• music
      arts-music

Lower School

List of 7 items.

  • Bush Lower School Music Philosophy

    The Lower School music program promotes intentional creating and keen listening; it celebrates music as emotional outlet and empowering expressive form; and it balances music literacy, performance and ensemble experience, and explorative learning. The end goal of the Lower School music curriculum is to equip outgoing fifth graders with the abilities and confidence to be able to pursue music in any form upon graduating. 

    The Lower School music curriculum weaves together three music teaching methodologies: the Kodaly Concept, a singing- and folksong-based music literacy teaching method; the Orff Schulwerk Approach, play- and performanced based instrumental and expressive experience; and the Dalcroze Method, which awakens students’ innate musicality through movement. Students in all grades sing, play instruments, compose songs, play music games, listen to music of all genres, and learn about their world, near and far, internal and external, through the lens of music. 

    The creative and musical accomplishments of all Lower School students are showcased on the annual Fine Arts Evening that takes place at the end of every school year. Students in the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grades may also participate in the Bush Lower School Choir that meets after school. This opportunity provides participating students with increased singing, performing, and music literacy skills that complement the skills taught in music class. 
  • Kindergarten Music

    The goal of the Kindergarten music curriculum is to explore musical concepts, engage in music through movement and performance, and set the foundation for expressive performance and music literacy. Over their Kindergarten year, students will amass a large library of songs, games, and dances that contain teaching concepts for the years to come. 

    Steady beat development; In tune, healthy singing; timbre recognition; fast/slow; high/low; smooth/bumpy; loud/soft; circle games; performance on instruments that shake, hit, scrape, and tap; stepping in time; noise/silence; listening to music of many genres, free and/or expressive movement.
  • First Grade Music

    The goal of the First Grade music curriculum is to explore experiential musical experiences such as listening, free movement, and emotional expression, begin formal identification of music concepts, and to deepen students’ physiological abilities in movement and performance. Through singing games, movement activities, and performing on instruments, First Graders will joyfully begin to learn the core concepts of what makes music music.

    Steady beat development; beat/rhythm; healthy, in tune singing; timbre recognition; range of tempos; range of pitch levels in single instruments; range of texture; form; circle games; active listening; performance on instruments that shake, hit, scrape, and tap with rhythmic integrity; stepping and jumping in time; Ta and Ta-Di and Rest; Sol and Mi (maybe La); composition; listening to music of many genres; free, expressive, or choreographed movement.
  • Second Grade Music

    The goal of the Second Grade music curriculum is to delve further into the formal identification of music concepts, sharpen students’ abilities in movement and performance, and hone in on experiential musical experiences such as listening, free movement, and emotional expression. As second graders’ physiological abilities expand, so do their opportunities to play more complicated movement games and to perform on new types of instruments - the musical horizon really expands in second grade! 

    Steady beat development; beat/rhythm; healthy, in tune singing; timbre recognition; range of tempos; range of pitch levels among instruments; range of texture; phrases and form; circle games; line games; active and passive listening; performance on instruments that shake, hit, scrape, and tap with rhythmic integrity; performance on pitched instruments; stepping and jumping in time; Ta, Ta-Di, TaKaDiMi, Rest; Sol, Mi, La, Do; composition; listening to music of many genres; free, expressive, or choreographed movement.
  • Third Grade Music

    The goal of the Third Grade music curriculum is to delve further into the formal identification of music concepts, sharpen students’ physiological abilities in movement and performance, and hone in on experiential musical experiences such as listening, free movement, and emotional expression. Third graders get 45 minutes in music class, which provides them more time to go deeper into the given musical activities. This is a great year for musical exploration, for following curiosities, and for full artistic expression. The LS Choir is a wonderful supplement to this sentiment. 

    Steady beat development; beat/rhythm; healthy, in tune singing; timbre recognition; range of tempos; range of pitch levels among instruments; range of texture; phrases and form; circle games; line games; active and passive listening; performance on instruments that shake, hit, scrape, and tap with rhythmic integrity; performance on pitched instruments; stepping and jumping in time; Ta, Ta-Di, TaKaDiMi, TaDiMi, TaKaDi, TaKiDa, Rest; Sol, Mi, La, Re, Do, low La, low Sol; composition; listening to music of many genres; free, expressive, or choreographed movement.
  • Fourth Grade Music

    The goal of the Fourth Grade music curriculum is to delve further into the formal identification of music concepts, sharpen students’ physiological abilities in movement and performance, and hone in on experiential musical experiences such as listening, free movement, composition, and emotional expression. As the Fourth Graders’ musical foundations solidify, there will be ample room for collaborative composition and performance experiences. Fourth Graders will begin to explore West African drumming, learn the recorder, and will now be veteran members of the LS Choir. 

