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. The middle school music program provides outstanding educational experiences in music built on musical skills and concepts learned in Lower School.
All middle school students participate in a performance ensemble. In fifth and sixth grades, students may choose beginning band, choir, or string orchestra. Seventh and eighth grade students may elect advanced ensembles: band, string orchestra, men’s choir, or women’s choir. In addition, a tiered handbell program is offered to seventh and eighth grade students. Fifth and sixth grade ensembles meet three times a week and seventh and eighth grade ensembles meet four times a week (handbells is an exception: beginning handbells meets three times a week and advanced handbells twice a week). Performance continues to be an integral part of the Norwood music experience. Performance opportunities include our annual Grandparents/Special Guests Day Concert, Winter Festival Concert, Spring 5/6 Concert, and Spring 7/8 Concert. Other performance opportunities may be offered as well. See below for information about private lessons.
Band membership is open to all students who wish to extend their knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of music by learning to play a wind or percussion instrument. Students are acquainted with the great heritage of symphonic literature and are given the opportunity to develop high standards of general musicianship. All band students have opportunities to perform as soloists, in small ensembles and as a full band. The Norwood Band Program is divided into beginning, intermediate, and advanced bands.
The middle school choral program helps students sing with greater confidence and control as they build a musical team that serves and enriches the Norwood community. Students receive training in vocal warm-ups, sight-singing and music literacy, music’s relation to world culture, and teamwork skills. High quality classical choral repertoire is performed along with multicultural folksongs and popular music (with choreography and percussion is added to selected pieces). The most important aspect of the choral program is building a sense of community and a love of singing. Fifth and sixth grade choirs meet separately but perform together. Beginning in 2012-2013, we will have separate seventh and eighth grade men’s and women’s ensembles for the first time which may collaborate for performances.
A handbell ensemble presents a unique opportunity to experience and learn the musical foundations of hythm, melody, and harmony and is the ultimate team-building activity. Handbells are tuned percussion instruments, meaning they can provide both rhythm and melody/harmony simultaneously within a piece. As the students begin to learn these musical concepts and the fundamentals of music reading, they also begin to understand how they individually fit into the ensemble as a whole. Performance opportunities help teach students about proper preparation and allow students to share with one another the enjoyment of learning a new instrument.
The Strings Program into a Fifth and Sixth Grade Orchestra and Seventh and Eighth Grade Orchestra. Learning skill by skill is emphasized with much creativity. A selected method book is used to move through each skill level along with performances pieces, which are chosen for the concerts and other venues in which we perform. Students learn to listen to other instrumental parts and to support each other at all times. We are a family of string players.
How do I set up private instrument lessons for my child?
New students should contact Mrs. Ellsworth or Mrs. Lipford for a list of recommended teachers. Returning instrumental students who wish to take private lessons on campus after-school must make sure that the instructor has contacted the Auxiliary Programs Office to secure rehearsal space. Vocal lessons are also encouraged for students in seventh and eighth grade (see Mr. Palkki for details).