Music instruction emphasizes the following Tennessee state standards throughout the music curriculum – singing, playing instruments, improvising, composing, reading, notating, listening, analyzing, evaluating, and making interdisciplinary connections with historical and cultural relationships. Music history and theory are incorporated throughout the music curriculum.

All elementary students in grades K-4 participate in a co-curricular general music class per week. The essential elements of music – rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, form, style, expression – are explored through multicultural music in classroom lessons, activities and assignments. Students learn how to use a variety of instruments throughout their elementary years with recorders becoming the primary focus in fourth grade.

All middle school students in grades 5-8 have a choice to participate in the co-curricular general music class and/or instrumental band program. Each student must commit to one of the two choices for an entire academic school year in order to fulfill the required music credit.

Middle school general music students further acquire their musical training through the following group configurations:

fifth grade rehearses and performs as an advanced recorder ensemble

seventh grade rehearses and performs as a tonechime ensemble

sixth grade rehearses and performs as an African percussion ensemble

eighth grade rehearses and performs as a handbell ensemble

Middle school band students learn how to properly play a band instrument while learning the fundamentals of reading music. Band performances have included playing at the following music events:
KCHS Football Game
SJN Christmas Concert
TMEA State Concert Festival (Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN)
SJN Spring Band Concert
KCHS Christmas Band Concert
ETSBOA Concert Festival (Farragut High School, Knoxville, TN)
SJN Variety Show
KCHS Graduation Ceremony

Our SJN concert band has left its mark by earning a superior rating at the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association (ETSBOA) Middle Area Concert Festival for the second year in a row on March 8, 2017. This group advanced further (again for the second year in a row) by participating  in the Tennessee Music Education Association (TMEA) State Concert Festival at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN on April 27, 2017. SJN is the only foundation school of the Knoxville area Catholic schools that offers an instrumental band program. Also, our middle school band program is the first and only from a foundation school in the history of the Diocese of Knoxville to compete at the ETSBOA and TMEA festivals. Among many other benefits, SJN’s middle school band program is specifically designed to train students for performing in the Knoxville Catholic High School music programs.

Our school presents an annual Christmas music production celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Our school also highlights the gifts of our student body by presenting an annual variety show. Our students have used music as a vessel to do community outreach such as performing at the NHC Farragut assisted living facility and the McGee Tyson Airport. Moreover, our school takes pride in using music performances to help raise funds for many charitable organizations. St. John Neumann Catholic School embraces the fine arts as an integral part of each child’s comprehensive education.

Meet Mr. Salem

Mr. Salem is the band director at St. John Neumann Catholic School. A nationally recognized composer of concert band music with more than 25 years of music composition experience, Mr. Salem was born and raised in Seymour, TN. He graduated from the Seymour High School Band program where he was awarded the John Philip Sousa Award in Music, the highest honor awarded to a graduating high school musician.
Mr. Salem holds a Bachelors Degree from Middle TN State University in Murfreesboro, TN, a Masters Degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL, and is a licensed music educator in the State of Tennessee. His music is published by GPG Music based in Reno, NV. His compositions have earned high esteem including selection for Editors Choice by JWPepper and listing in the Top 100 works for band in Bandworld Magazine.
Mr. Salem is the conductor of the Oak Ridge Community Band in Oak Ridge, TN, a nonprofit organization with over 75 years of tradition that performs for audiences all year long. He supports Christian communities of East Tennessee as a percussionist throughout the year as he is called upon to serve. He lives in Maryville, TN with his wife, Ashley, and two children, Emilia and Wesley. In his spare time, Mr. Salem enjoys outdoor movie nights with his family and occasional visits to the John Sevier Community Pool during the summer.
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