The Music Program at Carden Day School stresses fundamental music skills combined with focus toward developing an overall musicality and an appreciation for music in general. All students from Junior Kindergarten through Eighth Grade receive 90 minutes of music instruction from the music teacher every week Beginning in Junior Kindergarten and continued into Middle School, music concepts and skills are presented and learned in a sequential approach through singing, moving, playing instruments, and listening. Within the Carden framework, the music program incorporates several current music methodologies followed widely in Europe and the United States including the Orff Schulerk approach, the Kodaly Method, and the Dalcroze Method. The Carden Day School Orff instruments include a substantial collection or Peripole-Bergerault glockenspiel, xylophones, metallophones, and non-pitched percussion. Additional instruemtns include a full chromatic set of Suzuki tone chimes, a 3-octave set of brass hand bells, and Peripole-Bergerault recorders. As an added feature to the music program, students experience school concerts from visiting artists and also take trips to San Jose and San Francisco to experience both intimate and formal venues and larger public concerts.
"The language of music can reach out with a message of comfort and home, give lift to the spirits... or replenish the heart with joy." - Mae Carden
In Junior Kindergarten, students will learn songs through rote, begin solfeggio singing, dance, and play rhythm instruments. Joy in performance and listening will be fostered. Specific skills addressed include recognition/understanding/replication of a steady beat, distinguishing beat vs. rhythm, and pitch.
In Kindergarten, students begin the process of shifting from solfeggio to note reading. Skills begun in Junior Kindergarten are practiced as part of singing, dancing, and listening. They include recognition/understanding/replication of a steady beat, distinguishing beat vs. rhythm, and pitch.
In First, Second, and Third Grades, students sing independently in correct pitch, rhythm, timbre, diction, tempo, and posture. Solo singing is encouraged and ear training is more advanced than in the preceding levels. Third grade students learn recorders and become more familiar with folk dance forms and more advanced musical terminology while recognizing more complicated rhythm patterns. Recorder studies are continued in Grades 4 – 8.
In Fourth and Fifth Grades, students study two-part singing, expanded ear training, and musical notation. They also study historical periods in music appreciation and can identify orchestral and multicultural instruments. Syncopated rhythms and expanded musical vocabularies are included in the program.
Sixth Grade students refine rhythmic dexterity and aural training by adding more difficult musical notation and 3-part singing. Earlier musical skills are accentuated and developed. In-depth knowledge of jazz, blues, gospel and spirituals is an added component in the classroom.
Seventh and Eighth Grade students experience an integrated music program which emphasizes more developed 3-part singing and harmonizing. This curriculum integrates with the English, Social Studies, French and Latin.