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. Sixth grade music continues to build on the skills learned in fifth grade, as does seventh grade music.
In the 8th grade, students have the opportunity to participate in the 8th grade band, creating their own compositions and being exposed to instruments which they may or may not have had prior experience playing.
In the Upper School, electives are offered in Jazz and Rock Bands, and other topics; previous year electives include Folk Ensemble, Theory, Electronic Music Production and more. The bands include vocalists, and play a repertoire of jazz, blues and rock standards as well as original compositions. 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 concert and Mother's Day Music Festival. The grounds and Main Building often ring out with students playing guitars and other instruments during lunch, on break, or after school. Every May, the school 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.