Music is a required subject. All students gain skills and confidence as instrumentalists, vocalists and students of music. Music is a part of their daily life and engages and energizes them. There are three main components in the music department: Instrumental Music, Vocal Music and World Music. There is also collaboration with the drama department.
Classes are organized by grade, so all sixth graders are in the same ensemble, all seventh graders are in the same ensemble, and all eighth graders are in the same ensemble. In the sixth grade, students begin with a wind instrument (e.g., flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, or trombone.) In the second semester, they may opt to stay on their wind instrument or to switch to a string instrument (e.g., violin, viola, cello, or double bass.) Students also begin singing together and learning to use solfeg sight-singing techniques (i.e., scales using “Do, Re, Mi,” etc.) World music units also begin in the sixth grade with Native American music and West African music.
By the seventh and eighth grades, students may continue on their chosen wind or string instrument, and often play the same instrument for the remaining two years. A few students also pursue other instruments such as piano, guitar, or drums. World music continues with studies based on Cuba, India, during the 7th grade, followed by Western Classical music, and Jazz in the 8th grade.