Choral, recorder, composition and appreciation
studies provide a base for creative expression.
In our choral music program, students are exposed to a variety of genres and languages as they learn to sing together as an ensemble.
For Grades K through 4:
The first half of the year is a choral-based program. Students learn songs from many countries and cultures, in various languages and different styles. They listen to music and learn musical terms to describe what they're hearing. In the process of learning to sing, they discuss the mechanics of music: rhythm, notation, dynamics, as well as talking about proper singing techniques. We work on diction, breathing, posture and the notion of making music as a group.
The children request songs that they are familiar with, and also work with music that may be new to them. The semester culminates in a performance for families. Prior to the performance, they learn about performance techniques, dealing with stage fright, and audience etiquette.
By the end of 4th grade the goal is that each child has a basic knowledge of musical terms, familiarity with note-reading, and a willingness to listen to many styles of music. Many students acquire a love of singing that stays with them the rest of their lives.
During the second half of the year, children choose an elective. These are small groups that concentrate on a specific activity. Some electives in the past have included: chamber music, music theater, ukulele, "TCS Has Talent," songwriting, advanced recorder, music and art, and dance.
For Grades 5 through 8:
Middle-level music continues with the same goals and includes writing, scoring and participating in a musical theater production. The students work on poetic techniques, bringing group ideas into fruition (being supportive, inspiring, etc), as well as deciding on the melody and harmonic accompaniment for the songs. Even students who don't normally enjoy singing are often extremely proud of their accomplishments in producing and performing the musical. The experience is great preparation for high school choir and theater participation, as well as providing a platform for personal creativity.
Our recent musical productions have been hosted by the Oak Park Theatre, giving our students a thrilling experience of performing live on a professional stage.