The goal of the music program at Tandem Friends School is to provide an opportunity for all students to participate in music at a level suited to their capabilities. There are three areas of concentration: vocal, instrumental, and general music education.
Fifth grade music introduces students to rhythm, melody and harmony through use of voice, percussion, drum, and Orff instruments (xylophone and metaliphone). This is a performance-oriented class with an emphasis on ensemble work. Students who already practice an instrument are encouraged to integrate their playing with the ensemble. The class will focus on reading music, composition, improvisation, music theory, ear training, and exploring the science and history of music.
In the 8th grade, students have the opportunity to participate in one of two 8th grade bands, creating their own compositions and being exposed to instruments which they may or may not have had prior experience playing. 8th grade bands perform at Open Mic and Winter and Spring Concerts.
In the Upper School, electives are offered in Jazz Ensemble, Rock and Roll History, Theory and Practice, as well as an Introduction to Guitar. There is also a String Ensemble, accepting players in violin, viola, cello and bass, which meets twice a week. The Jazz Ensemble, which often includes jazz vocalists, plays a repertoire of jazz standards as well as original compositions and an occasional popular tune. Independent study students work with the music teacher or another professional on honing their skills.
All music students are encouraged to perform at Open Mic events and in our annual winter and spring concerts. The Tandem grounds and main building often ring out with students playing guitars and other instruments during lunch, on break, or after school. Every May, Tandem hosts the Mother's Day Music Festival, which brings bands from the community at large on campus to share a day of music, food, and fun.
Finally, our community a capella group, The Quaker Notes, rehearses every Tuesday morning before school. Comprised of students, faculty and parents, this group loves to sing and performs at concerts and other school music events under the direction of Lydia Horan.
Watch a video from this year's Winter Concert.