Norwood’s middle school music program provides outstanding educational experiences in music built on the musical skills and concepts learned in Lower School. The curriculum emphasizes music literacy, historical and cultural awareness, aesthetic awareness, and creativity while instilling a joyful sense of music in an ensemble setting. Beginning in fifth grade, students choose among concert band, choir, or string orchestra for their classroom instruction. In seventh grade, students have the additional option of a handbell ensemble called the Norwood Ringers. Performance continues to be an integral part of the Norwood music experience with three major concerts during the year: Grandparents & Special Guests Day, Winter Festival Concert, and the Spring Concert. Additional performance opportunities may be offered in the school and local communities.
-- Beginning in fifth grade, band students work toward developing proficiency on the flute, clarinet, trumpet, or trombone, learning about and understanding musical thought and creativity, building performance and interpersonal skills. The repertoire studied may include any style of music and is chosen based on an appropriate level of difficulty, instrumentation, and the interests of the students. Beginning in sixth grade, band students have the opportunity to switch to bass clarinet, saxophone, French horn, oboe and percussion to support the exploration of more advanced repertoire .Fifth and sixth grade band students meet separately during the school day as a full ensemble three times a week. Seventh and eighth grade band students meet together during the school day in full ensemble and sectional classes. Sectional classes allow students to focus on skills specific to their instrument at an advanced level. Seventh and eighth grade students perform together as an Advanced Band. Weekly private lessons for all band students are strongly encouraged, but not required. Click here
to learn more about the instrument selection process at Norwood.Choir
-- Choir students focus on developing performance skills, healthy vocal technique, and sight- reading skills using solfege by performing a diverse selection of choral literature. Students sing a wide variety of music in multiple languages and styles. Students also make use of a variety of drums, percussion instruments, and hand chimes to support and accompany their singing. Fifth and sixth grade choirs meet separately during the school day but regularly perform together. Seventh and eighth grade choir students meet and perform together and once a week are separated by voice type to in order to work through the eccentricities of the changing voice. At big concerts and events, choral students of all grades will often sing together as one large choir of 50-60 singers!
Handbells -- Handbells are tuned percussion instruments, meaning they can provide both rhythm and melody/harmony simultaneously within a piece. The handbell curriculum includes developing a healthy ringing technique, solidifying music reading (especially sight reading and handbell notation), and studying a variety of musical styles through ensemble playing. Seventh and eighth grade students meet and perform together.
String Orchestra -- Prior experience on a stringed instrument is not necessary for fifth grade string orchestra students, though many students enter the fifth grade having studied their instrument for a year or more. Fifth and sixth grade orchestras meet separately during the school day but perform together. Seventh and eighth grade string orchestra students meet and perform together. Weekly private lessons for all orchestra students are strongly encouraged, but not required.