Lower School Music
The kindergarten performing arts program builds on children’s innate joy in combining sound, movement and imaginative play to explore and interpret their world. The children apply their creativity and developing skills in Music, Drama, and Dance to an array of activities: singing, rhythmic speech and body percussion; instrument playing; ear-training and music reading, interpretive, creative and rhythmic movement; pantomime and dramatization. The students learn through imitation, guided exploration and structured improvisation. Themes and performances are coordinated with areas of study and celebration in the students’ homerooms.
The 1-3 approach to performing arts draws from the music education methods of Orff and Kodaly and best practices of creative drama. The students apply their creativity and developing skills to sequential, inter-related, and often, simultaneous activities in Music, Dance and Drama. The students learn through imitation, guided exploration and structured improvisation. Themes and performance projects are coordinated with academic studies and seasonal celebrations.
Grade 4 - Music
“The Orff approach emphasizes: process rather than performance, participation by all, each at his own level, cultivation of skills for creating and developing musical ideas rather than reproducing set forms, and playing with materials as a child at play builds many forms.”
The Fourth Grade Music and Movement program is based on the Orff-Schulwerk method of music education, and emphasizes advanced ensemble opportunities. This method is characterized by the inclusion of all students in ensemble work; the unity of music, dance, and speech; the emphasis on process teaching; and the guided improvisation and composition experience. Each week the students receive technique lessons in singing, barred instruments, recorder, or dance. Students are also given opportunities to explore literature, songs, movement, instruments, or even visual art as inspiration for their own music and dance making possibilities. Music literacy is taught through actively making music with the body, followed by identifying patterns in sound, and finally by labeling that sound with symbol. In fourth grade, students will address advanced pentatonic pieces, instrument work, and advanced round singing. The Orff-Schulwerk curriculum is process based; however, students at this level actively participate in performances throughout the year, as leaders of the Lower School.
Grade 4 - Theatre Arts
Fourth Grade students engage in activities designed to encourage creative self-expression, physical awareness, confidence, and personal character development. Theatre Arts class is designed to deepen the awareness of drama as a series of life lessons: improvisation as the ability to think creatively and spontaneously; role play as a form of empathy; diction and emphasis as effective communication skills; ensemble as teamwork.