Music Education combines the experience of rhythm, the feeling of harmony and musical moods, and knowledge grasped through music theory. Waldorf students sing, listen to, and play various instruments weekly. Beginning in First Grade, the “mood of the fifth” predominates and the children are taught to play interval and pentatonic flutes, which then progress to the C flute and the recorder. In Third Grade, they begin violin instruction and may move to viola or cello in Fourth Grade. Winds and percussion may also be chosen. Year-round there are numerous opportunities for students to perform instrumental, orchestral, and choral compositions in public performances, school assemblies, musical plays, and special community events.
There are many important inner skills to be learned through the study of music. Practicing an instrument cultivates inner discipline. Group music lessons offer a wonderful opportunity for a child to practice active listening skills and to work cooperatively with others. It is quite challenging for a group of children to work completely in unison in any realm, be it social, academic, or physical! In ensemble playing, with the same timing and pitch, the result of a harmonious sound allows them to directly experience the value of working well together. Playing an instrument is a wonderful means of self-exploration, self-expression, and creativity that allows the student to grow into a well-rounded human being.