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Music

At OES we believe music is creative, joyous, academic and interdisciplinary. It enhances the lives of all students by engaging their whole selves in the creative process, generating a lifelong appreciation and love for music. By making music, students learn the equal importance of individual self-expression and group collaboration.

What are the outcomes of the OES music curriculum?
  • Vocal and instrumental technique development
  • Critical thinking
  • Leadership skills
  • Connection to emotion
  • Emphasis on teamwork
  • Self-expression and confidence
  • Connection to the rest of the world through culture, music history, theory

Lower School

The Lower School music program is rooted in the Kodaly philosophy which incorporates music literacy, movement, singing, and instruments. It engages students’ bodies, brains and emotions in a holistic approach which sets a solid foundation for further music study.

What happens in Lower School Music
  • Singing and part-work
  • Drums, xylophones, recorders, handbells, and more
  • Movement
  • Musical games
  • Creative projects
  • Connection to classroom curriculum
  • Smiles, joy, and laughter
Extension Opportunities

The OES music program expands beyond the regular school hours of 8:00 - 3:00!

Opportunities include:

  • Melodies Mixed Choir — Grades: Primary – 2
  • Beginning and Advanced Band — (flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion) — Grades: 4 – 5
  • Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Strings — (violin, viola, cello, bass) — Grades: 3 – 5
  • Girls’ Choir — Grades: 3 – 5
  • Boys’ Choir — Grades: 3 – 5

Private lessons on instruments taught in instrumental ensembles and on voice are available on campus right after school.

Middle School

The Middle School and Upper School music programs are centered around instrumental and vocal performance ensembles. While performance is a goal, the process is just as important as the product. In addition to expanding their musical technique, students enhance their understanding of world cultures, learn the value of self-expression, and delve deeply into the power of music.

Sixth graders choose between vocal music and instrumental music. They will then hone these skills during their middle school career, developing self-discipline, goal-setting, music literacy, world connections, and a joy of making music.

What instruments are included in instrumental ensembles?
  • Woodwinds — flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone
  • Brass — trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba
  • Percussion snare drum, bass drum, auxilliary percussion (cymbals, tambourine, etc.) and occasional drum set
  • Strings — violin, viola, cello, bass, piano
  • Other instruments will be considered on a case-by-case basis
What happens in Middle School Vocal and Instrument classes?
  • Collaborative music-making (Solo and Group Rehearsal and Performance)
  • Personal expression through vocal and instrumental technique development
  • Joy in the creative process
  • Music Theory and Sight Reading training and practice
  • Creative expression
  • Mutual support
  • Inquiry/student-led projects and endeavors
  • Energetic engagement and laughter
  • Interdisciplinary projects
  • Understanding and appreciation of world music, music history, and music theory
Extension Opportunities

The OES music program expands beyond the regular school hours of 8:00 - 3:00!

Opportunities include:

  • Jazz Band
  • Advanced Strings (violin, viola, cello, bass)

Private lessons on instruments taught in instrumental ensembles and on voice are available on campus right after school.

Upper School

The Middle School and Upper School music programs are centered around instrumental and vocal performance ensembles. While performance is a goal, the process is just as important as the product. In addition to expanding their musical technique, students enhance their understanding of world cultures, learn the value of self-expression, and delve deeply into the power of music.

Upper School students can continue to develop their powers of expression, technical skills and joy of music through classical and jazz instrumental and vocal ensembles and music technology and composition courses.

What instruments are included in instrumental ensembles?
  • Woodwinds — flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone
  • Brass — trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba
  • Percussion snare drum, bass drum, auxilliary percussion (cymbals, tambourine, etc.) and occasional drum set
  • Strings — violin, viola, cello, bass, piano
  • Other instruments will be considered on a case-by-case basis

Upper School students can continue with their vocal or instrumental pursuits and can also expand their study through electronic music, composition, a cappella choir, and jazz.

What happens in Upper School music classes?
  • Enhanced musicality — honing musical expression
  • Collaborative music-making — emphasizing teamwork
  • Personal expression — connecting to the emotional content in music and becoming more self-aware
  • How music works — seeking to understand music non-intuitively: through music theory
  • Laughter — making fun a part of making music, even at an advanced level
  • Student-led projects and rehearsals — leadership in writing and directing music
  • World music — Experiencing the world-wide depth and breadth of music
Extension Opportunities

The OES music program expands beyond the regular school hours of 8:00 - 3:00!

Opportunities include:

  • Jazz Band
  • Advanced Strings (violin, viola, cello, bass)

Private lessons on instruments taught in instrumental ensembles and on voice are available on campus right after school.

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