4th Grade Music Newsletter

“Music must not be approached from its intellectual, rational side, nor should it be conveyed to the child as a system of algebraic symbols, or as a secret writing of a language with which he has no connection. The way should be paved for direct intuition.”

-Zoltán Kodály

Music Class in Lower School

Shipley students enjoy a robust music curriculum where they develop skills to be well rounded musicians. Music class at Shipley has three components:

  • "Doing Music" - Students actively make music by singing, dancing, and playing classroom instruments such as xylophones and African drums. They learn musical independence through performing alone, in groups, and by doing part-work.
  • "Music Literacy" - Students use solfège syllables and rhythm syllables to become fluent in the language of music. Students translate these aural skills to music notation by reading and writing on the musical staff. (See a demonstration in the video below!)
  • "Knowledge About Music" - Students learn music terminology, historical context, composers, and also interdisciplinary connections. (For example music and dance from colonial America!)

Students show off their music reading skills!


Ensemble in Lower School

Shipley students enter 4th grade with solid musical skills, and it is the perfect time for them to pick up a new instrument and further develop their skills as a musician. In the beginning of the year, 4th graders got to try string instruments, band instruments, and singing in a chorus. They chose the ensemble where they felt the most successful, and for the rest of the year on "H Day," they will meet with their ensemble to explore playing their new instrument, learn basic technique on their chosen instrument, and work on ensemble skills. Students will continue the three components: Doing Music, Music Literacy, and Knowledge About Music; however, they will now be applying their skills to their new instrument of choice.

As Shipley students continue on, 5th grade ensemble will meet three times per rotation, and they will have even more time to develop their skills in Band, Chorus, and Strings.

4E students reflect on what they are learning in ensemble and music class.

4E Reflections

You're Invited!

Monday, Feb. 1st, 8:30-9am

1030 Wyndon Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA, United States

Come have coffee with Lindsay Jackson (LS Vocal Music) and Michael Smith (Director of Performing Arts) to ask questions, talk about 4th grade music, and learn more about what the Music Department at Shipley PK-12 has to offer your children.

The event will be held in Howland House on the Lower School campus.


Please contact your child's director:

Band - Dr. Harley Givler hgivler@shipleyschool.org

Chorus - Lindsay Jackson ljackson@shipleyschool.org

Strings - Jhonnatan Mata jmata@shipleyschool.org