Kindergarten meets twice weekly for 30 minutes; half class.
Grade 1 meets twice weekly for 30 minutes; whole class.
Grades 2–4 meet twice weekly for 40 minutes; whole class.
Inspired by the Kodaly, Orff-Schulwerk, and Gordon philosophies, the music curriculum encourages a love of musical expression and performance. Children develop their voices as they learn tone production and range extension. Folk music is the foundation for singing and instrument playing. Multicultural choral works, traditional rounds, musical theater tunes, and other popular pieces enhance their experience of music. The learning experience connects with themes studied in other lower school subjects.
Students learn foundational skills— steady beat competence, kinesthetic awareness, and overall coordination of the body— through creative movement and rhythmic dance. All students learn to play Orff instruments; third graders learn ukulele, and third and fourth graders play the recorder. Basic musical literacy and theory are woven into the curriculum. Lower school students showcase their developing performance skills in two musical concerts and other special performances throughout the year.
Kindergartners build a solid musical foundation through exploration. Children learn to differentiate between their speaking and singing voices and explore the various ways to use the voice. They learn to identify, handle, and play unpitched percussion instruments, and they practice using proper mallet grip and technique when playing Orff instruments. Students identify and maintain a steady beat in music and represent that beat using body percussion and instruments.
First graders explore pitch, tempo, and music dynamics through songs, stories, and movement. They study basic written music and create small compositions. By listening to and performing songs from different time periods and cultures, students appreciate and perform a wide variety of music.
Second GradeSecond graders experience two-part singing through rounds and partner songs. Students begin to play instrumental music of greater complexity with varied rhythms and hand patterns. They learn to appreciate the world’s rich musical traditions by studying music from different time periods and cultures.
Third graders develop as performers. They learn to read a basic octavo and follow their section throughout a piece. Their two-part vocal repertoire expands beyond rounds and partner songs to include independent melodies. In addition to Orff instruments, students learn to play the ukulele and begin to study the recorder.
The culmination of lower school music is the performance of the fourth grade’s Greek musical. Students learn songs connected to the theme of a Greek play and set the pieces to choreography. They perform complex instrumental pieces that serve as overtures and entr’actes.