IN LOWER SCHOOL
In lower school music classes, students engage in a vibrant array of musical activities, including singing, chanting, playing instruments, attentive listening, and interactive games. Our comprehensive curriculum for kindergarten through fourth grade draws from a variety of pedagogical methods and approaches, including Orff-Schulwerk, the Kodály Method, and Music Learning Theory (MLT).
Throughout their musical journey, all students become familiar with tonal syllables (Do, Re, Mi) and master the Kodály/Curwen hand signs that correspond to the musical scale. Our elementary general music program centers on nurturing audiation, which is the ability to think musically. It follows the language learning sequence of "Listen, Speak, Read, Write," with singing and chanting replacing speaking. The human voice takes center stage as the primary instrument in elementary music, empowering students to sing both melodies and bass lines.
Our curriculum explores a wide variety of meters and tonalities, enriching students' musical vocabulary and celebrating the diverse musical traditions of cultures worldwide. In addition to vocal exploration, Open Window School offers a diverse array of percussion instruments for students to discover and master.
As students progress, they delve into more complex musical concepts, such as audiating harmonic function alongside melody. Moreover, singing and movement-based games create a safe and inviting context for students to explore new musical ideas, take creative risks, and even showcase their solo singing abilities.
IN MIDDLE SCHOOL
In middle school, students build upon the musical foundation laid in lower school, progressing to more intricate songs spanning a diverse range of tonalities and meters. Their musical education now places a heightened emphasis on the "Read" and "Write" components of the "Listen, Speak, Read, Write" learning sequence.
Middle school students engage in rhythmic development by clapping and chanting complex rhythm patterns in various meters. They embark on sight-singing adventures, using solfege syllables (Do, Re, Mi) and mastering the Kodály/Curwen hand signs that correspond to the musical scale. To expand their creative horizons, students harness the power of technology, utilizing apps like Garageband for iPad to transfer and express their musical ideas. They also explore composition, crafting their own pieces and experimenting with writing short melodies complemented by harmonic accompaniments. Students also delve into the world of the Ukulele, an instrument from the string family often seen as a gateway to guitar playing. In a harmonious collaboration with the drama program, middle school students have the opportunity to perform in a musical at least once during their middle school years.
Within our electives program, students have the option to join the Open Window School Choir. This choir showcases their vocal talents by singing in unison as well as in two and three-part harmonies. Through choir participation, students not only enhance their vocal skills but also delve into the fundamentals of vocal production, including body alignment, breath support, vowel production, and registration.