Music is an important part of every classroom, festival, and holiday, and the overall fabric of the school. Through Grades 1-8 the children experience song, pentatonic flutes, diatonic flutes, note reading, string orchestra, choir, concert band, and recorder ensemble.
Making music oneself is an activity that engages mind, body, and feelings acting in harmony from an impulse of the will. The passive reception of music present in the environment from mechanical sources actually works upon the individual in the opposite direction; rather than bringing forth music from the inside, one’s attention is often called out, away from the self.
An ideal education calls for the restoration of music’s rightful place in the life of the child. Music is brought to the child as much as possible from living, acoustic sources: other human beings. As the young child learns primarily through imitation, he learns to sing by imitation of those around him. Music is a part of the child’s life both as a dedicated activity and as a part of other activities: while working, dancing, playing. At the appropriate times in the child’s development, the playing of instruments is introduced, as is the reading of musical notation. Through the development of these skills the child begins to become acquainted with the musical tradition of his culture.
Of great importance for the child is the striving to create something beautiful together with others. This collective activity, which relies on the individual preparation done on the development of the requisite skills, demands consistent effort and concentration, both in solitude and as a part of the group. It is this meaningful work itself as much or more than what the child may learn about music that is most important for the child. This exercise of the will, and the daily struggle and persistence involved in acquiring skills for which endless development is possible, gives great opportunity for the child to begin to acquire self-knowledge.
An adolescent who has already begun to do this special kind of work is in possession of a reservoir of inner strength, resources, and habits that may be of vital importance when he faces the turbulence of puberty and the ever-increasing demands and responsibilities of approaching adulthood. In addition, the ability to express one’s feelings through an art form, both alone and in a social context, may provide a constructive outlet for the confusion and disillusion often experienced during adolescence.
Thus the rightful place of music in the life of the child is that which enables the child to develop, both as an individual and in harmony with those around him, towards a free and dynamic adult life