The Lower School music program is based on the Orff-Shulwerk model of music education. Experiences in speech, movement, dance, song, instrumental work, listening, improvisation, and critiquing lead to the development of increasingly sophisticated skills and concepts through the child’s experiences as performer, composer, critic, and listener. This structure for learning music has at its roots active participation by all. The literature for Schulwerk comes from Music for Children as the foundation for instructional sequence.
For students to be fully engaged in the music program in the Lower School, they need to participate in ensemble through instrumental work, singing, drama, dance, creative movement and improvisation. Through these experiences students develop an increased understanding of the elements of music. It is the blending of all of these areas that creates an increasingly sophisticated ensemble experience for students. Experiences in the first curriculum maintain an experiential focus. Experiences in the second – fourth grade curriculums maintain an experiential and conceptual focus.
Core to the curriculum is music which is drawn from a world perspective. Exposure to music from many cultures gives students a window into the understanding of how music reflects the lives and values of other people. Through music, participants harmonize into a single expression which facilitates relationships and strengthens community.