The Lower School music program encourages a broad appreciation of music across grades. The curricular focus is on choral and general music instruction, including skill building around listening, rhythm, notation, movement, dictation, music history, improvisation, composition, analysis, and performance. All students are exposed to a variety of musical tools designed to foster musical growth, including Orff instruments, hand percussion, recorded music, notation software, and theory coursework.
The music schedule provides students frequent opportunities for skill building and group musical experiences, including general music for grades preK–1 twice a week. Students in grades 1–4 have general music instruction once a week and choir twice a week.
The choral portion of the Lower School music program begins in second grade, including the second- and third-grade choir and the fourth-grade choir. These large ensembles sing a variety of works from multiple cultural and musical perspectives, including classical, folk, modern, and choral music in foreign languages.
The pedagogical focus of the second- and third-grade choir is the encouragement and growth of basic musical skills, including group cohesion, pitch, breath support, diction, dynamics, and following a conductor. The fourth-grade choir continues from this foundation with the introduction of more advanced musical ideas and repertoire, with special attention given to preparing for musical presentations.
Lower School students are encouraged to frequently share their music with classmates and the school community though frequent performance opportunities, including Brown Bag lunchtime performances, all-school concerts, grade-level music nights, evening recitals, and public performances. All performance opportunities are outgrowths of the classroom and individual instrumental study and showcase the curricular focus of both the classroom instructor and private-lesson experience.