The music curriculum for Toddlers is based on songs, simple circle games, and finger-plays. Children practice keeping a steady beat through bouncing, tapping, and clapping activities; finger-plays help to develop fine motor skills. Songs and rhymes are crucial components in the development of language. Programs meet with our Children’s House Music Specialist once a week. Toddler classes are held in their own classrooms, and Primary students travel to the Hickory Room.
Primary music classes incorporate many Dalcroze elements. Through rhythmic movement activities, students experience musical concepts in their bodies before receiving lessons in theory. This embodied approach to learning, where theory follows practice, is deeply compatible with Montessori principles.
Our Grade 1 – 8 students come to music class two times a week. The students are exposed to a wide range of musical experiences all intended to build a lifelong love of music. In the Lower Elementary we build skills through rhythm syllables, solfege, the use of traditional folk material, movement and singing games, and listening analysis. The students use various percussion and pitched percussion instruments to heighten their musical learning. The students participate in several performances throughout the year. In the Upper Elementary the students continue to work with solfege and deepen their music theory skills. Much of the work is modeled through singing but the students have many opportunities to play various instruments in class, work with technology, and grow according to their unique levels. The Upper Elementary students also maintain a music listening journal, and have frequent performance opportunities during the school year.
Our Middle School students continue on the path of musicality with theory, ear training, song writing, technology, and full on band arrangements. The students are able to investigate new instruments, and learn how to connect their theory knowledge to music making. The Middle School students also have the chance to work with a full three-octave set of handbells which allow for a deeper understanding of theoretical concepts, while working as a musical ensemble. Like the other grades, the Middle School students have several performance opportunities throughout the year.