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The Kindergarten Music Programme is based upon the philosophy of composer Carl Orff. This philosophy takes a holistic approach to music. By integrating speech, song, movement, instrumental play, and improvisation, students are encouraged to develop a greater understanding of beat, rhythm, melody, and harmony. Ultimately, each student will use these musical skills in his or her own creative way, building confidence, self-esteem, and paving the way to independent musicianship.


Students in grades 1 through 3 gain musical knowledge through active involvement in the creation of music. Students participate in every music class in various ways: singing, speaking, moving, listening, and playing various percussion instruments. A strong focus is placed on the development of rhythm, melody, harmony, and dynamics. Students are also introduced to the reading and writing of musical notation and become familiar with musical terminology.


The Junior/Intermediate Music Programme at Glenburnie is focused on fostering an appreciation for and love of music. Instrumental performance is cultivated through reading notation, playing by ear, and improvisation, while students develop a deep understanding of music making through studies in theory, composition, and history at every grade level.

*Grade 3 students begin instrumental studies with the recorder. In Grade 5 students are introduced to and are helped to select a brass or woodwind instrument which would best suit them and their musical objectives.

Highlights of Glenburnie’s Music Programmes include:

Learning by Rote: Grade 4 students learn an extensive song in a foreign language with separate parts for recorder, ukuleles, and hand drums – and they do it all without ever seeing a note!

Composition: Grade 5 students learn to compose in the renaissance counterpoint style while Grade 7 students compose in the 12-tone style of Arnold Schoenberg.

History: Students in all grades discuss major composers as they occur in the repertoire. In Grade 7, this information is synthesized in a unit where students are shown how historical time periods and styles evolved over the centuries.

Instrumental Performance: In every grade, students perform for their peers both as soloists and in small groups. Through performance, students develop self-confidence and the desire to express their unique artistic interpretations of music.

Synthesis: Our philosophy is to make sure students understand how studying the various elements of music is relevant. The Grade 8 programme features an extended project where students transcribe a popular song of their choice using all the theoretical skills they have developed in rhythm, melody, and harmony.