Photos courtesy of Davey Morgan Photography
Lower School Music
The Lower School music classroom is a fun place to learn to sing, play and move to music. Students have the opportunity to make many musical decisions and to share their creative ideas while developing their class community and ensemble. Informed by music education strategies of Orff, Dalcroze and Kodaly, music class time includes singing, games, creative movement, vocal exercises, manipulatives, folk dances and playing our complete sets of xylophones and drums. All of these activities support the growth of our students and their musicianship. Students in 3rd and 4th grade music classes also play the recorder to experience a wind instrument and to work on reading notation. Primer, First and Second grade students have music twice a week, and 3rd and 4th grade students have music class once a week but also have expanded music extra-curricular offerings. The grade level PYP units of study are interwoven into music curriculum, so content is reinforced across the disciplines. Chapel singing is also a way we participate in a common musical repertoire and create our sense of community. All students share their musical skills in chapel services, presentations and performances.
Choir in the Lower School is open to any interested 3rd and 4th grade students. Our introduction to choral singing begins with songs and games designed to build community and foster teamwork. We focus on healthy singing technique, correct breathing and listening to each other. The repertoire includes songs in different languages, chapel music, play-parties, rounds, spirituals, and some two-part choral pieces. The Lower School choir is a place to learn to sing! The rehearsal time is Tuesday morning each week from 7:30-8:05. They perform mostly at school events such as chapel services, a special Christmas service, a football game and the Lower School Spring Concert. The choir is sometimes accompanied by the 4th Grade Percussion Ensemble.
The handbell choir is open to all 2nd-4th grade students. No previous music experience is required. We learn to count rhythms, to ring handbells and to work together as an ensemble. We rehearse from 2:45-3:30 pm on Tuesday afternoons. Students enjoy playing in chapel services, during the Journey to the Cross presentation and at the Lower School Spring Concert.
The Percussion Ensemble is open to any interested 4th graders, and their rehearsal time is Wednesday afternoons from 2:45-3:30 pm. Using all of the xylophones, drums and unpitched percussion instruments in the Lower School music room, the group learns more challenging pieces, and they work together to become an ensemble. They practice reading rhythms, melodies and harmonic parts. They accompany the choir with xylophones or other percussion instruments, and they play for songs sung in chapel. Their work culminates in the design of their own piece in the spring for the final concert. Previous percussion compositions have featured basketballs, stools, large boxes, a wide variety of instruments and great creativity.