The Lower School Visual and Performing Arts curriculum helps students learn foundational techniques and concepts which will shape their artistic future. Our dedicated and experienced instructors have a zest for the arts and a love for our students... a truly winning combination!
The Music Curriculum follows a sequential format, and is designed to introduce children to music in a way that will develop in them a love of music. Students gain new music skills by building upon previously learned musical skills and knowledge. Although developed using basic fundamentals, the curriculum remains flexible in order to allow each student to develop at his or her own pace. Music instructors use a combination of Kodaly, Orff, Suzuki, Dalcroze, Musikgarten and traditional methods in order to accommodate all styles of learning. A frequent effort to integrate with academic studies is made as the music curriculum frequently involves students in “real life” experiences, such as performances for important school and community-wide functions.
Pre-K and K
Students learn songs that revolve around the ‘heartbeat' rhythm (quarter note pulse). High-low pitch recognition, fast-slow rhythms, simple melodies, and playing on unpitched percussion instruments are a highlight of the early years of music education. Dancing and movement are also emphasized.
Grades 1 and 2
Students learn two-part rounds and partner songs, play pitched and unpitched percussion instruments, compose simple melodies & accompaniments, and practice cross-lateral ‘follow the leader' music games. Music symbols are learned as basic music theory is introduced. Famous music masters and composers are introduced.
Students study the recorder, using German fingerings, as notes in the treble clef are emphasized. They learn to 'hold their own' during 2-part harmony songs. Orff Instruments, multi-cultural music, and composition of original simple melodies and duets on the recorders and xylophones are highlights of the third grade year. A study of music history and famous composers continues through out third grade.
Grades 4 and 5
Students are invited to learn to play an instrument in the band (wind, brass, percussion) or orchestra (strings), or sing in the chorus. As students advance, performance opportunities are created, both formal and informal. Students learn to sight-read music, sing or play harmony and melody lines independently and as part of the ensemble, and experience a wide variety of music from the Baroque era to the present. They are highlighted during a winter concert and as part of the all-school Arts Day Celebration in the spring.