About the Wooster School Music Program

The music program at Wooster School offer unique possibilities for exploration and establishes an atmosphere in which students feel empowered to take risks. Music students can choose from a variety of courses with emphasis on style, music fundamentals, theory, performance techniques, history and listening concepts.

In the Lower School weekly music classes, students in 3-5 gain a basic understanding of musical concepts through singing, movement and by playing Orff instruments. Special attention is paid to ear training and music literacy at each grade level. Through the Kodaly method, students are introduced to solfeggio and sight-singing and are able to use these skills in chorus. Formal instruction on the soprano recorder begins in third grade.

In Middle School, all 6th grade students participate in Concert Band and spend the year learning an instrument, choosing from flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and percussion. 7th grade students take World Music, and in the following year in 8th grade are exposed to the Evolution of the American Sound. Middle School students also have the option of participating in Chorus, Handbell Choir, Middle School Ensemble and Middle School Contemporary Improvisation Ensemble.

At the Upper School level, students in performing groups are challenged to meet high standards in an atmosphere that promotes cooperation and support of one another. Choral groups include the Wooster Singers and the Madrigals, an advanced group requiring auditions. Instrumental ensembles include a jazz ensemble, handbell choir and multiple Upper School Contemporary Improv Ensembles. Students also have the opportunity to take courses in Music History ranging from Western Classical to early Rock and Roll and up to the present day. Students with advanced interests can also take Music Theory and AP Music Theory.

Students of all ages may enroll in private instrumental or voice lessons through our Applied Music Program. Lessons are scheduled during a free period or recess. Instruction is provided for woodwind, brass, percussion, piano, guitar, strings, music composition, songwriting, theory, music technology, and the Great Highland Bagpipes. Those seeking instruction on other instruments should contact the Music Department Chair.

Whether the Madrigals are performing at Carnegie Hall, the Wooster Singers are singing at Yankee Stadium or the Lower School students are playing at an outdoor concert on the lawn, the music program at Wooster strives to open students’ minds and souls, building an aesthetic for appreciation, developing the ability and technique for further advancement, and above all laying the foundations for a life-long relationship with the musical artform.

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