Music is an invaluable part of life not only for the joy and pleasure it brings, but also for the ways in which it enables us to understand the human experience. As Nietzsche said, “Without music, life itself would be impossible.”
In the Middle School, every student learns to play at least one musical instrument. Students learn a wide range of musical styles and genres -- everything from the classical and standard repertoire to contemporary music. Fifth and sixth grade students choose one of these string or wind instruments to study: violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, clarinet, trumpet, french horn, and trombone. They learn how to read and compose music, how to improvise, how to work in a group, and how to care for their instrument. Twice yearly, they perform in a public concert.
Seventh and eighth graders can elect to continue their instrument and build their skills as they move to a more advanced repertoire through solo as well as small ensemble and large ensemble configurations. Students become confident playing in different keys and meters as they experiment across genres and musical forms. Improvisation is key and solo playing is encouraged. Students perform frequently throughout the year.
In 7th and 8th grades, students have more choice. In the performing arts block they can choose to continue with instrumental music, or enroll in a comprehensive Theatre performance study, a Theatre Tech class, a Dance class or a Debate class. In addition to these required classes, Middle School students in all grades can participate in the Jazz ensemble, Orchestra, Choir or a Theatre production as an elective to further enhance their arts experience