The music program at Burke’s involves every student, developing her inherent musicianship and love of music. Burke’s understands the vital role music plays in the growth of the whole child: its contributions to the intellectual, emotional, social and physical realms of learning. Through “hands-on” music-making, each student is given a wide variety of experiences in which to learn about, appreciate and prepare for a lifelong involvement in the performing arts, as both performer and appreciative, knowledgeable audience.
Music is part of the fabric of everyday life at Burke's, often integrated with classroom themes and subject areas. Spontaneous singing is often heard as you walk the school grounds. At whole school gatherings, singing and dancing draw the community closer. At Burke’s, music welcomes the year, celebrates events, and honors passages in time.
Each Lower School (LS) class participates in music twice a week in the cozy LS Music Room. Just entering the room is a treat: seeing shelves filled with instruments from around the world, "Orff" xylophones, the Burke's Chinese Lions, and more! The music teacher's art is to balance and build a "spiral curriculum" that introduces, strengthens, and refines skills and understandings. This spiral draws from a variety of music pedagogies, including the Orff and Kodaly approaches.
The Orff philosophy
(Orff-Schulwerk) combines speech and poetry; movement, dance and drama; songs and games; and work with basic instruments. The Kodaly viewpoint
places singing at the foundation of musical development. Its philosophy proposes that a clear, sequential musical development in the formative years will foster lifelong skills in singing, literacy and notation, and appreciation.
Burke's ensures students experience a diversity of cultures, time periods, and styles in music, in alignment with the National
and California Standards
. Each student contributes according to her own ability in a nurturing environment where the rewards include growing confidence in one's individual skills and the pleasure of making music with others.