The goal of music education at Swift School is to learn music through experiencing music. As per state and national standards of music, students learn musical concepts by engaging with the artistic processes of Creating, Performing, and Responding, in addition to making connections with other subjects of study and real world applications.
In the Lower Division (grades 1-5), students participate in General Music. Choral music is incorporated into the program for these grades. Students learn songs and chants from around the world. They participate through moving, chanting, singing, listening to music and playing classroom instruments. Students learn rhythm through Orff rhythmic syllable words and pitch/notes through solfege syllables and Curwen hand signs. They learn to read notes on a musical staff and also improvise and compose musical ideas.
The Middle Division builds upon the musical experiences students had in the Lower Division program. Sixth grade focuses on the Orff approach. Students learn more advanced pieces from the Orff repertoire. Students also learn repertoire from folk, jazz, and popular genres. They learn additional music forms and compose and improvise new sections for the pieces they are learning. Seventh and 8th grade students engage with music through Sound Explorations. Students explore the Creating, Performing, and Responding artistic processes using everyday objects and musical instruments. As a result of Sound Explorations, students experience and learn rhythm, melody, and harmony more in-depth. All Middle Division students also engage with choral repertoire, to further develop their vocal technique and reading skills.