We believe that it’s important to have an appreciation of music and to use it as a tool for developing listening skills, rhythm, pitch, body awareness, emotional intelligence and imagination. We further believe that early exposure to music is vital to overall brain development. It serves to make neural connections that are important for math and language acquisition.
Music is also a vital part of our cultural language. Students learn songs and dances from across the globe, often working with languages, rhythms, and melodies from diverse cultures.
All Cottonwood School students receive at least 30 minutes of music class each week led by our Music Director, Holly Gilster.
Toddler and Early Childhood Music
Toddler and Early Childhood classes are a joyful celebration of song, dance, and play. As part of each class, we invite the children to move to music. Over the course of each semester, the children practice proper technique on a variety of rhythm instruments which they then use to accompany songs and games. Each semester’s work is showcased at the Peace Concert in December.
Elementary classes listen to a wide variety of live and recorded music and are asked to make critical judgments about what they hear. Then, students choose from several instruments including hand drums and Orff instruments. They play together as part of a larger ensemble while following a conductor. Students are challenged to improvise rhythms and accompany songs, plays, and games. Elementary students learn how to sing alone and as part of an ensemble. They practice breathing and posture while learning how to maintain the correct pitch. Each semester’s work is showcased at the Peace Concert in December.
Classes will be offered after school as with piano in future so that children can take the instrument of their choice without the added stress of playing in an ensemble. We are going back to working on recorder, hand drums and Orff instruments which are designed to engage students with ease.