For Upper School students, the pursuit of Music at Wakefield offers them a welcoming place to explore their artistic side but also provides a high-quality experience that they can build to the performance level of their choice. Music is an integral part of a classic liberal arts education, as it encourages and emphasizes creativity, broadens the human experience, and helps to develop commitment, confidence, stage presence, and public speaking skills.
Students can pursue this end through the wide range of classes offered and/or through co- or extra-curricular opportunities their teachers help create for them. Our small teacher-student ratio allows the faculty time to work closely with each student. All our music teachers are accomplished singers and performers in their own right.
Beginning in Chorus classes, students begin to develop basic individual and ensemble singing skills, with an emphasis on expressive singing, accurate music reading and interpretation skills, and an enthusiasm for the art of choral ensemble singing. They will see a variety of styles of music including traditional choral literature, a cappella singing, madrigals, and folk and pop tunes. Students will have the opportunity to perform regularly throughout the school year both on and off campus.
For students interested in building an understanding of the elements of the written musical language, Music Theory is the next step. Students who successfully complete this course will have become fluent in reading, writing, and analyzing the language of music.
With the Introduction to Musical Theatre, students survey the history of American Musical Theatre, as well as the body of literature from this performing arts genre. Students explore the fundamental skills of singing, dancing, and acting, and have the opportunity to gain one-on-one technical instruction in these areas.
Music History and Literature provides an approach to perceptive listening of a variety of music styles. This course is valuable to students in whose lives music plays an important role, and is intended to provide them with a lifelong source of musical pleasure, inspiration, and cultural enrichment.
The AP Music Theory course, the capstone of the music program, is intended for students planning to major in music or fine arts at the college level, or who seek understanding in depth of the music language.