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The effort to complement students' natural abilities begins at an early age and continues throughout their time at a Waldorf school. It is encouraged by the curriculum and supported by the fundamental understanding that a child's strength should not become their weakness because of one-sided development.

—Jack Petrach
Understanding Waldorf Education

Music

Waldorf School of Orange County - Where Education Come Alive

 

Music and singing are important components of Waldorf Education from early childhood throughout the grades. Beginning in grade 1, students learn to play musical instruments.

Pentatonic Flute
Grade 1 students are introduced to the pentatonic flute. By following the class teacher's lead, the children learn to play this simple instrument by ear. Training the ear can greatly improve a child's future ability to learn.

By alternating between having the children make music or sing, and then letting them listen, music can have an awakening, harmonizing effect on the child. Active listening is cultivated through singing and movement with moments of "pure" listening.

 

Recorder and Recorder Ensemble
The children grow from playing pentatonic flutes to learning soprano recorder in grade 3, to expanding to alto recorder in grades 4 and 5. At this point they can begin to play ensemble music together. In grades 6 and 7, some students take up the tenor and bass recorders. The ensemble then plays, in 4 part harmony, music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, as well as modern music and seasonal pieces written for 4-part recorder ensemble.

Each section is responsible for its part in the greater effort, and the result is a combination of team work, artistry and mental focus. The real benefit is the joy of learning something beautiful together and sharing it with the school community. Recorders are heard at all the festivals and every day in the air at WSOC.

 

Choir
Beginning in grade 4, students sing together in a choir. Through increasingly intricate arrangements of carefully selected music appropriate to their stage of development, they develop good choir-singing skills, including beauty of tone, proper diction and a joyful attitude about music. The students also develop a high level of listening ability and the benefit of "team effort" by singing in parts. Waldorf School of Orange County has a grade 4-5 choir and a grade 7-8 choir.

There are several opportunities for the choirs to perform during the year: among these are the Winter Festival, May Faire and the Spring Concert.

Choral singing is an art, a discipline and a group endeavor, engendering joy, creativity and a sense of accomplishment benefitting every student.

 

Strings
At WSOC students begin playing a stringed instrument—violin, viola or cello—in grade 4. This develops several key areas within the child that translate into skills that remain valuable for life.

We strongly encourage students to play their stringed instruments throughout their middle school years.

The relationship each student develops with his or her music teacher is also an important one, while parents help by supporting concentrated and regular practice times at home. Families are encouraged to attend other school and community programs to enjoy musical offerings. This in turn inspires the students and together this helps us all to develop those invisible, yet essential, elements of community life.

 




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