McCallie is an All-Boys Private Boarding School and Day School, a Christian-based College Prep School. 
McCallie seeks out and accepts boys from all ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds and places a high value on a diverse student body.

Music

No department is a more powerful example of the benefits of a boys' school than the music department. At McCallie boys sing, play classical guitar, compose music, play in the orchestra or wind ensemble. 

After exposing students to the basics in skills and ideas, McCallie boys have a wide variety of opportunities to follow their artistic passions. The faculty of the music department encourages all ranges of ability and believes that through practice and study all boys can acquire the skills to be proficient musicians.

Students and alumni frequently acknowledge that they participated in music in ways they would never have considered in a coeducational environment. On the Ridge, however, they feel more free to explore and nurture their curiosity and interest in music, be it through their voice or through another instrument.

Courses

Music 610 - 6th Grade Band

Course Description: 
The 6th Grade Band is a semester-long course designed to begin building the necessary skills to succeed in 7th Grade Band. No prior musical experience is required. The focus of the class is on proper instrument selection and the execution of basic musical skills: posture, breathing, ear training, notation reading, and performance of basic musical lines. Grade: 6

Academic Goals:

  1. Students will be able to recognize note names and rhythms.
  2. Students will become familiar with a variety of musical instruments, including the Orff percussion instruments.
  3. Students will become familiar with the musical content and expression.
  4. Students will understand tonal and rhythm patterns which apply to musical literature.
  5. Students will learn strategies to implement to identify tonal centers.
  6. Students will become familiar with their selected instrument.
  7. Students will be able to recognize what era the music was composed.
  8. Students will learn key and time signatures and how to apply it to their literature.
  9. Students will appreciate the value of constructive criticism, both offered and received.
  10. Students will explore new venues of music outside of the "normal" literature.
  11. The students will work together as a team and perform musical literature.
  12. Students will compose a piece of music using the notes and rhythms they know.

Instructional Methods:

  1. In class discussion, students will define musical terms and concepts which they will then demonstrate vocally and instrumentally.
  2. Students will perform short passages using good technique and posture.
  3. In small ensembles (groups of four or five) the ensembles will perform a small passage in front of the class.
  4. Students will participate in individual lessons on specific music techniques.
  5. Students will critique each performance and offer suggestions on how to improve class performance.
  6. Students will perform again after they have been critiqued.

Evaluation:

  1. Students will periodically write short exams that cover the topics that we have studied.
  2. Students will take three or four major playing tests that covered everything that they have learned.
  3. Students will have random playing tests on homework assignments that were given.
  4. Students will have tonal and rhythm tests, both written and performing.
  5. Students will compose a four to eight measure piece of music using the music techniques they have learned.
    1. The students will perform an ensemble work at the end of the semester.

Music 650 - 6th Grade Guitar

Course Description:

6th Grade Guitar is a semester-long course designed to give students an introduction to the basics of classical guitar study. No previous experience is necessary. Students will learn foundational skills in both solo and ensemble settings. Topics covered include the anatomy and geography of the guitar, playing position/posture, right and left hand technique, notes in the first position, and reading standard music notation. Limited to twelve students. Grade: 6

Academic Goals:

  1. Knowledge: Students will gain a basic knowledge of:

    1. The elements of music (pitch, timbre, rhythm, harmony, texture, dynamics, form)

    2. Cultivating healthy playing habits and productive practice methods.

    3. Varied musical literature on offer in the classical guitar repertoire, both solo and ensemble.

  2. Skills: Students will:

    1. Develop the ability to read standard musical notation and understand basic musical concepts (pitch, rhythm, dynamics, form, tempo, etc.).

    2. Learn musical and guitar-specific terminology allowing all students to speak a common language and communicate efficiently.

