Over the course of the Kindergarten year, we focus on seven large musical concepts:
- Loud/soft (dynamics)
- Fast/slow (tempo)
- High/low (pitch)
- Short/long (rhythm)
- Steady beat
- Phrases (form)
Students explore these topics primarily with their singing voices, through kinesthetic exploration, and percussion instruments such as egg shakers, rhythm sticks, tone bells, and xylophones. We play singing games and learn to track beats and pitches kinesthetically and visually, which helps students’ musical literacy. The guiding principle for music literacy is “sound before sight”: students are asked to experience a music concept, understanding it both physically and aurally, before introducing terminology and reading/writing music.
At the beginning of the year, most lessons are centered around a dramatic narrative in order to align with children’s innate sense of play and to engage their imaginations as we flow from one activity to the next.
We learn about instrumentation and music and storytelling through Tchaikovsky’s Peter and the Wolf and a brief introduction to Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals.