Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” - Leonard Bernstein


Music at Derby is a continuum of opportunities for children to listen, sing, dance, compose and play instruments. Enjoyment and creation of music is a fundamental and inextricable part of the Music Program at Derby.

Music at a Glance

List of 4 items.

  • Primary and Lower School Music >>

    The Derby Primary and Lower Schools music programs are based on John Feierabend’s First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege curricula, which are designed to prepare children to become musical people by making them “tuneful,” “beatful,” and “artful.” Children who develop these three areas before they leave elementary school grow to become adults who can benefit from what music can offer, and participate in the music that is interwoven throughout our lives.

    In Grades 1-3, students begin developing music literacy skills with Conversational Solfege, a curriculum greatly influenced by Kodály philosophy, phonetics, and the Whole Language Approach in that it is a literature-driven curriculum. Along with developing music literacy, students explore instruments, folk dance, and a wide range of musical genres.
     
  • Middle School Music >>

    Choral/General Music Program
    The Middle School Choral/General Music Program provides an opportunity for students to learn performance skills, music fundamentals and to develop an appreciation for the importance of music in society and in their own lives. Special attention is given to reading notes, rhythmic accuracy, solfege and ear training. The Chorus sings a varied repertoire of music, including different languages, genres and rhythm patterns. They perform several times a year, including a holiday production and year-end graduation concert.

    Instrumental Program
    Students in 4th and 5th Grade participate in both choral and instrumental performing ensembles. They may choose between Wind Band and String Orchestra. Students build upon knowledge acquired in their Lower School general music classes, utilizing method books and high quality repertoire that develops students’ performance skills and overall music literacy. Instrumental students are not expected to have previous playing experience, however, they are strongly encouraged to take private lessons on their instrument through the after school instrumental lessons program.
  • Upper School Music >>

    Vocal Ensemble
    The Upper School Vocal Ensemble is a performance oriented elective class that builds upon the music 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. Major performance opportunities include the holiday production and graduation concert at the end of the school year.

    Instrumental Ensembles
    Students have the opportunity to participate in either vocal or instrumental ensembles in the Upper School. Students will take on challenging repertoire, improving their music literacy and musicianship while fostering a lifelong love of music. Students in instrumental ensembles are expected to have at least one year of experience on their instruments. Ensembles will perform at major events such as Grandfriends Day and Let There Be Light, Arts Night, as well as morning meetings throughout the year. All students are strongly encouraged to take private lessons on their instrument through the after school instrumental lessons program.
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  • After School Music Enrichment Program/Instrumental Lessons >>

    Derby Academy has a vibrant after school program that includes the opportunity for students to further their study of instrumental music on campus in a private lesson. In Grades 3 through 8 a variety of instrumental lessons are offered in the full range of band and orchestra instruments. After school instrumental faculty are professional musicians with degrees in music education or performance. A year end recital allows students the opportunity to perform solo or in a small group.

Meet the Music Staff

List of 5 members.

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