    3. Learn technical exercises that will develop facility with both hands.

    4. Perform for an audience of their peers.

    5. Acquire a basic understanding of how to tune and care for the instrument.

  3. Attitudes: Students will:

    1. Develop an appreciation for the guitar as a musical instrument and wider view of its tradition and history.

    2. Explore making music as a creative way of expressing personality and emotion.

    3. Learn the importance of conscientiousness, rigor, and self-discipline to success in music as well as in other disciplines.

    4. Foster a lifelong interest in the guitar and music generally.

Instructional Methods:

  1. Ensemble literature will be assigned appropriate to the reading level of the class.

  2. Students will work on assigned pieces and exercises from the textbook.

  3. Class discussion - students will critique each other, as well as themselves, and offer suggestions on how to better their performance and overcome technical challenges.

  4. The instructor will demonstrate skills or concepts as needed.

  5. Outside practice time on assigned material is expected at home or during free periods

  6. In-cass listening/viewing of recordings and performances

Evaluation:

  1. Students will be given frequent “playing tests” in class to demonstrate progress and corrections on assigned material.

  2. Students will be evaluated on participation in class in both playing and discussion

  3. Final exam consists of a short composition project utilizing the notes learned in first position

Music 650 - 6th Grade Guitar

Course Description:

6th Grade Guitar is a semester-long course designed to give students an introduction to the basics of classical guitar study. No previous experience is necessary. Students will learn foundational skills in both solo and ensemble settings. Topics covered include the anatomy and geography of the guitar, playing position/posture, right and left hand technique, notes in the first position, and reading standard music notation. Limited to twelve students. Grade: 6

Academic Goals:

  1. Knowledge: Students will gain a basic knowledge of:

    1. The elements of music (pitch, timbre, rhythm, harmony, texture, dynamics, form)

    2. Cultivating healthy playing habits and productive practice methods.

    3. Varied musical literature on offer in the classical guitar repertoire, both solo and ensemble.

  2. Skills: Students will:

    1. Develop the ability to read standard musical notation and understand basic musical concepts (pitch, rhythm, dynamics, form, tempo, etc.).

    2. Learn musical and guitar-specific terminology allowing all students to speak a common language and communicate efficiently.

    3. Learn technical exercises that will develop facility with both hands.

    4. Perform for an audience of their peers.

    5. Acquire a basic understanding of how to tune and care for the instrument.

  3. Attitudes: Students will:

    1. Develop an appreciation for the guitar as a musical instrument and wider view of its tradition and history.

    2. Explore making music as a creative way of expressing personality and emotion.

    3. Learn the importance of conscientiousness, rigor, and self-discipline to success in music as well as in other disciplines.

    4. Foster a lifelong interest in the guitar and music generally.

Instructional Methods:

  1. Ensemble literature will be assigned appropriate to the reading level of the class.

  2. Students will work on assigned pieces and exercises from the textbook.

  3. Class discussion - students will critique each other, as well as themselves, and offer suggestions on how to better their performance and overcome technical challenges.

  4. The instructor will demonstrate skills or concepts as needed.

  5. Outside practice time on assigned material is expected at home or during free periods

  6. In-cass listening/viewing of recordings and performances

Evaluation:

  1. Students will be given frequent “playing tests” in class to demonstrate progress and corrections on assigned material.

  2. Students will be evaluated on participation in class in both playing and discussion

  3. Final exam consists of a short composition project utilizing the notes learned in first position

Music 710 - Beginning Band

Course Description: 
7th Grade Band is a year-long course which further develops the musical skills of the members. The band performs music at the grade E and grade 1 level. The 7th Grade band performs in various concerts during the year as a showcase of the progress being made. In the spring semester, the 7th Grade band coordinates with the beginning winds and percussionists of GPS to perform in their concerts. Members are also eligible to audition for the regional Honor Bands. Grades: 7

Academic Goals:

  1. Students will become familiar with the musical content and expression.
  2. Students will understand tonal and rhythm patterns which apply to musical literature.
  3. Students will learn strategies to implement to identify tonal centers.
  4. Students will be able to recognize what era the music was composed.
  5. Students will learn key and time signatures and how to apply it to their instrument.
  6. Students will appreciate the artistic achievements of the most successful musicians.
  7. Students will appreciate the value of constructive criticism, both offered and received.
  8. Students will explore new venues of music outside of the “normal” literature.
  9. The students will work together as a team and perform musical literature.

