In our Lower School Music program, your child learns about music and musical concepts through active vocal and instrumental participation. Through early exposure to music theory and music history, your child develops a deep appreciation for the arts and an increased aptitude for learning in other traditional academic areas. In fact, children who receive regular exposure to the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic excellence.
Our program shows your child a variety of instruments and musical techniques, which builds your child’s muscle memory and dexterity necessary for instrumental proficiency. Our teachers use Kodaly Hand Signals for teaching rhythm and pitches through Italian syllables (Do-Re-Mi) and accompanying hand signals, and Orff musical instruments to increase tone and pitch identification. Poems, rhythms, games, dances, and songs accompany instruction on these special barred instruments, which include xylophones, glockenspiels, and metallophones.
In our primary grades, our teachers use music instruction to expand your child’s ability to publicly speak and present, increasing self-confidence and self-awareness. As a first grader, your child confidently displays musical abilities in three school-wide events, demonstrating tempo, dynamics, rhythm, and pitch through singing, dancing, and instrumental play. By the end of second grade, students read basic rhythms and perform pitch direction using a system of musical syllables, numbers, and/or letters during musical concerts. The highlight of the third grade experience is our Annual Third Grade Musical, which familiarizes students with the Elements of Music and Performance through singing, dancing, and drama. Every musical accommodates the unique characteristics of the class, allowing each child to be fully engaged in the performance. By the end of third grade, your child possesses a greater sense of self- confidence and personal achievement through their participation in the musical.
In our intermediate grades, your child has access to greater musical instruction, including band, and larger scale performance opportunities. As a fourth grader, your child participates in a more intensive study of choral music, which culminates in the Annual Evening of the Arts performance of the Fourth Grade Chorus. Your child also receives additional music and dance instruction in preparation of our Annual Halloween Parade and Performance. By the end of fifth grade, your child possesses a confident understanding of the Elements of Music and the Elements of Performance, which is on display at various performances of the Lower School Chorus. The practice of reading musical notation includes an understanding of two and three part harmonies, musical form, intermediate rhythms, which is demonstrated in their choral performances. All students are also encouraged to participate in the UA Talent Show, which offers students an informal opportunity to freely express themselves in any area of the Performing Arts, including singing, dancing, monologues, poetry readings, or instrumental performances.
Participation in the Lower School Band becomes an option beginning in grade 4. Our band students learn scales, read and perform rhythms, identify and define notation symbols for pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, articulation, and expression, and interpret them while performing. Students are exposed to a varied repertoire of music in various styles, and performances occur during Christmas, spring, and liturgical events.