Music is a sensory experience for children. Gross and fine motor skills are utilized within instrument exploration and play, dancing and other creative expression. During music time, which will be offered once a week, the children are guided through listening exercises that support identifying and differentiating between various sounds in nature and in instrument families. Children use their words to describe what they hear, explore a musical language to support those ideas, and connect their experience to other areas of learning.
Music is known to stimulate pathways in the brain that correlate with abstract thinking, empathy and mathematics. The whole child is engaged; language, movement, pattern recognition, communication through listening and more. Sharing culture and learning concepts relevant to children through music, dance and storytelling is an important part of the integrated musical experience at WNS.
Music is offered twice or three times a week to students in grades K-4. Children learn to explore the world of music through singing, dancing, chanting rhymes, and playing instruments. Active participation in the learning is a key ingredient, with children often creating parts of the overall arc of learning and performing. With an emphasis on experiencing the joy of music and playfully embodying musical concepts, students gradually become good music readers, but more importantly they understand and become conversant in the elements of music: melody, harmony, structure and form, texture, and creativity (using all the other elements to form new musical structures). There is a connection to curricular disciplines throughout the DK-4 classes.
Students in fifth grade through middle school participate in a choral music program in which they learn a variety of music in English and other languages such as German, French, Italian, and Spanish. This approach provides an overview of music history and cultural traditions from around the world. Fifth grade has choir once in a six-day cycle, and sixth through 8th grades meet once as a section and once as a grade. Meeting as a grade level makes it more comfortable for students to sing out and hear the harmonies that are possible in three-part music.
Grandparents' and Special Friends' Day: Students in middle school perform a combined choral piece for this important event.
Winter Program: This is the largest and most-attended performing arts event of the school year. Every student at WNS perform musical selections, often with costumes, props, and choreography.
5th Grade Cultural Fair: A collaboration with several other departments, students learn musical pieces to compliment their various scenes in the show. The event focuses on family histories, narratives, and an appreciation of our cultures and our past.
Spring Choral Concert: Students in middle school perform a variety of choral music in this culminating formal concert in the MPR.
Festival Choir is a non-auditioned advanced vocal ensemble. All WNS students in grades 6-8 are welcome to join. Rehearsals typically take place before school twice a week and begin in January. Students attend a competitive choral music festival near the end of the school year. The focus in this choir is on more traditional, advanced choral repertoire.
WNS's mission is to create a community of lifelong learners that nurtures students from diverse backgrounds to reach their full potential and inspires them to contribute to the world with confidence, creativity, curiosity, conscience and compassion.