In the Arts Department at Valley School, we believe that the process of learning is just as important as the content absorbed and that with a strong work ethic, resilience, a hint of bravery, and quality training, talent can be grown and developed. We make every effort to learn each child’s unique strengths and creative gifts and use that knowledge to guide students to success.
Lower School Music classes include singing and moving, as well as listening to, playing, and creating music. Teachers emphasize the joy of making music with others and help children to appreciate music’s expressive qualities. Every class includes activities that encourage proper development of the singing voice. Music aptitude develops through individual and group performance, as well as listening exercises. Movement and cooperative folk dancing are included regularly. Music literacy begins in 1st grade with the use of glockenspiels and continues through 3rd and 4th grade with a recorder experience. Group instrumental lessons are offered beginning in 4th grade. Children enjoy several concert performances throughout their time in Lower School, and our 4th-graders prepare an annual music performance for their States Fair.
In Upper School, students work individually and in groups to learn, practice, and develop their musical skills, including rhythm and pitch recognition and response, tone production, sight-reading, listening and analysis, and composition. Through performing arts classes and electives, students develop a deep appreciation and understanding of the cultural and historical contexts of musical traditions from around the world. Students have the opportunity to apply their learning in formal and informal vocal and instrumental performance settings such as Choir, Orchestra, Handbell Choir, Musical Theater, Percussion Ensemble, World Music Drumming, Ukulele and Guitar classes, and Digital Music Production.