Students are introduced to music through Orff-Schulwerk, an approach to music education created by composers Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman, which connects singing, poetry, movement, drama, instrumental ensemble, and oral interpretation. Through singing, chanting rhymes, clapping, dancing, pretending, and keeping a beat, children discover that these techniques are interrelated. In the same way that children learn how to speak before they are able to read and write, good music education encourages singing and playing instruments prior to learning how to read and write music. In this way, the art is immediately accessible and comfortably embraced. Activities center on six content areas: 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.
In addition to music classes, Lower School students have opportunities to perform in front of audiences at our Lessons and Carols service and Grandparents’ Day. Fifth grade students meet weekly for fifth grade chorus rehearsals and sing in several school-wide concerts during the school year. Students in JK-4 perform in chapel services and Lower School programs as well.