The music curriculum is centered on the music education philosophy of the German pedagogue and composer, Carl Orff. It involves the whole child, building concepts and skills spirally, while actively involving the student in singing, speech, rhythmic activities, movement, improvisation and playing instruments designed especially for children. Third and fourth graders learn to play the recorder, both to learn to read notes on a musical staff and to enjoy playing in ensemble. Kodaly methods of singing instruction are also taught, with the emphasis on good vocal sound and sensitive listening.
Music appreciation and basic theory are taught in a hands-on, child-centered environment and using the Orff-Schulwerk instruments. Opportunities for performance include recorder ensembles; “Students in Concert” (informal, recital-like assemblies held twice a year); and Sing-alongs. Pre-K-2nd grade classes have music once a week for 30 to 40 minutes. Third graders have music twice a week for a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes. Grades 4 and 5 have music once a week for 45 minutes. A “catch-up” recorder class is available for 4th graders once week during the fall semester.
The primary goal of the music program is to help every child understand the importance and joy that music can bring to life, and the mental, physical, emotional, and social growth possible through active participation.