Rhodes School District 84.5

Vocal Music

The students at Rhodes School who are currently in grades 3 through 8 are eligible to participate in one of three choral groups. The students perform challenging music of high quality at several concerts and competitions throughout the school year. The students are assessed using a point system. Points are earned by class participation, show of responsibility and level of concentration during rehearsals and performances.

Please join us for a visit to some of our program features by clicking on your choices below:

For More Information or you have any questions and need additional information about the Rhodes vocal music program, please feel free to call Mr. Hommowun at (708) 453-6813.

You may also write to:
Mr. Hommowun, Vocal Music Director
c/o Rhodes School
8931 W. Fullerton Ave.
River Grove, Il. 60171

Contact Mr. Hommowun via Email


The Rhodes Senior Chorus is comprised of select students from grades 6 through 8. They are selected by an audition process at the beginning of each school year. The Senior Chorus meets both before school and during 7th period throughout the week where we work on challenging music in three-part harmonies.

This group performs at the Winter and Spring concerts, Viva la Musica, and the 8th Grade Graduation at Rhodes School. This group also participates in contests outside of school including the Illinois Grade School Music Association (IGSMA) District Contest in March, the State Contest in April, and the "Music in the Parks" Festival competition where we have won many outstanding awards.

This group performs on the Winter and Spring concerts and the 8th Grade Graduation at Rhodes School. This group also participates in the Illinois Grade School Music Association (IGSMA) District Contest in March and the State Contest in April. They also compete in the "Music In the Parks" Festival competition where we have won many outstanding awards.


The Rhodes Fifth Notes is the 5th grade chorus at Rhodes School comprised of any 5th grade student who enjoys singing. This is a very fun group comprised of fewer students than the other two choruses allowing for more intentional focus on singing in 2-part harmony to prepare students for the difficult music of Senior Chorus. The Fifth Notes perform at both the Winter and Spring concerts.


The Rhodes Junior Chorus consists of any student in grades 3 and 4 who enjoy singing. This is a non-auditioned group of students who perform music in unison to familiarize them with the experience of singing in a chorus. They rehearse after school two days a week where the learn how to stand and breathe correctly as well as important choral techniques (such as singing in solfege and following a director). This group performs at the Winter and Spring concerts.


As we see most of the classes only once a week, sequencing becomes very important. It is crucial that students are able to follow the logical flow of information from week to week.

We begin every class the same to provide continuity: in Kindergarten, we begin each class with the same song "Good Morning," in First and Second grade we begin class with a movement warm up, and in Third through Seventh grade, we begin each class with class jobs (which includes listening to classical music while learning about a composer, learning a vocab word, and stretching to prepare for the lesson).We then briefly review the previous lesson together and I provide connections for the students so they are better able to understand the sequence between lessons.

There is an overall sequence between grade levels as well as a sequence for each individual grade.

Grade Level Summary

Kindergarten: Focus largely on steady beat and using a "light" voice. We also incorporate basic rhythms to prepare for future grades.

First Grade: Focus on steady beat (micro and macro beat), light voices, the difference between high/low, soft/loud, fast/slow, and reviewing rhythms. This is done through echo songs, call and response songs, circle games, and solos.

Second Grade: Find a more complicated steady beat in compound meter instead of solely simple meter. Light voice (singing made up "songs" to encourage creativity and confidence). Writing and performing own simple rhythms. Identifying rhythms aurally in addition to visually. Also done through echo songs, call and response songs, circle games, and solos.

Third Grade: More complicated rhythms (writing, reading, and performing). Introduce music letter names on treble staff (play on recorder). Introduction of cultural music (i.e. African American spirituals, eastern folk songs, etc.).

Fourth Grade: Reinforce complicated rhythms. Review letter names on treble staff (and learn more) (create "words" on treble staff). Explore more cultural music and identify different characteristics (timbre, scales, rhythmic patterns, etc.). Begin a general survey of music history to prepare for future years.

Fifth Grade: Complicated rhythms (introduce syncopation, write rhythmic compositions). General music theory reinforced (i.e. tempo, dynamics, symbols). Music history general survey (A handful of song and composer selections from Baroque, Classical, Romantic era; identify songs by characteristics of each era). Cultural characteristics (specifically pentatonic scales, writing and performing a pentatonic song). Found Sound (understanding basics of composition and creating a sound composition).

Sixth Grade: Review music theory (focus on important terms and canon and ostinato). Practice using and performing musical symbols. In depth music history (Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic) including world events and musical characteristics from each period. From Classical era introduce opera and learn about the Magic Flute. Composer research project.

Seventh Grade: Music theory (review important terms and introduce musical form (binary/ternary) and pentatonic (students write own pentatonic composition). Brief review of Medieval through Romantic era. Music of the 1900's including Jazz and Broadway.

Teachers can be contacted via email. Please visit our Staff Connection to contact your child's teacher.

Vocal Music Curriculum Maps