Music at Derby is a continuum of opportunities for children to listen, sing, dance, and play instruments. Enjoyment and creation of music is a fundamental and inextricable part of the music program at our school.
All Derby students learn to play an instrument beginning in Grade 4. There is a twofold purpose for this: they experience the “joy” of a hands-on musical experience, and we believe music enhances learning in other subjects such as math, language, and science. We also offer a variety of instrumental ensemble options available to all Middle and Upper Schoolers.
The Primary and Lower School music program is designed to prepare young children to become musical people.
As students begin developing music literacy skills, exploring instruments, and a wide range of musical genres, students will learn to sing and move in an exciting and meaningful way. Movement and dance is taught alongside songs as students explore playing hand percussion and composing an ensemble rhythm piece.
Our younger students have the opportunity to perform for audiences at a senior community center, and during Grandfriends Day, Arts in the Morning, and during the holiday concert in December.
I've never met a group of students this age with the maturity and eagerness to learn about culture at large like I have at Derby. Seeing students so ravenously consume the material I'm presenting in class shows me that a special kind of person grows up here.
Brian Martin, Middle/Upper School Band
Students in Grade 4 and 5 participate in both choral and instrumental performing ensembles, and may choose between Band and Stings. Students build upon knowledge acquired in their Lower School classes, utilizing method books and high quality repertoire that develops their performance skills and overall music literacy.
The Middle School music program provides an opportunity for students to build upon their performance skills and music fundamentals, as well as develop an appreciation for the importance of music in their own lives. Special attention is given to reading notes, rhythmic accuracy, and ear training. The Chorus sings a varied repertoire of music, including different languages, genres, and rhythm patterns. Students perform several times a year, including a holiday production, and year-end graduation concert.
The Upper School Vocal Ensemble is a performance-oriented elective class that builds upon the skills learned in the Middle School choral program. Students are challenged to sing in several parts, including a cappella pieces, and in a range of musical styles. Emphasis is on blending voices and developing listening skills. Many solo and duet opportunities exist within the Vocal Ensemble, and the group performs throughout the school year.
Students have the opportunity to participate in either vocal or instrumental ensembles in the Upper School. They'll take on challenging repertoire, improving their music literacy and musicianship while fostering a lifelong love of music. Ensembles will perform at major events such as Grandfriends Day, the holiday programs, Arts Night, as well as Morning Meetings throughout the year.