Instructional Methods:

  1. In class discussion, students will define terms and rhythms in which they will then demonstrate that concept on their instruments.
  2. Students will perform long tone and long rolls to build a centered tone.
  3. In individual ensembles (woodwind, brass, percussion) the ensembles will perform a small passage in front of the class.
  4. Students will participate in individual lessons on specific music techniques.
  5. Students will critique each other, as well as themselves, and offer suggestions on how to better their performance.
  6. Students will replay their performance after they have been critiqued.

Evaluation:

  1. Students will periodically write short exams that cover the topics that we have applied to our literature.
  2. Students will take three or four major playing tests that covered everything that they have learned.
  3. Students will have random playing tests on homework assignments that were given.
  4. Students will have tonal and rhythm tests both written and performing.
  5. Students will have two major concerts and student recitals throughout the year.
  6. Students will have chair tryouts every three weeks.

Music 720 - Intermediate Band

Course Description: 
The 8th Grade Band is the primary performing organization in the middle school. Students are registered for the year. The band performs literature at the grade 2-3 level. Members are allowed to audition for regional Honor Bands and the Pep Band during this year as well. Grade: 8

Academic Goals:

  1. Students will become familiar with musical vocabulary and performance content.
  2. Students will understand tonal and rhythm patterns which apply to musical literature.
  3. Students will learn strategies to implement to identify tonal centers.
  4. Students will be able to recognize what era the music was composed.
  5. Students will appreciate the artistic achievements of the most successful musicians.
  6. Students will be able to perform up to the Junior Clinic Performance Guide.
  7. Students will appreciate the value of constructive criticism, both offered and received.
  8. Students will explore new venues of music outside of the “normal” literature.
  9. The students will work together as a team and perform musical literature.

Instructional Methods:

  1. In class discussion, students will define terms and rhythms which they will then demonstrate on their instruments.
  2. In individual ensembles (woodwind, brass, percussion) the ensembles will perform a small passage in front of the class.
  3. Students will participate in individual lessons on specific music techniques.
  4. Students will critique each performance/rehearsal and offer suggestions on how to improve.
  5. Students will replay their performance after they have been critiqued.

Evaluation:

  1. Students will periodically write short exams that cover the topics that we have applied to our literature.
  2. Students will take three or four major playing tests that covered everything that they have learned.
  3. Students will have random playing tests on homework assignments that were given.
  4. Students will have tonal and rhythm tests both written and performing.
  5. Students will have two major concerts and student recitals throughout the year.
  6. Students will have chair tryouts every three weeks.

Music 730 - Handbells

Course Description: 
This is a group of approximately 15-18 boys playing between 5 and 7 octaves of handbells. Students will learn handbell technique, music reading, musical coordination, attention to direction, and a true team spirit in this great McCallie music tradition. Grades: 6-8
 

Academic Goals:

  1. Knowledge: Students will learn:
    1. The proper care and use of the handbell.
    2. Notes, rhythm, and time signatures.
    3. To distinguish between melody notes and accompaniment notes.
  2. Skills: Students will:
    1. Demonstrate their ability to follow the director.
    2. Play major and minor keys in selected keys.
    3. Develop the ability to read standard music notation.
    4. Learn exercises that develop manual dexterity.
    5. Play a variety of musical styles.
    6. Develop listening skills.
  3. Attitudes: Students will:
    1. Work together as a team to perform musical literature.
    2. Develop an appreciation of the value of complete interdependence among the members of the ensemble.
    3. Develop an appreciation for a variety of musical styles.

