"Educating young people in music is not just an adornment, but a necessity to the art of living... music brings the community together. The greatest wealth this country has is not a free market; it's free kids. This is our real wealth, it is our future. And we should know how to invest in it wisely."
The music program at Wooster School offers unique possibilities for exploration and establishes an atmosphere in which students feel empowered to take risks. Music students learn styles, music fundamentals (theory, advanced theory), performance techniques, harmonies, history, and listening concepts. In Music Technology students learn the technology and techniques used to create and record popular music such as Hip-Hop and Rap. Students will learn computer-based recording, sampling, and looping using Pro-Tools and Reason Software.
In the Lower School weekly music classes, students in Pre-K-5 gain a basic understanding of musical concepts through singing, movement, and by playing Orff instruments. Through the Kodaly method students are introduced to solfege and sight-singing, and are able to use these skills in the 2nd and 3rd grade chorus and 4th and 5th grade chorus. Formal instruction on the soprano recorder begins in the third grade.
Middle School students study World Music, Western Music, and, with the use of Djembes, they are introduced to the World Rhythms. Group instrumental lessons are offered to those students who may have an interest in trying an instrument.
Students of all ages may take private instrumental or voice lessons during a free period or recess. Instruction in the following instruments are offered in the Applied Music Program: Introduction to the Great Highland Bagpipes, banjo, cello, clarinet, composition/song writing, flute, guitar, bass guitar, organ, percussion/drums, piano/jazz piano, recorder, saxophone, music technology, trumpet, ukulele, upright bass, viola, violin, and voice. Those seeking instruction on other instruments should contact the department chair..
Students in performing groups learn to set high standards and to be cooperative and supportive of each other. There are choral groups (Middle School Chorus, Wooster Singers, Madrigals), chamber ensembles, handbell choirs, Contemporary Improv Ensembles, as well as a jazz ensemble. These performance groups are open to students in Middle and Upper School and to all ability levels. Upper school students who are in a choral, chamber, or jazz ensemble are encouraged to audition for The Western Region Concert Festival. Many Wooster Students have been fortunate to participate in this outstanding festival. Our music building offers individual practice rooms and rehearsal space. Our dedicated music faculty enjoys an outstanding reputation within the school, the community, and the network of independent schools.
Whether Wooster’s Madrigals are performing at Carnegie Hall, the Wooster Singers are singing the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium, or Wooster's Lower Schoolers are playing Orff instruments at an outdoor concert on the lawn, the music program at Wooster strives to open students’ minds and souls and build an aesthetic appreciation for the world’s gifts.
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