VCS Radio Conservatory - Curricular and Pedagogical Framework

What is the VCS Radio Conservatory?
The VCS Radio Conservatory is a 10-level comprehensive project-based art study program at Vacaville Christian Schools. Though highly innovative, the VCS Radio Conservatory's program connects contemporary methods to traditions that go back centuries. 

What grade-school art courses included in the VCS Radio Conservatory?
Currently, the conservatory covers all instrumental music studies; composition, music production; studio recording & broadcasting; film scoring and historical score restoration for VCS' elementary, middle and high schools --  grades 3 to 12. The course of study at the VCS Radio Conservatory is tailored to each student's achievement and not based on traditional age or school grade level. 

What is the curricular framework used at the VCS Radio Conservatory? 
The VCS Radio Conservatory uses a modified trivium as applied to our comprehensive education. It's changed in two significant ways:
1 --  Our conservatory includes advancing technical proficiency on a musical instrument as a major component of the student's development. 
2 -- The logic phase overlaps Grammar and Rhetoric as follows: 

        Grammar - Levels I - III

        Grammar & Logic - Levels IV - V

        Logic & Rhetoric - Levels VI-VII

        Rhetoric -  Levels VIII - X


What is the pedagogical framework used?  
The VCS Radio Conservatory helps the student advance skills by providing a creative atmosphere within individual performance and study projects refined by observing the roots already established in the arts as a foundation. The students advance through achievement levels based on their technical proficiency.  From this assessment, each student is placed in projects with assigned involvement based on the individual's development as it applies to the trivium. 

To apply the technical aspect of our comprehensive education to the trivium, I employ a three-pass pedagogy -- reintroducing the basics from a grammatical (the result), then dialectical (the challenge & value of the result) and ultimately rhetorical (the internalizing and communication of the result) perspective. This requires three separate published technical methods for each student. 

The VCS Radio Conservatory has an extensive mentoring program whereby older students help younger students through example and coaching. We connect advanced students to the professional community through coaching and project collaboration. Our curriculum relies heavily on a wide range of performance and study projects - and then applies the student's participation to meet the requirements of the conservatory trivium. 


How does the VCS Radio Conservatory trivium transfer as VCS grade school class credit?  
The VCS Radio Conservatory requirements are independent of the VCS grade schools as the conservatory has specific goals unique to the arts. Our studies meet the requirements for fully accredited grade school classes and the high school music studies classes are all UC approved. In fact, the projects in the conservatory's levels VIII to X are UC approved as an honors course with a weighted 5.0 status just like an AP course. 

Once the student meets class requirements, it becomes a record that we transfer to the VCS registrar as an accredited grade-school class completion. 


Does Radio Broadcasting use a similar method?  
No, but it's an integral part of the process. Vacaville Christian High School counts Radio Broadcasting projects as a practical art class, for the conservatory, it's an essential project component of Rhetoric (levels VI - X). 


Can the VCS Radio Conservatory start beginners in middle or high school?
Yes. The conservatory is set up to allow beginners at both middle and high school level using our 5th-period study class (levels IV & V). The conservatory counts the class as a second-pass basic music course from a grammar & logic perspective -- suitable for older beginners.