Our goal for W+H music students is to develop a life-long love of music, encouraging musical enjoyment and participation long after the students leave the school. They broaden their appreciation for the power and importance of music through reading music notation, listening to and talking about music critically, and participating in authentic performing experiences through a wide range of musical styles and contexts.
Music participation is important to each student's development. It provides a unique way of knowing oneself and appreciating the world. Students in Pre-Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten, and Kindergarten discover a wide variety of musical styles through an activity-centered approach. Through the implementation of the First Steps in Music curriculum developed by Dr. John Feierabend, students participate in vocal exploration, singing, expressive movement, beat keeping, and active listening activities during every class. They develop the foundation on which future music literacy is built. The Pre-Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten, and Kindergarten music curriculum is grounded in research on music cognition, and engages students in active music making.
Students in First Grade complete the final year of the First Steps in Music curriculum. Students in Second through Fifth Grades begin to build music literacy through the use of the Conversational Solfege curriculum. Through this instruction, students internalize rhythmic and melodic elements before moving on to improvisation, reading and composition. The nurturing of the child's enjoyment, responsiveness, and sensitivity to music is always at the core of the Music curriculum. Through musical immersion, we help students to be a musician in a part of a larger musical community.
Middle Schools musicians experience a performance-based curriculum designed to enhance music literacy skills while in an ensemble setting. Students focus on developing their executive skills and performance technique while playing band instruments and singing together. Building upon the Lower School curriculum, students in Grades Six through Eight continue to develop their music literacy skills through the Conversational Solfege method in their vocal music classes. Middle School students have additional opportunities to perform in the annual Middle School musical, the Winter and Spring Concerts, Middle School Rising Stars, and more.
Through more advanced repertoire, Upper School musicians experience a performance-based curriculum designed to enhance music literacy skills while in an ensemble setting. Students interested in deepening their music literacy may enroll in our music theory classes. Upper School Performing Arts curricular courses are elective. In addition to pursuing the Concert Band or the Jazz Band, students have the opportunity to enroll in Concert Choir, MadJazz, Fundamentals of Music Theory, or Advanced Placement Music Theory. Even if students are not taking Performing Arts classes during the school day, there are additional opportunities to perform through the Fall Play, Spring Musical, Instrumental Chamber Ensemble, Jazz Workshop, and more. There are always opportunities to share one's talents in front of an audience.
In the Fall of 2017, the Wardlaw+Hartridge Performing Arts Department began an exciting partnership with Rutgers Community Arts, a division of the Mason Gross School of the Arts. We offer private music lessons on concert band instruments and voice to our students, right here on our campus. This partnership grew out of the desire to offer our students top-drawer music instruction from highly trained professional musicians on a one-to-one basis. These lessons serve to deepen and expand upon the instruction students receive during their regular Performing Arts Department instruction.
The Faculty of the Rutgers Community Arts hold advanced degrees in their instrumental or vocal disciplines and are active professionally as performers and teaching artists.
Performing Arts Department Chair,
Vocal Music Teacher MS & US
Teacher MS & US