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Class IV students all experience a six week, three times a week, exploratory strings class. They learn correct posture and basic technique while practicing fun and engaging songs. They may choose the violin, viola, or the cello.

Class V students all experience a six week, twice a week, exploratory winds/brass and strings class. Students may choose from the flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, french horn, violin, viola, and cello. Students in the wind/brass program learn how to hold their instrument, develop their embouchure and produce a good tone while playing an age-appropriate repertoire. Students in the strings program build on their experience in class IV by reviewing their basic technique and playing some more challenging material.

Why Instrumental Instruction in Lower School?

There are several reasons we start the instrumental program in the lower school. Our goal is for students to learn to read music at the same time they learn to read. Students begin to read music in Kindergarten as students participate in choral games and activities and spend time in the piano lab. Voice and instrumental instruction are combined to provide students with the music foundation critical to success in upper grades. With multiple exposures to music instruction, students are prepared to make choices between chorus, band, or orchestra as they move on into the MS program.

We invite you to look at the article: The Benefits of Music Education by Laura Lewis Brown

Here is a summary:

Music benefits language development:

There is a positive relationship between music exposure instruction/exposure and language development. “The development of language over time tends to enhance parts of the brain that help process music,” says Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and a practicing musician. “Language competence is at the root of social competence. Musical experience strengthens the capacity to be verbally competent.”

Music benefits brain development:

Research indicates the brain of a musician, even a young one, works differently than that of a nonmusician. “There’s some good neuroscience research that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training. When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain,” says Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University.

Music benefits the development of spatial-temporal skills:

We have some pretty good data that music instruction does reliably improve spatial-temporal skills in children over time,” explains Pruett, who helped found the Performing Arts Medicine Association. These skills come into play in solving multistep problems one would encounter in architecture, engineering, math, art, gaming, and especially working with computers.

Music benefits many areas of development:

Music instruction often improves a child’s ability to concentrate and focus their attention.  It also has been connected to improved fine motor skills and learning to collaborate and work as a team to create music together. Music instruction improves listening skills.

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