Instrumental music instruction begins in first grade with simple flutes. By third grade, all children are playing recorder with their class teacher and continue to do so until graduation. Starting in third grade, each student learns to play the violin, cello or viola and participates in group lessons. In fifth grade, students may switch to a wind or brass instrument, and the class is divided into a string ensemble and a wind ensemble. Seventh and eighth graders play together in an orchestra. Private lessons are strongly encouraged, and scholarship funds are available to help eligible students defray the cost.
Children sing with their class teacher in first and second grades on a daily basis. By third grade, students are singing simple rounds. Beginning in fifth grade, all students sing in a chorus that meets twice each week. In grades 5–8, the choral repertoire expands to include voice parts and harmonies. We introduce rhythmic and notation work and concepts of major and minor modes, as well as sight-singing.
Choral and instrumental performances take place regularly through recitals, school assemblies, and seasonal celebrations. Students learn to feel confident performing in class and at school events. The experience of singing and playing music also provides a lively and harmonizing atmosphere to the culture of the school.