The Lower School Music program at St. John’s is an integral part of a student’s school experience. Students explore music in four facets:
- Music Literacy: learning to read and understand musical language of rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and timbre.
- Music Performance: singing, dancing, playing of Orff instruments.
- Music Appreciation: listening to, discussing, and responding to a wide-range of musical examples from Beatles to Bach, from Baltimore to Botswana and everything in between.
- World and Classroom Connection: integrating music with classroom content, making connections between music and the world around them.
The Lower School general music program at St. John’s engages multiple sources of pedagogy to implement a well-rounded music curriculum. Orff-Schulwerk allows the students to discover music and develop creativity through speech, song and movement, instrument playing, listening activities, improvisation and discussion. Kodaly methods give students a foundation of music literacy. Differentiated instruction incorporating Multiple Intelligence Theory allows all types of students to find success and joy in the music classroom.
Music instruction at St. John’s is directly related to the school’s mission.
- Academic Rigor: Students are challenged to learn complex musical concepts such as rhythm, harmony, and timbre. Students engage multiple learning styles (verbal, kinesthetic, visual etc.) in every class.
- Community: Students work as an ensemble every class. They share their musical gifts with the St. John’s community. They serve as Ambassadors of St. John’s in our surrounding communities.
- Character: The study of music naturally develops the Success Traits of courage, organization, attentiveness, persistence, and responsibility through performance for class and others, repeated skill practice, caring for one’s voice and instruments, and understanding the need for organization in music and musical study.
The Instrumental Music Program is a diverse combination of weekly Concert Band rehearsals, more style-specific ensembles such as Jazz Ensemble and Classic Ensemble, and student organized small ensembles and solos. Performance opportunities are offered in school assemblies, chapel services and concerts. Students also have auditioned for All-State Middle School Band and have performed at the Montgomery County Solo & Ensemble Festival and state competitions. They have also been awarded performance scholarships for high school. Each student is given a weekly, individual lesson where the focus is on technical and musical development and increased facility in reading music.