The Sudbury Public School District believes that music is essential for the healthy development of the mind and spirit of every student and that their adult lives will be enriched by the skills, knowledge, and habits acquired in the study of music. Sudbury educators are committed to offering all students the opportunity to explore their musical potential as they encounter music through general music classes (grades pre-K-7) and in choral and instrumental performing ensembles.
The Sudbury Public School Music program offers a sequential curriculum through which music students develop artistic, motor/physical, academic, social/emotional and communication skills. Because music is an integral part of human history, students are also instructed in listening to music with understanding in order to gain a broad cultural and historical perspective. Our goal is to ensure that all students in the music program have the opportunity to meet the standards in this curriculum.
Elementary General Music
Students in grades preK-5 receive 40 minutes of general music instruction per week which includes singing, playing instruments, dancing, improvising, composing, and reading notation. Students learn fundamentals of music through a sequential curriculum developing skills and knowledge in performing, creating and responding. Students in third grade receive instruction on the recorder during their weekly general music class.
Fourth Grade Beginning Strings
Students may elect to begin violin, viola, cello or string bass in fourth grade. After renting an instrument from a local shop with string instrument expertise, these students take once-weekly lessons for 40 minutes during the school day. Weekly assignments encourage students to explore music on their own and require 15 minutes of practicing, 4 or 5 days per week. The year culminates in a concert in May where fourth grade students join together to display the amazing musical growth they have achieved during the year.
Fifth Grade Orchestra
String students may continue to study explore the joys of music through orchestra in the fifth grade. They begin to play in distinct instrumental sections and groupings, and the orchestra may play two, three or even four different parts simultaneously. Lessons take place once per week for 40 minutes during the school day. In January and June, fifth grade orchestra students from all over Sudbury join together for district-wide rehearsals at Ephraim Curtis Middle School in order to prepare for a concert with the Middle School Orchestra students.
Fifth Grade Band
Band lessons are offered to students in fifth grade. Students may elect to study a woodwind (flute, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone), brass (trumpet, french horn, trombone, euphonium), or percussion (xylophone and snare drum) instrument. They attend a 45-minute group lesson once a week during the school day. Students receive weekly assignments to develop their instrument technique and personal musicianship. All fifth grade band members perform in a winter and spring concert combined with all elementary school band students.
Middle School General Music
As one of their elective options, students in grades 6-8 may receive 50 minutes of general music instruction every other day for one trimester. The course teaches students about the elements of music as well as gives students an opportunity to explore music history. Students will learn music reading skills and music composition technique. They will also develop an ability to critically listen to and analyze music. Throughout the course, students discover the ways in which history affects music as well as the many diversities that exist in music. This course implements the use of technology and musical instruments.
Middle School Performing Ensembles
Band, orchestra, and chorus can be taken as an elective in middle school, and students in each ensemble rehearse as a full group every other day. In middle school, individual musicians learn to become a cohesive musical whole, making beautiful and expressive music as one, unified ensemble.
Select Performing Ensembles
Students in Select Orchestra, Select Chorus, and Jazz Band are the middle school’s music ambassadors to the community. These ensembles perform regularly in Sudbury and beyond, including two evening concerts, a performance at the Massachusetts State House, and an annual Town Tour to the elementary schools in the Spring. Entrance into these groups is by audition, and students support this advanced musical experience with private lessons outside of school. Rehearsals for Select ensembles are held outside of the regular school day.