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Lower School Academic Departments

Performing Arts

The Lower School Performing Arts Department seeks to provide all students with the opportunity to embrace the extraordinary potential of the arts for communication, celebration, inspiration, and creativity. Through the Performing Arts, students learn to express and understand themselves as they develop into multi-faceted and well-rounded human beings. We aim to foster the aesthetic development of all students while encouraging and developing artistic performance to the highest level possible; to foster creative and critical thinking, self-discipline, and lifelong learning; to create a safe, coeducational environment in which students of all races, religions, and nationalities can learn to work together to accomplish worthy goals; and to value and learn from other cultures’ artistic expressions and experiences.
  • Music JK

    Junior Kindergarten students begin their study of music through Orff-Schulwerk. Activities center on the following five musical elements: melody, rhythm, texture, color, and structure. These elements are explored through singing a varied repertoire of music, alone and with others; listening to, analyzing, and describing music; demonstrating internalization of music elements through movement; performing a varied repertoire of music on instruments, alone and with others; improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments; and reading and notating music. Students develop a heightened awareness of their surroundings and are able to follow directions and cooperate with the class as a whole. In addition to music classes, Lower School students have opportunities to perform throughout the year.
  • Music K

    Kindergarten students begin their study of music through Orff-Schulwerk. Activities center on the following five musical elements: melody, rhythm, texture, color, and structure. These elements are explored through singing a varied repertoire of music, alone and with others; listening to, analyzing, and describing music; demonstrating internalization of music elements through movement; performing a varied repertoire of music on instruments, alone and with others; improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments; and reading and notating music. Students develop a heightened awareness of their surroundings and are able to follow directions and cooperate with the class as a whole. In addition to music classes, Lower School students have opportunities to perform throughout the year.
  • Music 1

    First grade students continue their study of music through Orff-Schulwerk. Activities center on the following five musical elements: melody, rhythm, texture, color, and structure. These elements are explored through singing a varied repertoire of music, alone and with others; listening to, analyzing, and describing music; demonstrating internalization of music elements through movement; performing a varied repertoire of music on instruments, alone and with others; improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments; and reading and notating music. Students are expected to maintain self control in a larger group and respect the ideas and space of classmates. In addition to music classes, Lower School students have opportunities to perform throughout the year.
  • Music 2

    Second grade students continue their study of music through Orff-Schulwerk. Activities center on the following five musical elements: melody, rhythm, texture, color, and structure. These elements are explored through singing a varied repertoire of music, alone and with others; listening to, analyzing, and describing music; demonstrating internalization of music elements through movement; performing a varied repertoire of music on instruments, alone and with others; improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments; and reading and notating music. Students are expected to maintain self control in a larger group, respect the ideas and space of classmates, and work cooperatively with a partner. In addition to music classes, Lower School students have opportunities to perform throughout the year.
  • Music 3

    Third grade students continue their study of music through Orff-Schulwerk. Activities center on the following five musical elements: melody, rhythm, texture, color, and structure. These elements are explored through singing a varied repertoire of music, alone and with others; listening to, analyzing, and describing music; demonstrating internalization of music elements through movement; performing a varied repertoire of music on instruments, alone and with others; improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments; and reading and notating music. Students are expected to maintain self control in a larger group and respect the ideas and space of classmates. With the increased length of songs and instrumentations and the introduction of new instruments, students are encouraged to be more self-directed. In addition to music classes, Lower School students have opportunities to perform throughout the year.
  • Music 4

    Fourth grade students continue their study of music through Orff-Schulwerk. Activities center on the following five musical elements: melody, rhythm, texture, color, and structure. These elements are explored through singing a varied repertoire of music, alone and with others; listening to, analyzing, and describing music; demonstrating internalization of music elements through movement; performing a varied repertoire of music on instruments, alone and with others; improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments; and reading and notating music. Students are expected to maintain self control in a larger group and respect the ideas and space of classmates. Self discipline is essential in order to continue the learning of longer songs and more complex musical compositions. In addition to music classes, Lower School students have opportunities to perform throughout the year.
  • Music 5

    Fifth grade students continue their study of music through Orff-Schulwerk. Activities center on the following five musical elements: melody, rhythm, texture, color, and structure. These elements are explored through singing a varied repertoire of music, alone and with others; listening to, analyzing, and describing music; demonstrating internalization of music elements through movement; performing a varied repertoire of music on instruments, alone and with others; improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments; and reading and notating music. Students are expected to maintain self control in a larger group and respect the ideas and space of classmates. Self-discipline is essential in order to continue the learning of longer songs and more complex musical compositions. Fifth grade students also participate in Saints Choir, a fifth grade chorus that meets regularly during the school day. In addition to Saints Choir rehearsals and music classes, Lower School students have opportunities to perform throughout the year.

Department Faculty

  • Photo of Matthew Gehlhoff
    Matthew Gehlhoff
    Lower School Music Teacher, Grades JK-2
    703-212-2840
    Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY - B.M.
    George Mason University, Fairfax, VA - Orff-Schulwerk Certification
  • Photo of Rebecca Gehlhoff
    Rebecca Gehlhoff
    Lower School Music Teacher, Grades 3-5
    703-212-2846
    Eastman School of Music, NY - B.M.
    George Mason University, VA - Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Certification
Age 3-Grade 12 coed Episcopal day school in Alexandria, Virginia

Campuses

List of 3 items.

  • Lower School

    Age 3-Grade 5
    400 Fontaine Street
    Alexandria, Virginia 22302
  • Middle School

    Grades: 6-8
    4401 West Braddock Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304
  • Upper School

    Grades: 9-12
    1000 St. Stephen's Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304