Elementary students study concepts such as beat, meter, rhythm, tempo, and pitch recognition and develop the ability to listen to, discover, and understand rhythmic and harmonic elements. Second- and Third-Year students practice the recorder in addition to their Music class. Students regularly demonstrate their performance skills for the entire school community at Community Meeting and the Elementary Spring Concert.
Lower Elementary music classes meet once a week in small groups (8-9 students). The lessons focus on musical listening to inspire creativity and expressivity. In movement games, students begin to gain musical literacy and develop a sense of self-confidence in space and the ability to lead and to follow in an ensemble group activity.
Students explore musical skills and discover the body as an expressive instrument. The classes include singing, playing ensemble instruments, musical movement games with props (hoops, scarves, balls, etc.) and rhythmic and melodic notation. Ensemble, a group instrumental work, provides opportunities for students to listen and to build harmony.
Upper Elementary Music classes meet in small groups weekly. Students learn about rhythm, melody, and harmony while working together to create music. Playing musical instruments supports the students learning pulse, inner pulse, downbeat, upbeat, and written notation.
Throughout a three-year cycle, students learn to play the guitar, ukulele, percussion and drums, steel drums and instruments from The Orff Ensemble including the xylophone and metallophone. They play a piece of music and while practicing improvisation. An important goal is to hear and control pitch while singing in unison and two-part harmony. During theater production season, students compose the musical score and lyrics to the songs they play.
Second and third year Lower Elementary students meet weekly to learn how to play soprano and alto recorder. They learn and practice reading the treble clef and playing their instrument with expression, technical accuracy, and good posture.