    Steady beat development; beat/rhythm; healthy, in tune singing; timbre recognition; range of tempos; range of pitch levels among instruments; range of texture; phrases and form; line and circle games;; active and passive listening; performance on instruments that shake, hit, scrape, and tap with rhythmic integrity; performance on pitched instruments; dancing in time; simple and compound meters; full solfege scale by end of year; composition; listening to music of many genres; free, expressive, or choreographed movement.
  • Fifth Grade Music

    The goal of the Fifth Grade music curriculum is to put to full use the students’ foundational music, movement and performance skill set. Fifth Grade students will use this strong musical foundation from the past 5 years and begin a sequence of looking ahead at what is to come in Music in Middle and High School at Bush. Composition using iPads and real instruments and West African drumming are two focal points of this sequence, as well as the opportunities for strong leadership roles in the LS Choir. 

    Steady beat development; beat/rhythm; healthy, in tune singing; timbre recognition; range of tempos; range of pitch levels among instruments; range of texture; phrases and form; circle games; line games; active and passive listening; performance on percussion instruments; performance on pitched instruments; dancing in time; simple and compound meter; syncopation; all solfge notes; simple chord progressions; composition on real instruments and computers; listening to and talking about music of many genres; free, expressive, and choreographed movement.

Middle School

List of 4 items.

  • Open Mic

    Open Mic is an event showcasing our music students and the Middle School Music Program hosted twice a year, in December and May.
  • Sixth Grade Music

    The primary goal of the Sixth Grade music course is to make students comfortable with the subject. The music course allows students to describe and share their own musical tastes and at the same time forces them to recognize that with music, no two minds think alike! Time is spent on the vocabulary of music and on investigating the qualities of sound through several interactive assignments. Rhythmic dictation (the skill of notating what someone plays) as well as sight-reading and simple composition are introduced. The second half of the trimester is devoted to drum circles; students become well-acquainted with the wonderful South African collection of Djembe and Ashiko drums, and learn various patterns that are put together to form “dialogs.” In addition to their music class, Chorus gives the entire Sixth Grade an opportunity to come together twice a week to sing. The rehearsals are lively and the music is age appropriate, which makes it fun to sing. The Chorus performs in concert several times each year for the school community.
  • Seventh Grade Music

    A year of development at this age makes a big difference in what students are capable of understanding in the abstract. The Seventh Grade music course builds on this growth and focuses on form and analysis using primarily modern genres of music. Students study the vocabulary that will aid them in their investigation of two long musical works. With this experience behind them, the remaining weeks of the trimester are spent analyzing and preparing a paper and creative project on Pink Floyd’s rock opera, "The Wall." Students work individually and in groups piecing together the story and music and discover the world of symbolism, the abstract, and the surreal.
  • Eighth Grade Music

    In Eighth Grade, the focus shifts from the analysis of single works to an overview of American music (symphonic, jazz, and modern genres) followed by analysis of the development of music during one decade, the 1960s. No art is created in a vacuum, and understanding the sociology behind the music makes for a more rewarding listening experience. Great musical moments from the decade, such as selections from Monterey Pop, Woodstock, footage of the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, are presented on video and discussed as context for the major project students undertake. Students devote considerable time investigating a relevant musical/cultural topic or artist, and once becoming the class “expert” on that subject, present their work in the form of a video and/or oral presentation that is the culmination of their Middle School music study.

Upper School

List of 5 items.

  • Broken Records

    Our Upper School (Ninth-Twelfth Grade) Music Department, lead by music teacher Jill Wangsgard, produces records every year on our own recording label, Broken Records.
  • Bush Music Radio

    If you are on campus or waiting in the pick-up line, tune your radio to 103.1 FM, The Bush School’s own music radio station! 103.1 FM is student-run and plays original music by Bush students throughout the day. The frequency is audible within a 200 yard radius of campus—it’s the perfect thing to listen to as you walk to class, park next to school, or wait in the pick-up line. Congrats to all of the students involved in this project!
  • Philosophy

    Coursework explores the theory and process of composing, arranging, orchestrating, recording, and producing for both electric and acoustic works. All music in the Upper School music program are students' original compositions. Emphasis is placed on the importance of building strong group dynamics and how these apply to both the creative process and performance. There will be a presentation of the projects at the end of the term.
  • Sample Courses

    Chamber Ensemble
    Electronica
    Ensemble I, II, III, and Plus
    Ensemble Unplugged
    Musical Theater Ensemble
    Pep Ensemble
    Scoring the Game
    Sound Design
    Vocal Ensemble

  • The Venue

    The Venue is a concert held twice a year that serves as a culminating performance for ensemble classes.