instruments, interact with picture books, and connect music language to math and beyond. In kindergarten, the students experience a large choral setting as they prepare songs and perform them at weekly Mass.

1st Grade

First graders focus on fundamental music elements such as dynamics, solfège, and steady beat and rhythm through singing, rhythm games, and movement. The children gain knowledge of how to read music, write on a five-line staff, and use high-level music vocabulary. By the end of their 1 st grade year, students can sight-sing melodies without the aid of an instrument, write music notes on a staff, and create and perform music compositions based on storybooks. In first grade, the students experience a large choral setting as they prepare several songs and perform them at weekly Mass.

2nd Grade

Second-graders continue learning solfège and play musical instruments such as the xylophone, the metallophone, and unpitched percussion instruments. By participating in rhythm games, students also continue learning to read notes and rhythms of whole, quarter, half, and eighth notes on the staff. Students explore phrasing and music form through movement and improvisation. Additionally, the students experience a large choral setting as they prepare songs and perform them at weekly Mass.

Chamber String Ensemble

Students will learn basic performance skills and fundamental instrumental ensemble techniques throughout the course. The basic performance skills included note recognition, rhythm recognition, key signatures, musical vocabulary,and bowing technique. All Instructions will be differentiated in a manner that will meet the needs of all learners regardless of skill level.

Ukulele

The ukulele program is designed to help students learn the fundamentals of music through fun, engaging, performance-based activities. In this class, students learn the basics of melody, harmony, rhythm, music composition, and musical notation as well as the most important skills for starting to play the ukulele:

1. How to hold the ukulele
2. How to tune the ukulele
3. Basic chords and fingerings
4. Strumming patterns
5. Rhythm and tempo
6. Basic music reading
7. Basic music theory

No previous ukulele playing experience is required.

Middle School Choir

The Saint Gabriel’s Choir provides students with the opportunity to improve their vocal abilities while singing in an ensemble of their peers.  Whether students have been singing for years, or are trying it for the first time, they will be exposed to a curriculum that emphasizes musicality, develops sight-singing, and encourages ensemble vocalization.  The Saint Gabriel’s choir regularly leads worship in weekly masses, and is featured in several large performances including: the Archangel Mass, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Advent, and Graduation.

Middle School Musical

One of the highlights of the school year is Saint Gabriel’s spring musical. This second-semester elective course is open to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students who have auditioned for, and are cast in the show.  The majority of rehearsals are held during class time, and the final performances are held near the end of the school year.  Students hone their musical theater abilities through acting, singing and dancing in an individual and group setting.  Students can also get involved in the technical aspects of the show including building sets, creating costumes and finding props.  Prior productions include: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “High School Musical”, “Shrek the Musical”, and “Into the Woods”.  The spring musical is a highlight of the school year for not only the cast members, but also the entire student body.

Middle School SGTV

Saint Gabriel’s Television News (SGTV) is a new elective that made its debut in the 2020-2021 school year. This exciting new elective trains students in multiple aspects of producing, recording, and editing a bi-weekly school news production that highlights student interests and activities. During the course of the elective, each student rotates through three “roles”: Anchor: the “on-air” personality reporting the news behind the camera; Production: managing and running the lighting, sound, cameras and videography of each production; and Editing: taking the raw footage and editing it into the final SGTV episode. This is a small-group elective open to 7th and 8th grade students that have completed a short questionnaire and interview to determine eligibility. SGTV News has quickly become a favorite with both students and staff.

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Van Tracy

    Van Tracy 

    (512) 327-7755
  • Photo of Liudmila Nyaga

    Liudmila Nyaga 

    512-327-7755
  • Photo of Cary Porter

    Cary Porter 

    512-327-7755
St. Gabriel's Catholic School is an Independent Catholic school in Austin TX, educating children in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school.