Woodlawn’s music program offers K-12 students opportunities to compose, play, and perform music using various instruments and voice. Music education provides children with a means of self-expression and enhances teamwork skills through communication, cooperation, and collaboration. Music is integrated into subjects across the curriculum and students engage in interdisciplinary projects that connect core subjects to the arts.
THE PRESENCE OF MUSIC
Music allows children to express themselves and experience the world around them through sensory exploration. Woodlawn’s lower school music program offers students the opportunity to discover, play, and create music using various instruments and their individual voices. At Woodlawn, music is integrated with core subject curriculum to highlight the presence and importance of music in their daily learning.
The goal of Woodlawn’s lower school music program is to provide students with the skills to read and perform music, understand the connections that can be formed by music beyond the classroom, and to consider the role that music may play in their lives going forward. In grades PreK-1, the foundation for these goals is built through the introduction to different sounds and instruments, specifically simple percussion instruments including rhythm sticks, tambourines, and shakers. These instruments are used alongside singing to explore the concept of rhythm. In grades 2-3, students get to learn how to play the recorder as they learn about music notation and how to read notes on a staff. In grade 4, the students take on ukuleles to focus on their practice and performance skills. Grade 5 allows students to combine all of this previous knowledge to learn the basics of the keyboard. Throughout these six years, students will get to listen, dance, sing, play, perform, create, compose, and discover what music means to them.
Woodlawn values student creativity, and students are always encouraged to share their talents. Whether it be through our annual talent show, holiday performances, or theater productions, students have many additional opportunities to explore performing arts beyond the music classroom. Students in grades K-5 may participate in an extended day theater program, and those in 6-12 are offered a theater production elective with roles such as actors, set designers, stage managers, and technical crew.
The middle school music curriculum focuses on building students’ music knowledge by fully understanding music history, theory, and covering several genres from classical to rap, from bluegrass to bebop. Sixth grade focuses on building knowledge and understanding history through music and dance. In seventh grade, students apply that knowledge and perform musical and dance routines from unique cultures worldwide. In eighth grade, music and service learning are integrated as students create music for emotion and perform monthly for the residents of the Brian Center.
Middle school students have the opportunity to participate in the annual school musical which is performed during winter trimester. Middle school students explore musical theater and theater performance as well as acting techniques through weekly classroom drama activities and skills practice. Students practice acting, dance and voice and this collaborative method will emphasize training of the whole actor with a deeper integration of all the skills needed to develop the students’ craft.
THE FREEDOM TO CREATE
Students in grades 9-12 have the opportunity to continue their study of music and theater through regular elective offerings such as participation in the school musical, plays, stage crew or vocal performances. Students frequently get the opportunity to showcase their talents on and off campus through performances, community partnerships, open mics, and talent shows. Woodlawn allows upper school students the freedom to create musical or theatrical pieces and guides the process from beginning to final performance.