Mr. Alex Cyran - 6th Grade Polynesian Music
Mr. Alex Cyran brings to Kea'au Middle School over 20 years of experience teaching Hawaiian music. With two college degrees in music, he has taught every grade level, from pre-school through grade 12, in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Hawai'i.
- Vocal Music - Mr. Cyran's background in vocal music includes course work at the ivy league school, Columbia University, the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, and Queens College in New York City. The Hawai'i Opera Chorus and the Honolulu Symphony Chorus are among the many choruses he has performed with.
- Ukulele - With extensive study of traditional Spanish guitar and ukulele going back to when Mr. Cyran was himself a middle school student, Kea'au Middle School students learn to play chord accompaniment for the Hawaiian songs learned in class. He teaches ukulele using the traditional technique from the Iberian peninsula of Europe (Spain and Portugal) dating back hundreds of years, and then brought to the African island of Madeira before arriving in Hawai'i in the late 1870's.
Polynesian Music Syllabus
2019-2020 School Year
Semester 1: Introduction to Polynesian Music; Semester 2: Beginning Polynesian Music
Mr. Cyran, Polynesian Music Teacher, Room M-Choral, M Building
Introduction to Polynesian Music and Beginning Polynesian Music are two consecutive semester courses about the culture, art, music, and language of the people of Hawai‘i, Polynesia, and other areas of the Malayo-Polynesian speaking people, where students:
❖ Gain an understanding of the music of Hawaiʻi and other Malayo-Polynesian cultures from an ethno-musicological perspective,
❖ Develop a repertoire of ethnic chants and songs,
❖ Participate in music and in cultural learning activities,
❖ Perform for audiences at public music events during the school year.
❖ Develop an understanding of the geography, history, and culture of Polynesia and other Malayo-Polynesian language-speaking people in relation to the music studied in class,
❖ Read and correctly pronounce Malayo-Polynesian language words in chants and songs,
❖ Recognize and understand the meanings of Hawaiian and other Malayo-Polynesian language words in songs and chants,
❖ Develop and apply proper vocal skills in singing and chanting,
❖ Understand and compare the role of music in Malayo-Polynesian cultures,
❖ Learn and apply performance skills/stage etiquette,
❖ Evaluate musical performances.
Daily Required Materials:
Your child’s Home-School Notebook (planner) provides regular two-way communication between parents/guardians and each teacher. Students write homework or information about each class, and sometimes your child’s teachers write short notes, as needed, usually at the bottom of the day’s column. Please look regularly for any these notes as you monitor what your child writes in each period block. You may also write notes to a teacher here, or reply to a teacher’s note to you. By keeping in communication with the teachers, you will be helping your child have a positive experience at Kea‘au Middle School.
Grading and Assessment:
Students will be provided multiple opportunities to demonstrate their learning including:
∙ Formative assessments, such as daily work, in-class performances, communications regarding the learning goals, and student reflections will provide on-going information regarding progress.
∙ Summative assessments, such as exams, presentations, essay assignments participation at parent/community performances to determine the final grade.
A = 100%-90% B = 80%-89% C = 70%-79% D = 60%-69% F = 0%-59%
1. Observe Schoolwide Behavior Expectations:
3. Participate during class: Students will have opportunities to sing, perform, collaborate, read, write, and work in small and large groups, and are expected to actively participate in all class activities during class time.
4. Participate in the Dec. 11 and April 23 evening performances for the parents/community, and in the five mandatory lunchtime multi-class rehearsals that are scheduled before each evening performance.
5. Complete all homework assignments, and turn them in on or before the deadline.
Student and parents are encouraged to access up-to-date grading information in Polynesian Music class and other classes, through the Infinite Campus website. Parents are encouraged to log into this site regularly to monitor their childʻs progress. To receive your username and password, please contact the registrar’s office.
Mr. Cyran can be easily contacted through e-mail at the following address:
Parents/guardians, please do the following:
Hawaiʻi State Level Information About Polynesian Music Classes
(Included with this syllabus for your information)
Hawaiʻi Department of Education’s Course Description Guide -
The following Authorized Courses and Code Numbers (ACCN) course descriptions provides an overview to the official program of studies for students in the public high and intermediate/middle schools of Hawaii.
Course Title: INTRODUCTION TO POLYNESIAN MUSIC-SEMESTER A
Course Code: FMP0200
Introduction to Polynesian Music is an elementary course on the culture, art, and music from the Polynesian Triangle and other countries/regions of the Pacific. Students develop repertoire of ethnic songs and dances from these cultures. Students participate in singing, dancing and instrumental performances.
Course Title: BEGINNING POLYNESIAN MUSIC-SEM B
Course Code: FMP0400
The Beginning Polynesian Music course is designed for students who have fulfilled the requirements of Introduction to Polynesian Music or its equivalent. Experiences are provided for students to understand and appreciate people, culture, art and music from the Polynesian Triangle and other countries/regions of the Pacific. Performance skills on folk instruments, rhythm implements, xylophone and, whenever possible, the steel guitar are developed. Students participate in singing, dancing, and instrumental performances.