Philosophy

Girls perform at Christmas Concert

The neuroscientist, cognitive psychologist and musician, Daniel Levitin, argues in his book The World in Six Songs: How The Musical Brain Created Human Nature that there are six critical song types that define humanity: friendship, joy, comfort, religion, knowledge, and love.

The reason this resonates so strongly is that it so defines much of what we aim to do in our Music Department. From the very beginning with the Prep children, they are singing and playing musical games. The Kodaly methodology, embedded in Fiona’s Music program, serves the children intellectually and emotionally. Through song, the children encounter the concepts that they will develop and understand not only for music literacy, but also for a rich life. This is connected to their learning of a musical instrument where the joy of the sensation and developed understanding of rhythm, melody and harmony through song can transfer so meaningfully to this medium and be developed by the expertise of their teacher.

An analogy that really helps define what we are doing and where we are going in the Ascham Music Department is that of the Symphony Orchestra. As simple as this is, the idea that many different sections within this structure (Brass, Woodwind, Strings and so on) work together to create a meaningful work and sound are powerful. What we do every day needs to contribute meaningfully to the musical, emotional and intellectual development of the child and the diversity of everything we do is equally important to creating a program with musical integrity.

It is honestly the case that at Ascham, there is Music for every child.