Blake's curriculum provides numerous ways for students to create, perform, and experience music. All Lower and Middle School students have regular music classes, and many Upper School students take music courses to fulfill graduation requirements in the arts.
Fostering Success: Grades Pre-K Through 5
Our youngest students soon learn that making music is fun, and anyone can do it. The Lower School music curriculum comprises two separate programs:
- General Music instruction for all students featuring singing, instruments, folk dance, movement, improvisation, composition and literacy.
- A supplementary optional Lower School strings program, through which students take weekly violin or cello lessons and participate in performances throughout the year.
Our child-centered approach helps students at any level of musical proficiency develop new skills and learn about the elements of music.
Exploration of pitch, volume, rhythm & timbre through vocalization, percussion, and movement
Vocal, Instrumental & movement exploration • Directed listening
Unison & echo singing • Beat-based instrumental & movement exploration • Rhythmic notation • Solfège notation
Singing & playing melodies with vocal & instrumental accompaniments • Imitative & creative movement • Melodic notation
Unison & canon singing • Instrumental ensembles • Traditional dances & creative movement • Staff notation • Composition activity
Unison & part singing • Recorder ensembles • Melodic & rhythmic improvisation • Music reading & writing
Choral singing • Creative ensemble experiences • Fifth-grade play
LOWER SCHOOL STRINGS PROGRAM
Approximately one-third of students participate in this program. Although it's geared toward students with a greater interest in technical music instruction, children need not be virtuoso musicians to participate.
Communicating Through Music: Grades 6 Through 8
Blake helps young adults become confident performers. All students participate in band, orchestra or choir throughout Middle School. Students discover the joy of expressing themselves as an ensemble and learn to feel comfortable in front of an audience. Students who love singing may participate in one of six choral ensembles. Instrumentalists may participate in one of several bands or orchestras. Placement in all groups is based on student experience, and is determined by music faculty. Qualified students entering eighth grade may also take Integrated Arts in lieu of the typical arts/music course rotation.
Specialized Music Studies: Grades 9 through 12
Upper School students choose among offerings in visual arts, theatre, speech and debate, and music to complete at least four semesters of arts courses. Musically-inclined teens may complete advanced coursework in composition, band, orchestra, or chorus. Courses like Music Technology: Composition and Production give students solid grounding in music theory, while also teaching them how to use technological tools to compose. Co-curricularly, students may opt to participate in student-led ensembles, such as Jazz Express, Blakers Dozen and Blakers in Treble, with concurrent enrollment in curricular ensembles. Student-led groups meet once weekly, before school.