Music communicates ideas, thoughts and feelings in a unique way, eliciting responses and presenting challenges that are at once emotional, intellectual, physical and creative. At Garrison Forest, Music is a vibrant and dynamic part of the academic program. Required, elective, and extracurricular courses develop music literacy and performance skills, and cultivate an appreciation for music as an expressive, evolving art form which is integral and valuable to life in all cultures. At the same time, our Music program promotes creativity and brain development, complements other areas of learning, aids in the development of a personal identity, and promotes a sense of community.
Students are actively engaged in creating, performing, learning about and sharing music. The curriculum combines choral singing and general music, music theory and music appreciation, and includes music of diverse eras, genres, styles, and cultures.The Garrison Forest Music program gives students the experiences, knowledge, and skills necessary to express themselves musically in meaningful and joyful ways.
The Lower Division Music program encourages children to grow in their understanding, appreciation, and love of music by giving them the tools to express themselves musically in meaningful and joyful ways. Based on the National Standards for Music Education, the curriculum presents concepts and skills in a logically sequenced and developmentally appropriate way. Children sing, play Orff instruments, experiment with music and patterns, and participate in performances.
The Preschool children take Music twice a week, and the Toddler-Parent class enjoys song and music as part of their class activities. Moncrieffe students present a musical entitled "A Time of Sharing" during December, in which all children participate. In addition to the formal Music program, Moncrieffe classroom teachers incorporate song and music into class plays and events. In twice-weekly classes, Lower School students are introduced to elements of musical theory and vocabulary with an increased focus on singing with attention to intonation, tone quality, and good diction. Musical performances include a Winter Concert, Spring Concert, and class plays and events.
Private, afterschool instrumental lessons are offered in piano and violin beginning in Kindergarten. Guitar and flute are offered beginning in Fourth and Fifth grades.
The Middle School Music curriculum builds on the foundations of concepts and skills established in the Lower School. Music theory and history are incorporated into each grade's required Music class, and each class performs as a chorus on several occasions throughout the year. In addition to the Applied Music offerings (below), students in Sixth through Eighth Grade may audition for the voluntary Middle School Chorus and an annual Middle School musical theater production.
Students in Ninth Grade study Music each year, exploring and developing their musical potential and broadening their musical world. Students in Grades Ten through Twelve may continue their music education through participation in elective choral ensembles, which perform both on and off campus. In all Divisions, Music students perform in various programs throughout the year. All Upper School students may sing in Chorale and are also eligible to audition for Chamber Choir, a multi award- winning, select vocal ensemble. Other extra-curricular opportunities for Upper School students include the Ragged Robins, a student-led a cappella group open to juniors and seniors, and a yearly musical theater production.
Applied Music at Garrison Forest
Garrison Forest offers extracurricular private lessons in piano, violin, viola, voice, flute, and guitar. Violin and viola students participate in the String Ensemble, which rehearses weekly. Students of all levels study with artist teachers who perform with ensembles such as The Baltimore Chamber Players, The National Symphony Orchestra and The Master Chorale of Washington, DC. Applied music recitals occur in the winter and spring in each Division.