Music at Derby is a continuum of opportunities for children to listen, sing, dance, compose and play instruments. These powerful experiences help students process language and develop disciplines that transfer to many other subjects.

Learning, performing...building skills for academic success!

Enjoyment and creation of music is a fundamental and inextricable part of the Music Program at Derby. Recognizing that musical knowledge and experience are tied to academic success and general well-being, it should come as no surprise that there is an extensive range and depth of musical learning and performing opportunities at Derby. Many of our traditions involve all students singing and playing music.

The Music Program

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  • A Comprehensive Curriculum >>

    Derby Academy's music curriculum is designed to instill a love of music in students and to help all students become musicians themselves. Song, dance and listening lie at the core of the music curriculum. From PreKindergarten through Grade 7, Derby students build on a scaffolding of skills in their music classes. The curriculum is also designed to foster connections between students' musical studies and their academic courses. Students experience music from an array of eras, genres and cultures. Through their musical studies, students at Derby Academy come to personally experience a deeper understanding of the school's motto, "Improve Both Mind and Heart."

    Each year, every student participates in a number of performances including all-school performances and events, choral and band concerts as well as musicals. Additionally, Derby has a long-standing tradition of encouraging small groups and individuals to perform for the student body and faculty at a number of our Morning Meetings.
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Musical Performance Opportunities at a Glance

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  • Performing Ensembles >>

    Performing ensembles are a key component of the music curriculum. Beginning in the Lower School students are in chorus. In Grades 4 and 5, students participate in chorus, band or string ensemble. Opportunities for musicians to perform abound at Derby in the upper grades as the curriculum includes musicals and the ensembles become more specialized.
  • The Grades Four and Five Band >>

    This band offers Grade 4 and 5 students the opportunity to play a brass, woodwind or percussion instrument in an ensemble setting. To best meet the needs of our beginning band students, students will need to have some preliminary playing experience before joining the band. Derby provides for this through The Derby Academy Instrumental Lesson Program described above.
  • The Grades Four and Five String Ensemble >>

    This ensemble offers Grade 4 and 5 students the opportunity to play the violin, viola, or cello in an ensemble setting. To best meet the needs of our beginning string students, students will need to have some preliminary playing experience before joining this group. Derby provides for this through The Derby Academy Instrumental Lesson Program described above.
  • The Grade Six Band >>

    This band offers Grade 6 students the opportunity to continue strengthening their ensemble skills. The Grade Six Band is an intermediate level ensemble geared to offer a challenging but enjoyable ensemble experience.
  • Orff Ensembles >>

    Many students who do not play a band or orchestral instrument join the Orff ensemble. Both the Grade 6 World Percussion Ensemble and the Upper School Orff Ensemble provide students with a number of additional performance opportunities.
  • The Upper School Instrumental Ensembles >>

    These ensembles are scheduled concurrently with other arts electives twice a week. Depending on the level of student interest, membership in various ensembles such as Jazz/Rock Band and the Chamber Ensemble become available. The repertoires of these ensembles are tailored to the skills that individual musicians bring with them. Students who play in instrumental ensembles at Derby Academy learn lessons in discipline and teamwork while developing self-confidence and a lasting appreciation of music.
  • After School Instrumental Lessons >>

    Derby’s after school Instrumental Lesson Program provides a wonderful opportunity for students to begin or further their study of instrumental music on campus after school. In Grades 3-8, a variety of lessons are offered in the full range of band and orchestra instruments. The faculty for the instrumental lesson program are all professional musicians with degrees in music education or performance. 

Meet the Music Staff

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The best educational choice on the South Shore for Pre-K through Grade 8 education.