The St. John's music program is led by Mrs. Jean Haynes and Ms. Megan Clowe. Following the Orff and Kodaly philosophies of music education, the program emphasizes the development of a lifelong appreciation for music in our students. Pre-k through sixth grade students participate in music classes each trimester. Seventh and eighth grade students may choose to study music by selecting from a variety of music-related electives.


Pre-k music includes pitch exploration, listening, playing instruments and various movement activities. Finding the beat is emphasized, as is learning to differentiate between one’s speaking and singing voice. Students use a variety of materials, including rhythm band instruments, scarves, hula hoops, puppets and beanbags.


Kindergarten music students develop their singing voices and learn melodic patterns. The solfege tones and hand patterns of so and mi are emphasized. While students continue to experience the beat, they also recognize the “rhythm of the words.” They read rhythms by clapping and moving to rhythm patterns that include quarter notes, eighth notes, half notes and quarter rests. Orff instruments are introduced and add another dimension to the creative process experienced in music class.

First Grade

The first grade music program continues the focus on singing while expanding students’ solfege tones to include la as well as so and mi. Students are also involved in playing instruments, moving to music, and listening to and reading rhythms.

Second Grade

The second grade music program provides more opportunities to interpret the music experienced in the classroom. All types of instruments and props are available to enhance creative expression. The program also includes a grade-level choir, which emphasizes proper vocal technique, choral blending and music reading.

Third Grade

Third grade music students learn to identify whole notes and rests, dotted half-notes and sixteenth notes, and to label treble clef lines and spaces. Students learn more notes and repertoire on the recorder, as well as more challenging voiced and un-voiced instrumental works emphasizing ostinato, simple bordun and correct mallet technique. In music history, the focus is on Baroque and Classical composers.

Fourth Grade

In fourth grade music, students identify more complex rhythm patterns, including syncopated rhythms. Students continue their study of time signatures with an introduction to 6/8. They recognize ledger lines, scales, and label sharps and flats and begin to play split ostinato and learn multi-part works on the instruments. The recorder family is introduced as students learn more notes and more challenging music.

Fifth Grade

Students in fifth grade music read treble and bass clef, more complex rhythms and complex time signatures. The recorder continues as an important tool for music literacy, and students learn more notes and harder repertoire with proper technique and tone. Multi-part instrumental works are learned as students are challenged to sing, play, and create movement and instrumental improvisations to enhance the musical works. Students compare European music to the historical and musical events in America during the Medieval through American Revolution periods.

Sixth Grade

Sixth grade music takes an integrated approach to music education. Students examine music history up to the 20th century, with a focus on opera and musical theatre. Group projects, parodies, essays and skits are tools for assessment. Integrated projects enhance the core curriculum by enabling students to make connections across the curriculum while studying ancient music and peoples, composing jingles and creating original songs for a mini-musical performed during the holidays.

Seventh Grade

Seventh and eighth graders include electives in their daily study. Each student takes two elective courses per trimester.

Eighth Grade

Seventh and eighth graders include electives in their daily study. Each student takes two elective courses per trimester.