General music at the Ray School is full of hands-on activities that help students learn the concepts of music and the art of listening. The majority of general music classes use the Orff-Schulwerk method, a teaching approach which promises that we and our students will interact as partners in making music. Playing instruments , singing and moving are treated as ensemble experiences, requiring mutual awareness and cooperation in order to create successful musical expression. Improvisation and composition are an integral part of this process. Some of the materials used in class may include barred instruments, recorders, bells and simple percussion.
Additional instrumental and vocal opportunities are available. Students in 4th grade may elect to study violin in group lessons while 5th graders may choose violin, cello or one of the traditional band instruments. Chorus is a requirement for all 3rd and 4th graders and is optional for 5th graders.
In December, two concerts are held: one by students in grades K-2 and another by the singers in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade choruses. These older choruses also perform in late spring. Throughout the year, children may participate in mini-recitals, giving them an opportunity to showcase skills learned outside of school. The maxi-recital in June is reserved for 5th graders only.
It is our goal that all students leave the Ray School with a well-rounded knowledge of music and a deep desire to learn more.