The mission of Allegro Charter School of music is to produce inspired and creative students through the infusion of music into an academically challenging environment. We’re in Downtown Charleston for our Cool School of the week.
Music fills the halls at Allegro Charter School on the Charleston peninsula. Allegro opened its doors this school year, and currently has 100 students in 6 through 9th grades. They plan to add a grade level every year up to 12th grade.
Laura Blackmore is the interim school leader, “It’s a unique school. Allegro is special because of the concept of music, which is being infused into all areas of the academic day, their classes. We have folks coming in from the Charleston Symphony teaching classes and partnering with us, offering and exposing kids to music and helping them to learn how to solve problems through the concept of music. Students don’t have to have any experience with music. Classes are often on a level for which children are.”
Students have their academic classes in the morning and music classes in the afternoon. They spend two-and-a-half hours every school day immersed in the study of music. Music theory teacher Rebecca Darling says, “We find instructors in the community, and we bring them in and the kids will get free private lessons during the week. We also teach all genres of music. We don’t just study classical music. We really try to cater to the needs of what the kids are interested in so we look at rock, rap,pop, all kinds of different genres.”
Technology and music are integrated in all classes. Academic and music teachers work together on assignments. Blackmore says, “In English class, if they’re talking about to Kill a Mockingbird, we’re studying the music of that era and all the time pieces of that era.” Darling says, “I might do world history type of music down here to correspond with what they’re learning in social studies. Sometime we look at lyrics, and those correlate with English studies. Also music and math are very closely interrelated, so we can do a lot with fractions and rhythmic values. Science is a little tricky, but we have the science teacher come down and do the science of sound and how your vocal mechanism works, and she worked with the choir teacher on that.” Sixth-grade student Jack McKenzie says, “I play the violin, so I know in math different notes have different values, and we can use that to help us in math to help us with different numbers and values”
“It’s a great school. Even if you’re a beginner, you can work your way up to the top no matter what. Everybody here will help you. You have great support here, and learn everything you need to know. Music core classes, everything.” Blackmore says, “Allegro is perfect for anyone, anyone interested in music.”
All students are learning at least three instruments. The school is open to students all across Charleston county. Coming up Friday on News 2, we’ll present Allegro with our Cool School award.
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