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The Sundance School - established 1977

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Music Instruction

When young citizens grow up in creative and imaginative environments, they may be able to respond with creativity and innovation to society's future needs and challenges. If they grow up with an appreciation of ideas and emotions conveyed through the universal languages of music and arts, perhaps they will have greater empathy and appreciation for diverse cultural traditions throughout the world.
Music after all, is a mode of understanding. What begins as pure joy for young children can lead, down the road, to a more creative and compassionate world. And the is something we all need. Susan Haig, The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra

Musical Notes

Lower School

A Musical Note from Ms. Janet; Lower School Music Teacher

Music plays a powerful role in the lives of young children. In a quality early childhood program, music activities simultaneously promote development in multiple domains. Music shared with others in singing, dancing, and playing instruments together, is by its very nature a social experience. Music lends itself to cooperation, building relationships, sharing feelings and helps build social and emotional skills.

Most importantly, sharing music with the people they love makes very young children feel cherished and important.

I am so happy that I have this opportunity to play with your children in music. Together, we will explore the different aspects of music: singing, moving expressively and rhythmically, playing classroom instruments, creating music, listening appreciatively and learning to value music as a part of everyday life. Most importantly we have fun!

Love,

Ms. Janet

Primary

Directed choral singing and hand bell lessons are part of the Primary curriculum, with traditional concerts and recitals mid-year and year-end. A significant difference between the lower school and primary curriculum is the introduction of reading music. The end result is to perform music from written notation.

Exposure to unusual rhythm and tone is critical to music development; this is achieved by interjecting songs from different cultures throughout the year. Jazz, Blues, syncopated rhythms, classical and contemporary music are included as part of the overall exposure. Movement continues to be a part of every class.

The following formal concepts are introduced during the Primary school years:

  • Understand that music notation moves from left to right
  • Identify sound and silence by reading music rests
  • Understand the difference between beat and rhythm
  • Begin to read simple rhythm patterns
  • Understand and use whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes
  • Identify music staff, measures, time signatures and repeat sign
  • Understand that notes on the treble clef demonstrate high and low pitches
  • Identify clef lines and spaces
  • Identify the use of accompaniment and no accompaniment in the piece
  • Identify different vocal sounds-singing, talking whispering and shouting
  • Understand and perform echo
  • Experiment with solos in the classroom

The Upper School

Performing, creating, and responding to music are the fundamental
music processes in which our students engage. Singing, playing
instruments, and creating music enable them to acquire musical skills. Music is a basic expression of human culture. Our music education program provides every student with access to a balanced, comprehensive, and sequential curriculum in music study.

There are separate Instrumental and Vocal classes each taught by different instructors. Formal weekly violin and string lessons having both mid-year and year-end recitals. Chorus and musical theater performance classes having both mid-year and year-end concerts. The following concepts are developed into more secure skills:

  • Introduce harmony, drone, ostinato and singing in rounds
  • Solo in the classroom as well as in performance
  • Sing and perform with the use of accompaniment, no accompaniment and recorded accompaniment
  • Sing with expression, using good posture, diction and breath control
  • Sing with sheet music and/or written lyric
  • Sing using proper dynamics

Doc's Corner


Dr. Ted Schlosberg 'Doc', The Westfield Workshop for The Arts Artistic Director and Master Teacher, has been our Sundance Artist in Residence for over 15 years! Each Thursday, he teaches violin, percussion, and beginning band classes to our 2nd-5th grade students.


Our students perform in a Winter and Spring Instrumental Music Concert under Doc's expert direction.