In Grade 1, our students learn to play a Choroi interval flute and then the pentatonic flute. These are simple wooden flutes with only open intervals.
The first graders sing nature and seasonal songs and songs about fairy tale creatures. Movement, dancing and games address both inbreathing and outbreathing, nurturing the physical and soul levels.
In Grade 2 the students move solely to the pentatonic flute. The songs continue to be about nature and seasons, with the addition of songs about heroic figures and characters from their main lesson blocks. Second graders learn to differentiate between high and low, loud and soft, fast and slow further honing their listening skills.
Third graders begin a stringed instrument along with continuing the flute. As the third grade curriculum focuses on how people survive and thrive in our world, the songs also reflect this material. Songs about farming, cooking, spinning, measuring etc.. are sung throughout the year. Third graders also begin simple percussion instruments to help with the concept of rhythm.
Fourth graders are now ready to being the more complex music including singing in rounds and harmonies. Children at this point join the choir. Students continue to study a stringed instrument, and often the flute is exchanged for the more complicated recorder. Daily practice to perfect their skills on their instruments is encouraged.
Students in Grade 5 continue to sing in Choir and study their stringed instrument and recorder. In Fifth Grade Curriculum, students study the music of their region. The City School, being an American school, studies American folk music during this time. Music Theory is studied including scales, modes, circle of fifths. They are taught in an artistic way, as all concepts are in a school inspired by Waldorf pedagogy.
Students in Grades 6 through 8 continue to study music at a complicated level. The music they choose often reflects their current block of study. Sixth graders studying ancient Roman songs, Seventh graders studying music of the Renaissance etc... As their voices change, the boys and girls have opportunities to sing a richer selection of choral music.