Music classes in the Primary Program include singing, listening, hand percussion instruments, Montessori bells, Kodaly hand signs, and movement activities. The goal is to train the ear and provide basic musical concepts before progressing to the elementary level. Exposure to different styles of music and sounds of various instruments is part of listening activities. Performances at our winter program, Earth Day, and the year-end celebration develop a sense of community through ensemble experience. Our music director visits each classroom twice weekly. Lessons and activities that include songs and rhythm are integrated daily by classroom teachers.
The elementary child is ready to acquire music-reading skills to visualize the organization of sound through rhythm, melody, harmony, dynamics and expression. Continuing the basic concepts developed through ear training in the early years, using music vocabulary, and expanding the child's awareness of history, style and culture are important aspects at the elementary level. Practical application of the basic concepts through Orff methods includes singing, listening, movement, playing recorders, xylophones and hand percussion instruments. In addition to the winter program, Earth Day, and year-end celebration, an annual Variety Show provides the individual child with a platform for self-expression. The overall goal is to prepare our students for further music study if they so choose, by giving them positive experiences during their time at our school.
Children are encouraged to use various media to express themselves in their work in all areas of the curriculum. Lessons in the history and use of different media and techniques are offered on a regular basis. Projects focus on opportunities for individual development. Working in this way helps the child to appreciate her own creative abilities and skills, to develop a basis for esthetic judgement, and to become more aware and appreciative of varied media and works of art.
Formal art instruction gives the elementary child a variety of techniques and media for multicultural projects. Art is also integrated into the curriculum in such activities as geometric drawings, map skills, botany and zoology nomenclature and historical illustrations for period costumes and architecture.