Instructional Methods:

  1. Music will be selected according to appropriate skill levels.
  2. Performance will be used as an instructional method to gain knowledge and appreciation of concert protocol.
  3. The students will have several opportunities throughout the school year to perfect their performance criteria.

Evaluation:

  1. The instructor will subjectively grade each student according to performance criteria.
  2. Students will have opportunity for self-evaluation from both the individual and ensemble standpoint.
  3. Fulfillment and encouragement of personal satisfaction is the ultimate in the evaluatory process.

Music 740 - Men's Chorus

Course Description: 
The Middle School Men's Chorus will study and perform vocal music in a wide variety of styles. No prior experience is necessary. Through class activities, unison vocal exercises, and interaction with the director, the students in the Middle School Glee Club will find themselves in an atmosphere where they can be at ease singing. The techniques taught and repertoire selected will help the students deal effectively with their changing voices. Students will participate in a concert performance at the end of each semester and will also have opportunity to participate in student recitals throughout the year. Glee Club members may also choose to participate in the GPS/McCallie coordinate choral program. Grades: 6-8
 

Academic Goals:

  1. Students will become familiar with their voice ranges.
  2. Students will become familiar with the musical content and expression.
  3. Students will understand tonal and rhythm patterns which apply to musical literature.
  4. Students will learn strategies to implement to identify tonal centers.
  5. Students will become familiar with the piano.
  6. Students will be able to recognize what era the music was composed.
  7. Students will learn key and time signatures and how to apply it to their literature.
  8. Students will appreciate the artistic achievements of the most successful vocalists.
  9. Students will appreciate the value of constructive criticism, both offered and received.
  10. Students will explore new venues of music outside of the “normal” literature.
  11. The students will work together as a team and perform musical literature.

Instructional Methods:

  1. In class discussion, students will define terms and rhythms in which they will then demonstrate that concept vocally.
  2. Students will perform long tone and long rolls to build a centered tone.
  3. In individual ensembles (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) the ensembles will perform a small passage in front of the class.
  4. Students will participate in individual lessons on specific music techniques.
  5. Students will critique each other, as well as themselves, and offer suggestions on how to better their performance.
  6. Students will perform again after they have been critiqued.

Evaluation:

  1. Students will periodically write short exams that cover the topics that we have applied to our literature.
  2. Students will take three or four major playing tests that covered everything that they have learned.
  3. Students will have random playing tests on homework assignments that were given.
  4. Students will have tonal and rhythm tests, both written and performing.
  5. Students will have two major concerts and student recitals throughout the year.
  6. Students will have chair tryouts every three weeks.

Music 750 - Guitar 1

Course Description: 
This course is designed to give the beginning guitarist a solid technical and musical foundation. No previous experience is necessary. Students learn solo and ensemble performance techniques on the classical guitar that will prove to be a solid basis for all other types and forms of guitar performance. Limited to twelve students. Grades: 7-8
 

Academic Goals:

  1. Knowledge: Students will gain a basic knowledge of:
    1. The parts of music: rhythm, harmony, melody, texture, dynamics, and timbre.
    2. The importance of developing correct playing habits and effective practice methods.
    3. Varied musical literature available to the classical guitar, both solo and ensemble.
    4. Construction and proper care of the instrument.
  2. Skills: Students will:
    1. Develop the ability to read standard musical notation and understand basic musical concepts (dynamics, form, tempo, etc.).
    2. Learn musical terms and guitar-specific terminology allowing all students to speak a common language.
    3. Learn technical exercises that will develop facility with both hands.
    4. Perform for their peers.
    5. Acquire a basic understanding of how to tune the instrument.
    6. Play and perform a variety of musical styles.
  3. Attitudes: Students will:
    1. Develop an artistic appreciation for the guitar as a musical instrument.
    2. Explore making music as a unique way of expressing your creativity.
    3. Learn the importance of self-discipline and persistence to overall success.
    4. Learn to appreciate the talents of others as well as their own.
    5. Foster a lifelong interest in music and the arts.

