"For heights and depths no words can reach....music is the soul's own speech."
The music classroom becomes a place where every aspect of musical behavior is addressed: performing, creating, listening, and analyzing. As performers, students are singing songs, playing body percussion (clapping, snapping, stamping, etc.), chanting rhymes, dancing folk dances, playing singing games, and playing instruments. As creators, they are acting out songs and stories, creating original dances, improvising melodies to a given rhythm, and composing their own arrangements to songs. As listeners, they are playing music as part of an ensemble and hearing their part in the context of other musicians. They are also self-evaluating as they listen, enabling them to improve their performance. As analyzers, students are describing what they hear through words, pictures, movement, solfege syllables, hand signs, and music notation.
Every student at Chapin receives general music instruction beginning in prekindergarten, with the option of more specialized ensemble experiences starting in grade five. In addition to a variety of musical performances throughout the grade levels, students can be involved in a number of the following ensembles:
Third and Fourth Grade Chorus
Mandatory for third and fourth grade students, where they explore the singing voice in an ensemble setting and work on musical literacy skills. Students participate in winter and spring performances. Rehearsal is once a week during the school day.
Fifth Grade Chorus
Students learn healthy vocal technique, ensemble singing, music literacy and performance of various musical styles; students participate in both winter and spring concerts; students rehearse twice a week during the school day.
Fifth Grade Band
Students choose to learn flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, snare drum, glockenspiel, trumpet, baritone horn, trombone, bass violin, and viola.
*Mandatory for all fifth graders, students choose to participate in either Chorus or Beginning Band, where rehearsal for the winter and spring concerts takes place once a week during the school day.
Open to students in grades 5 – 8, students prepare scenes and choreographed musical selections from a major musical. Students participate in both winter and spring concerts, as well as the Music in the Parks Festival. Rehearsal is Wednesdays after school.
Open to students in grades 6 – 8, students learn and perform more challenging choral literature, reflecting diverse musical styles, and participate in both winter and spring concerts as well as in the Music in the Parks Festival. Rehearsal is twice a week during the school day.
Other programs available to students are Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Chamber Strings and Boys Ensemble.