Music and Performing Arts
In the primary grades, the children are active learners. Through echo songs and patterns, children are encouraged to find their singing voices and learn to sing in tune. The children respond naturally to listening activities by moving, singing, or playing along. Rhythm patterns are learned aurally, followed by notation experiences. Using the Orff-Schulwerk Process, primary level children participate in vocal and instrumental musical games that encourage them to discover the many ways in which they can communicate through music.
The music curriculum in the intermediate grades continues the development begun in the primary years. All children participate in a choral experience, developing the ability to sing in a group. Partner songs, rounds and two-part harmonies are performed at this level. Using the Orff-Schulwerk Process, intermediate level children learn to read basic tonal and rhythmic notation and use these skills to play instruments, and listen to and sing music from a variety of genres and cultures. Elective instruction on band instruments begins in the 4th grade, and includes the opportunity to play in a concert band.
As children move to the middle level, the musical skills learned in the earlier grades are studied in a variety of units, including: Vocal Development and the Changing Voice, Jazz and Blues, World Drumming, History of Rock and Roll, Music of Different Genres and Cultures, Music Technology and Composition.
In addition to their music instruction, all middle level students also participate in a theater curriculum including interactive theater games, improvisations, small scene work, monologues, an annual Shakespeare play in 6th grade, and an annual fully staged and choreographed musical in 7th & 8th grade which includes a technical theater curriculum.
Elective instruction on band instruments continues in the middle level and opportunities to sing in a mixed chorus, play in a jazz band, play in a concert band, and play in a string ensemble are also offered to middle level students.