Instructional Methods:

  1. Ensemble literature will be assigned as is appropriate.
  2. Students will work on assigned material from the text.
  3. Class discussion is encouraged and used as a powerful learning tool.
  4. Students will critique each other, as well as themselves, and offer suggestions on how to better their performance.
  5. The instructor will demonstrate skills or concepts as needed.
  6. Out-of-class practice time is essential.
  7. Students will listen to recommended recordings in class and will discuss their ideas.

Evaluation:

  1. Students will be assigned “playing tests” so their forward progress can be observed.
  2. Written tests will be given. Grading will use the traditional numerical scale.
  3. Students will be evaluated on participation in class, both playing and discussion.
  4. Traditional exam is not given. Final semester project is required performance in Middle School Christmas Concert or Middle School Spring Concert.

Music 755 - Guitar 2

Course Description: 
This course is designed for students who have completed Guitar 1. Students will continue to refine and develop their technique. More advanced musical concepts will be introduced. Musical expression through performance is strongly encouraged. Limited to twelve students. Grade: 8
 

Academic Goals:

  1. Knowledge: Students will:
    1. Increase their knowledge of the parts of music: rhythm, harmony, melody, texture, dynamics, and timbre.
    2. Continue reading standard musical notation.
    3. Explore and utilize the fingerboard in the upper positions.
    4. Begin learning more advanced guitar techniques including slurs, barres, harmonics, and tremolo.
    5. Study principles of efficient movement which will continue to develop speed and accuracy with both hands.
    6. Learn techniques that will accelerate the learning process.
  2. Skills: Students will:
    1. Continue to develop their technique on the instrument.
    2. Play one and two octave major scales from memory, both rest and free stroke.
    3. Refine their tuning skills.
    4. Play and perform a variety of music.
    5. Develop a polished stage presence through continued performance opportunities.
    6. Increase their ability to read music.
  3. Attitudes: Students will:
    1. Learn the importance of self-discipline and perseverance to success in all endeavors.
    2. Develop an appreciation for the guitar as an artistic musical instrument.
    3. Learn to appreciate the talents of others as well as their own.
    4. Value their own unique creativity.
    5. Foster a lifelong interest in music and the arts.

Instructional Methods:

  1. Ensemble literature will be assigned as is appropriate.
  2. Students will learn assigned material from the text, solo, and ensemble.
  3. Class discussion is encouraged and used as a powerful learning tool.
  4. Out-of-class practice time is essential for maximum development.
  5. The teacher will demonstrate skills as needed.
  6. Students will listen to “teacher recommended” recording. Class discussion will allow students to clarify what they heard.

Evaluation:

  1. Students will be assigned “playing tests” so their forward progress can be observed. These will be given regularly and a grade will be recorded.
  2. Written assignments and tests will be given. Grading will use the traditional numerical scale.
  3. All students will be evaluated on class participation.
  4. Traditional exam is not given. Final semester project is required performance in Middle School Christmas Concert or Middle School Spring Concert.

Music 760 - String Ensemble

Course Description: 
This course is designed for students who have had previous instruction in the violin. Grades 6-8

Meet the Faculty

Michael Ake

Michael Ake

Titles: Music Department Head, Music Teacher
Degrees: B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
M.M., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Email:
Brent Alverson

Brent Alverson

Titles: Director of Instrumental Music, Music Teacher
Degrees: B.S., Tennessee Temple University
M.Ed., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Email:
Katie Elverd

Katie Elverd

Titles: Music Teacher
Degrees: BA, Western Kentucky University
MM, Florida State University
Email:
James Harr

James Harr

Class of 1992
Titles: Director of Choral Programs, Music Teacher
Degrees: B.A., Rhodes College
M.A., Washington University
Email:
Alan Shikoh

Alan Shikoh

Class of 2005
Titles: Music Teacher
Degrees: B.M., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
M.A., Middle Tennessee State University
Email: