Music education at Applewild is based on active participation through listening, expressing, and performing. Our students are introduced early to vocal and instrumental music and are afforded continuing opportunities to study and perform in both fields. Orff instruments are taught at an early age. Starting in the fourth grade, students receive instrumental instruction on the recorder and then choose an instrument starting in fifth grade; in Upper School they can opt to study guitar. Our bands and choruses are featured regularly at school assemblies. We also offer two levels of jazz band in Upper School, and our Jazz Band has earned several gold medals in recent regional jazz competitions.
Theater is also a staple of the curriculum at Applewild. It is a powerful way for students to develop sensitivity toward others and perspective on our common humanity in addition to developing greater comfort presenting in front of groups. Through sixth grade students participate in drama class and take part in at least one theatrical performance a year. The drama program’s emphasis is on acting and improvisation, and Upper School students (grades 7 – 8) can audition for the winter play each year. There are four semester long Performing Arts mini-courses that everyone takes in grades 7 & 8. The mini-courses are Scene study, Music in Theater, Improvisation, and Music Lab. Art Mentor and Technology Mentor programs are also offered during a sport semester.
All of these artistic pursuits reflect the school’s commitment to fostering personal exploration, growth, and expression in its students. These elements – far from frills at Applewild – are integral parts of our comprehensive education.