Welcome to Music!
Making music together as a community is at the heart of Carlthorp’s music program while encouraging individual expression. Carlthorp musicians master musical elements and concepts through a mixture of pedagogical approaches utilizing best practices of a student-centered curriculum. They are exposed to a broad range of music and make connections to the past and present of various cultures, as they develop a music aesthetic.
At Carlthorp, students take part in a comprehensive music program that incorporates healthy singing, in unison and in parts, movement exploration, group dances, ear training, music literacy, and dramatic interpretation. Students are also known for their instrumental skills. Kindergarteners and first graders explore and refine instrumental playing techniques through various percussion instruments, including xylophones and metallophones, developing their skills to accompany songs in second grade, where they also become string aficionados on violins. A key feature of third grade is the Carnegie Hall Link Up program where students sing, move, and play recorder with a live symphony orchestra. Third graders are also introduced to chord progressions on the keyboard, and fourth and fifth graders develop their own chord progressions on keyboard and ukulele respectively. Community drumming is a major focus of grades 4-6, including the highlight of an African Music and Culture residency, led by Sowah Mensah, a Master Drummer from Ghana, which concludes with an all-school performance of African music. Sixth graders focus on individual technique while working within small ensembles, playing music of various genres and cultures.
In connection to their grade-level curriculum, students participate in performances showcasing their skills in music, speech, and drama such as
- Second Grade’s Heritage Night, which explores the music of various cultures
- Fourth grade’s musical tribute to California history
- Sixth grade’s “Battle of the Bands”, where students collaborate together to design and perform their own musical showcase
Carlthorp’s Chorus and Orchestra are two additional music-making opportunities for students in grades 1-6. These musicians are featured in two concerts throughout the year, performing music from varied styles, genres, and composers.