The music program at the Lower School encourages children to find the musician within themselves. Students become knowledgeable about beat, rhythm, and notation through activities such as clapping, tapping, and stepping. They are given opportunities to respond to changes in tempo, dynamics, pitch, and melodic themes through movement. Good vocal habits are developed through singing folk and composed songs, rounds, and singing games. Students learn from a variety of musical styles, including those from folk and ethnic cultures as well as those composed music from Western traditions. They sharpen their listening and analytical skills through creative movement and dance, illustration, written description, discussion, and dramatization.
Percussion instruments are used at all levels for accompaniment and for reinforcement of the concepts of beat and rhythm. All students learn to play the soprano recorder in Grade 4 and have the opportunity to choose the alto recorder or barred instruments in Grade 5. In ensemble experiences, students gain self-discipline, concentration, and appreciation for the process that carries them from first rehearsal to polished performance. Ensembles include chorus and orchestra for students in Grades 3 through 6. The young children also share songs in weekly and special assemblies.
Performing arts courses at the Lower School are taught by instructors who are practicing artists in their individual disciplines.