Norwood's music program is devoted to instilling a joyful sense of music in every child. It accomplishes this through a process which emphasizes creativity as well as musical literacy.
Lower School students move to music, play melodic and rhythmic instruments, improvise and create their own melodies, and listen to a variety of folk, classical, jazz, and contemporary music. Annual class programs offer our students many opportunities for performing. Norwood has a tradition of integrating the arts with other classroom learning by developing musical presentations based on history, poetry, nature, and the cultures of specific countries. Musical presentations provide opportunities for children to develop self-confidence and are an exciting way to enhance learning. Performance continues to be an integral part of the Norwood music experience.
What is my child learning about in music?
All Norwood general music classes consist of musical activities that are based on a repertoire of multicultural folk songs as well as recordings the children listen to throughout the year. Activities include singing, playing instruments, moving, listening, dramatizing, reading, writing, and creating. Through these experiences, children are given the opportunity first to “discover” music with their feelings, bodies, and curiosity. The children’s discoveries are then guided into higher levels of conceptual understanding as musical concepts are drawn from these songs and recordings and are presented in a sequential order. These concepts are based on the elements of music: rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and the elements of expression. Throughout this process, known as the Kodaly method, music reading skills and individual artistic creativity are emphasized.
What can I do as a parent to help my child in music?
- Sing and enjoy music as a family (car pool, long trips, family performance nights, etc.)
- Encourage your child to enjoy the human singing voice in all styles.
- Bring your child to live performances. The National Philharmonic and Chorale (the Strathmore Hall house orchestra and chorus) offers free tickets for children over 6. (http://www.nationalphilharmonic.org/)
- Expose your child to a wide variety of ethnic folk music.
- Provide your child with a variety of musical cultures and styles.
When should I start my child with group or private lessons on an instrument?
If you feel you’d like to have your child take private instrumental lessons, piano and violin are both appropriate instruments for early elementary students. Your child should be expressing interest already and should be able to sit and focus on one task for at least 15 minutes at a time. Recommended starting ages for private lessons can range anywhere from 5-10 years depending on physical strength, maturity level, and motivation. Unless you think your child is a rare prodigy, you need not worry that you are starting them too late.
There are two piano teachers and a Suzuki string teacher on-site at Norwood whom you can contact if you are interested in setting up private lessons. Lessons are taught both during and after school hours. It is always wise to get on the waiting list early! Calling in early May for lessons in the fall is always a good idea. Piano teachers: Carol Baughman (301-841-4374) and Lidija Plantak (301-529-7974). String teacher: Moyna Daley: (301-841-2283) or email@example.com.