All Hilltop Country Day School students participate in instrumental and vocal music classes every week. This comprehensive curriculum encourages self confidence and active and creative participation for all students in Preschool through Grade 8. Both the vocal and instrumental curriculum are age appropriate and include a variety of musical experiences.
Hilltop alumni continue outstanding high school, college, and professional careers in music as instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers. Alumni have performed as soloists, with professional pit bands, on Broadway and with the N.Y. American Ballet Theatre.
The music curriculum for young children includes many opportunities to explore sound through singing, moving, listening, and playing instruments. The music literature in the curriculum includes traditional children’s songs, folk songs, classical music, and music from a variety of cultures and styles. Play is the primary vehicle for young children’s growth. The objective is to create a musically stimulating environment facilitating children’s engagement with music materials and activities.
The elementary school students in Grades 1-4 are actively engaged as young vocalists and instrumentalists. Plenty of opportunity is given to students to explore a wide variety of percussion, brass, woodwind and string instruments. Introductory music theory is taught to develop an understanding of musical concepts; ear training, note identification, and rhythmic notation. Third grade students are introduced to the recorder to reinforce music theory and reading skills whilst developing a sense for melody and rhythmic accuracy. In the fourth grade, students will begin instruction on a band instrument of their choice. Throughout the year, students will develop the fundamental skill involved in playing a musical instrument. Students will reinforce and develop the fundamentals of music theory and listening skills. All fourth grade students will join the fifth grade as members of the Hilltop Country Day School Beginning Band.
The fifth grade class continue developing their skills on the band instruments studied in the fourth grade. Students further develop music reading skills and performance etiquette. The students in sixth grade have the choice to join chorus or to continue performing with the middle school instrumental ensemble. The chorus and instrumental ensemble consists of students in Grades 6 – 8 and meet twice weekly as a performance class.
Chorus is a performance based class where students learn to use their vocal instrument to create a healthy, unified singing sound and develop team building and leadership skills. Our focus is to develop vocal repertoire while addressing tone, pitch, enunciation and projection. A wide variety of music is explored throughout the year.
The Instrumental Ensemble is a performance based class where students continue developing skills on their individual instruments. Our focus is to develop performance repertoire while addressing the ensemble blend, tone, phrasing, dynamics and the fundamentals of music theory. Weekly lessons reinforce fundamentals while addressing technical demands of the instrument.