Literacy, Appreciation, Performance

The Lower School focuses on literacy, appreciation, and performance. Student literacy begins with an introduction to beat, rhythm, melody, music notation, form, harmony, movement, singing, and playing pitched and unpitched instruments.

Students learn about instruments in the orchestra and about influential composers. They are also introduced to music from diverse cultures. They attend concerts in the community which reinforce their classroom experiences.

All students are taught good vocal habits and are also taught skills of choral singing throughout Lower School. Students present a winter concert in December and spring concert in April. Any child in grades three through five can participate in Footnotes, our after school children’s choir. This group participates in school concerts, concerts in their community, and may take an optional trip in the spring to sing in a festival or a competition. Other performance opportunities for Lower School students include participation in the All-School Musical.

Guitar, piano, violin, and voice lessons are offered to students as an elective option. Lessons are taught privately and semi-privately with experienced instructors. The students have performance opportunities playing in solo and group settings for the winter and spring concerts during the school year and possibilities beyond. This a tuition-based program.
> WCDS School of Music

In Middle School, music reading skills are taught through classroom piano and percussion instruments. The students discover the use of music notation and its relation to the written score. The students also study traditional and progressive music of America and are able to recognize audibly various musical styles. Students learn the basics of playing acoustic/classical guitar. This includes chords, melodic reading, tablature, strumming patterns, and maintaining and tuning the instrument. They will also be exposed to the various periods of music. By the end of Middle School, students will have a good grasp of general music reading and notation and will compose a piece of music for guitar and voice to be performed for the class.

In Upper School, students may join the Vocal Ensemble, a performance group made up on non-auditioned singers. The group sings music from Bach to Broadway in the school and at community events. They learn simple music reading skills, sing in four part mixed harmony, and learn proper choral etiquette. The Ensemble participates in the NC Music Performance Assessment (MPA) and travels regularly to perform. Past destinations have included Orlando, Florida, Williamsburg, VA, New York City, England, France, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.