Music experiences are a vital enhancement to a child’s educational journey. At Wesley Prep, music class is offered to all children in the school, from the youngest Mother’s Day Out infants to our sixth grade class. Even the littlest ones learn to sit in a circle and listen to instruction. They sing along with the songs and play individual instruments in their own way, but it’s amazing how early they start to come together. As the students advance, they begin to participate in more collective efforts and experience more sophisticated musical approaches, where the goal becomes musical literacy. Students are engaged in activities where they hear music of the highest quality, sing a wide variety of folk, seasonal, and patriotic music, derive basic music elements from the songs and listening selections, and perform.
In keeping with the integrated approach at our school, beginning with kindergarten, music is incorporated into the curriculum to coincide with specific units of study as well as current cultural events. We teach music with a body, mind, and spirit approach, providing activities that are not widely possible in larger school settings. We believe that music provides a creative outlet as a unique form of expression and that all children relate to music in some way. Many times, children who seldom speak up in a regular classroom setting show great desire to sing a solo in a musical production. Each child is given the opportunity to participate as we believe that we are all members of a team and that each person plays a part in our success. We instill a strong work ethic in the children with the bar set very high, and the children rise to meet our standards each and every time. They gain confidence and a positive sense of self-esteem as a result of spending time in their music class. Whether a 12-month-old or a 12-year-old, our goal is to instill a love of music in each child that will last a lifetime. Confidence, self-esteem, teamwork, a love of music, and a strong work ethic are just some of the invaluable tools that will carry over into all aspects of these kids’ lives.
Wesley Prep’s elementary music curriculum is grounded in Orff Schulwerk. The Orff Schulwerk approach is a type of music curriculum where children learn about music in a way that engages their mind and body through a mixture of singing, dancing, acting and the use of percussion instruments. It takes the music curriculum and meets the child where they are developmentally without the loss of music integrity. In music class, elementary students play many different instruments such as xylophones, megallophones, glockenspiels, drums and recorders.
All elementary students attend either a Creative Drama class (K-3) or an Elements of Theatre and Music class (4-6). At Wesley Prep, we believe that dramatic arts education is an important means of stimulating creativity in problem solving, challenging students’ perceptions about their world and about themselves. Dramatic exploration can provide students with an outlet for emotions, thoughts, and dreams that they might not otherwise have means to express. Each class will work toward a specific program to be performed during the year.