Preschool: General Music
In preschool music classes students sing, play percussion instruments, learn rhythmic ostinato patterns, finger plays, and movement activities. We focus on developing rhythm and a concept of pitch, along with diction and clarity of speech. Curriculum is adjusted to fit the interests and personality of each class.
Our preschool classes combine two times a year to perform at our Winter Sing and Spring Show. This larger ensemble allows our younger preschool students to perform songs that they may not be able to do as a smaller group, and allows our pre-k students to be leaders.
Elementary School: General Music and Violin Elective
Our elementary music program builds upon the foundation established in preschool. With a strong focus on vocal development, students learn about music theory, music history, and reading music. In lower elementary classes students learn solfège as a tool for understanding pitch and intervals. As they move through the elementary grades we build upon this foundation to begin to teach harmony and rounds. In upper elementary students begin to learn music theory and how to read music, in preparation for their Middle School violin ensemble. In 4th & 5th grade, students will also have the opportunity to take violin as their spring elective, which meets once a week. Students in this elective perform at our Spring Show in May.
Elementary students perform two times a year at our Winter Sing and Spring Show. While our small class size at TCS is best for academics, a larger vocal ensemble is ideal for performing so we combine classes for these two shows. These larger ensembles allow students to sing more challenging music and make learning how to sing harmony much less challenging.
Middle School: Violin Ensemble and Choir
In Middle School all students perform in one of our two violin ensembles as their core music class. Rehearsals focus on reading music, developing ensemble skills, and music theory. Students who enjoy singing may also sign up for Choir as an additional elective course. All ensembles perform at our Winter Sing and Spring Show, and Choir also performs at other various events through the year. In addition to their music ensembles, Middle School students also perform in a large choral ensemble for the Winter Sing and Spring Show and take on a theatrical role in our Spring Show, which we write each year to showcase their individual talents.
The Country School Choir
The Country School believes that every human being comes into the world as a whole person, and that the whole person deserves the chance to thrive. Under the direction of our music teacher, Courtney Politano, the Country School Choir is a mixed-ages ensemble where Kindergarteners have the opportunity to sing alongside 8th Graders, and every child is encouraged to let their personality shine. The ensemble comes together throughout the year to perform at various school events and strives to represent the TCS philosophy: that education is the foundation for growing global citizens who face the world with kindness, creativity, compassion and enthusiasm.
Music History at TCS (Elementary-Middle School)
Another key element to our elementary and middle school music program is the focus on music history. We start the year in Western Classical music, learning about composers, instruments, musical forms and time periods. As the year progresses we move on to American Folk Music, Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll and World Music (what might you hear on the radio right now if you lived in Iceland?). Through class discussions students draw comparisons to different composers, find similarities in various styles of music, and identify time periods or composers through the instruments they hear. Our goal is for students to develop active listening and critical thinking skills so that they can use the knowledge they have to find an answer. Our students may not recognize a piece as the Brandenberg Concerto No. 3 in G major, but they will hear the harpsichord in the recording, recognize it as an instrument from the Baroque period and then make an educated guess that the composer is Bach.