Greenwich Academy’s Music Department offers students the opportunity to perform in a variety of ensembles, both choral and instrumental. Students learn and perform both traditional and contemporary music literature at on and off campus venues.
The goal of the choral and instrumental groups is to educate students in the rudiments of music so that they become literate and proficient in reading and performing music from various historical periods and styles. The school’s choral groups include Bel Canto, Madrigal Singers, Gospel Choir, and a coed a cappella group.
There are a number of opportunities for instrumental musicians at Greenwich Academy and Brunswick School. Brass, woodwind, and percussion students may play in large and small ensembles, from chamber music to auditioned jazz groups such as Blue Notes.
Private lessons are offered in piano and voice. Students perform classical music, jazz and a multicultural repertoire as they become proficient in the fundamentals of their instrument.
Music in the Lower School reflects, expresses, and celebrates a child’s natural music expression. Musical language is learned and experienced via hands-on activities such as singing games and creative activities. Based on the Kodály system, skills are developed through singing, listening, reading, writing, and studying different instruments. Special concerts throughout the year allow the girls to gain confidence in performance and to share with others their musical journey.
In the Middle School music program, students learn to read, understand, perform, and appreciate a variety of musical styles and genres. Students develop knowledge and understanding of music terminology, vocal technique, the ability to listen and analyze music, as well as performance etiquette and practice. Field trips to classical concerts, school assemblies with guest artists, and major performances throughout the year all add to the Middle School students’ musical education at Greenwich Academy.
In Group V and VI, students have music twice in a six-day rotating schedule. In Group VII, students have music for a trimester three times in a six-day rotation. When students reach Group VIII they choose arts classes by trimester, meeting twice a week.
The Middle School Chamber Orchestra is open to all Group V-VIII students who play an instrument. The orchestra meets after school on Wednesdays 3:30-5:00 PM.
Private lessons are offered in piano and voice. Adjunct professional music teachers provide after school lessons for Greenwich Academy students.
Upper School Courses and Ensembles include:
AP Music Theory
The AP course in music theory consists of a full academic year of work in preparation for the Advanced Placement examination. Students study ear training by rhythmic and melodic dictation and through the identification of intervals, triads, and inversions. Harmonic analysis utilizes figured bass symbols and emphasizes the principles of voice leading in tonal harmony. Exercises in part-writing and composition are an integral part of the course.
This course is open to all girls who are interested in singing. The focus of the class is to build healthy vocal technique for each singer, whether her goal is to perform in school musicals or audition for Madrigal Singers. Singers will perform as an ensemble in school concerts throughout the year, studying treble literature of all styles, from classical to popular music. Bel Canto (from the Italian, beautiful singing) is a style that emphasizes beauty of tone throughout the full range of the voice. Students will also concentrate on improving sight-reading skills through solfege study and basic music theory.
Madrigal Singers: Honors Choral Ensemble
This course is designed to offer the most advanced level of choral music training at GA. The Madrigal Singers study treble literature of all periods, from the Renaissance through contemporary music. Their schedule includes several performances a year for school and community events and an international tour every two years. Solfege is the foundation of sight-reading using the Oxford Folk Song Sight Singing Series. Musical excellence is achieved by emphasis on ear training, vocal/choral techniques, and study of the highest quality literature written for women’s voices. Students are assessed through regular singing tests in the performance repertoire. Auditions are held in the spring for the following school year. Students with other choral experience or voice training may audition with permission of instructor.
Students in this co-ed ensemble have the option to take it for credit. This course explores the various styles of gospel music, both contemporary and traditional. Emphasis will be placed on strengthening vocal technique and part singing ability. Rehearsals are held during the clubs time on Fridays with additional evening and morning rehearsals as scheduled.