Music education is a vital part of our day to day curriculum and is taught in all grades by the class teacher. Music not only enlivens the spirit but increases a child’s capacity for learning. Through the study of music, we learn to sensitize our hearing, allowing us to better listen to the sounds of the world and to each other.
There are many important inner skills to be learned in the study of music. The discipline of practicing an instrument helps children find the inner discipline to face other challenges in life. Group music lessons offer an opportunity for children to practice the ability to listen to others and to work cooperatively. It is quite a challenge for a group of children to work completely in unison in any realm, be it social, academic, or physical. In trying to sing or playing instruments as a group, with the same timing and pitch, the resulting harmonious sound allows them to directly experience the value of working well together. Singing and playing an instrument is a means of self exploration, self-expression, and creativity that allows the children to grow into more well-rounded human beings.
Throughout the grades, children are taught music through singing and playing instruments. In first and second grades, the children sing as a group and learn to play the pentatonic flute. In third grade, children begin singing rounds and begin to play the recorder. In fourth grade, two part songs are added, and the children learn about holding their own voices against others to create harmony. Fourth grade children continue to play the recorder and begin string instruments. In fifth through eighth grades, recorders are still used in the classroom, and string instruments are often still offered. Students in the middle school are often playing Renaissance recorder ensemble music with soprano, alto, and tenor recorders.