The Foundation Years music program encourages enjoyment of music. Involvement with music begins in our Early Learning Program, where the youngest students at SMS explore musical elements in a development appropriate manner using a variety of instruments and other sound sources.
Much of the program is based on the Kodaly method – children are introduced to musical concepts beginning with experiences that are easiest for them, such as listening, singing and movement, and musical skills are developed through games, movement, songs and exercises.
Students learn to create music using the recorder, ukulele and a variety of Orff instruments and gain experience performing as part of choir and theatre productions. They discover the basic elements of music, learn the fundamentals of breathing and tone production, and develop an understanding of the language of music.
The Band Program at SMS begins in the Middle Years, where all Grade 7 and 8 students experience learning an instrument. SMS also offers a Beginning Band Program for students in Grades 9-12 who have no previous experience with a band instrument. Students learn to read music, develop the skills to play a brass, woodwind or percussion instrument, and have the opportunity to perform as part of a musical team.
Students can continue the Band Program in Grades 9-12 as part of the School’s Concert Band. This is a performance course; repertoire for live performances is the basis for learning and the development of performance skills. Different styles of music are explored: traditional concert band, jazz, Latin and experimentation in jazz structures. A major emphasis of the program is active participation and teamwork – students perform at school celebrations and concerts, and learn the organization and responsibilities of being part of a musical team.
Outside of class, students with a passion for music can choose to join Rock Band Club and advanced students may also be invited to join the Jazz Combo (a rhythm section with a number of solos). Private music lessons are also offered on campus.
Choir provides students with the opportunity to express the beauty of music through singing. All Grade 7 and 8 students take part in choir, where the emphasis is on singing for fun and enjoyment. Students learn to harmonize and develop vocal technique, self-confidence and stage presence. They perform in class and in concert settings such as the School’s Remembrance Day Service and Carol Service.
Students in Grades 9-12 can choose to join Senior Concert Choir – a full year performance course that focuses on developing skills in a choral setting. These skills include singing in unison, singing in harmony, developing vocal technique and listening skills. Students are exposed to a variety of repertoire including pop music, musical theatre and contemporary pieces. As a performance course, the Senior Concert Choir focuses on preparing for performances at school events, celebrations, and concerts as well as community events and festivals.