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Music

Our Music staff are highly skilled specialists with real-life experience of music in society. The music room is well-resourced with Latin percussion, African drums, keyboards and band instruments, and quality pianos, all of which are carefully maintained.

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At all stages of the music curriculum children are required to Compose, Listen and Perform. These three core activities run through the whole programme and underpin all of the activities required by it. We aim, as music educators, to develop musical competence, sensitivity and understanding in all of our pupils. Students are required to think beyond the physical difficulties of playing music, and engage with the art beyond: they are encouraged to perceive what is essentially human despite the noise and clamour of the world of entertainment. They are encouraged to acquire skills, and respect those who have acquired them without regarding the acquisition of skill as an end in itself. Music is understood to be a vital human characteristic, capable of profoundly positive influence in the lives of all people.

Music For Pre-K - Grade 5

From Pre-K to 5th Grade all children have two Music lessons per week. These lessons will consist of singing a wide selection of songs; playing several musical instruments; moving with increased physical co-ordination; listening to a broad repertoire of music through history; reading and writing basic musical notation; improvising and composing--all while also having a great deal of fun. The children learn songs and dances associated with the major festivals throughout the year and perform some of these at our winter concert or in the class concerts.

In Grades 1, 2 & 3 children play several percussion instruments and melodic instruments such as xylophones and boomwhackers, while being prepared for using basic music notation. From 4th grade, they learn to use music notation by playing recorders.

During Grade 5, the children are presented with the opportunity to play a band instrument, such as trumpet, saxophone, clarinet or flute. Once per week they play with their classmates in a Beginning Band, starting from the very first steps of playing an instrument and developing a degree of proficiency within the year. In this way students become responsible for the care of a relatively valuable musical instrument, and understand the need to practice and take charge of their own learning.

Music For Grades 6 - 8

In Grades 6-8, children may choose to study band musicianship further in Middle School Band. Those who make this decision are required to obtain their own instrument and have private instrumental lessons as practice becomes central to the development of band skills.

Children who do not specialize in Band are provided with a Middle School Music Exploratory Program which provides an opportunity to experience music in new, challenging, and practical ways. The Exploratory Music Program typically focuses on skills which are particularly appealing to middle school students: Latin Percussion, Computer Composition (Garage Band), Rock Studies, and a lot more.

Music For Grade 9 And Beyond

High School Band brings students to the next level of musicianship. They play challenging pieces from the popular and jazz repertoire, which are carefully chosen for the group. In the past our bands have produced excellent in-house concerts and have also taken music outside the building to other schools and performance venues. In recent years we have also had a High School Orchestra. These students play a combination of classical and popular repertoire and have even joined forces with High School band for some performances.

IB Music was introduced in August 2010. Alongside these curriculum-driven activities there is a growing tradition of an annual school dramatic production, which usually make musical demands on everybody involved, together with a cycle of performances and concerts throughout the year.