Performing Arts

Performing Arts

All students participate in the performing arts throughout their years at The Country School. A gradual progression during the course of a child’s tenure at TCS allows students to master various skills and techniques as well as to explore new areas of interest.
Regular performance opportunities (both low-stakes and high-stakes) begin as early as PreSchool. With support and guidance from both the music teacher and classroom teachers, students in grades PreSchool through 5 share their musical learning and speak publicly at weekly WTCS meetings, which are hosted by grades 4 and 5. The Intermediate and Middle School band, chorus, and select chamber chorus perform concerts in the winter and spring every year, and all students in PreSchool through Grade 8 participate in a holiday performance in December. In addition to a variety of public speaking opportunities, students in grades 7 and 8 are encouraged to participate in a yearly Broadway-style musical production. Many of our alumni go on to perform at their respective high schools and colleges. Several continue to perform professionally.

Choral singing begins in the earliest grades with regularly scheduled music classes that focus on basic tonal and rhythmic competency. The choral curriculum intensifies in the intermediate and middle school grade levels, when students sing in the 4th/5th grade chorus, the 6th/7th/8th grade chorus, or audition and participate in the select chamber chorus. On the instrumental music side, the Lower School uses a blend of Kodaly, Orff, and Suzuki teaching methods, and students are introduced to Solfege, recorder, xylophone, and various percussion instruments. Students may opt to study instrumental music, first with the 5th Grade Band followed by the Middle School Band.
In addition to the regular performing arts curriculum, TCS provides many after-school and outside-of-school arts opportunities including the Young Musicians Program, which provides additional private instruction for interested students; optional choral and band auditions and festivals; as well as various theatrical opportunities.

Theater Enrichment

In keeping with the tradition of music instruction and public speaking, the Theater Arts are now represented in grades K- 6th. Mini productions are weaved into each curriculum. Colonial Days, Space Exploration, Immigration studies all serve as worthy themes to explore before the 5th grade Greek play and Shakespeare in 6th grade.
With a focus on story and character and process over product, our students learn that theater skills are life skills.


List of 3 items.

  • General Music - PreSchool through 4th Grade

    In PreSchool and PreKindergarten, students participate in the joy of musical learning through certified Music Together classes. Families in PreS and PreK will receive Music Together cds, booklets, and online applications so the songs can be shared and enjoyed both during and outside of school. Families will also be invited to one or more singalongs at school with their children during the year.
    In Primary grades, students engage in four foundational concepts of musical learning (Sing, Move, Listen, and Play) and Kodaly-based active music making. Particular emphasis is placed on the learning of echo songs, call & response songs, and song tales for further development of pitch matching and rhythm skills with the body (clapping, marching) and rhythm sticks. Listening skills are developed through exposure and discussion of musical genres (Folk, Classical, Jazz, etc) with emphasis on verbal and written reflection (“What do you hear? What do you feel? What do you see? What do you wonder?”).
    Intermediate grade levels participate in the development and practice of note reading and writing skills through a variety of pathways (songs, games, assessments). Students make creative connections to academic learning through studies of musical genres (Folk, Classical, Jazz, etc) in relation to instruments, musical expression, improvisation, and cultural literacy. Classes perform throughout the school year at Morning Meetings and at the Holiday Program. Students also participate in Celebrations of Learning through collaborative STEAM projects during the year.
  • Choral Program - 4th - 8th Grade

    The TCS Choral program has three vocal groups: Intermediate (4th/5th) Chorus, Middle School (6th/7th/8th) Chorus, and an audition-based Chamber Chorus (grades 6-8). In rehearsals, there is an emphasis on ear training and pitch matching through the use of vocal warm-ups, scales, and exercises. Reading and understanding vocal music, 2-part harmony (Intermediate) and 2- or 3-part harmony (Middle School), vocal dynamics, expression, and blending are also core components of the learning process. Students perform vocal repertoire throughout the school year at the Winter Concert, Holiday Program, and Celebration of the Arts Spring Concert.
  • Band-Instrumental Music

    5th Grade
    First year beginning band covers instrumental basics. Proper assembly of woodwind and brass instruments, proper care of percussion instruments, and correct use and care of reeds. All woodwind, brass and percussion instruments work from Standard of Excellence Book I by Bruce Pearson. First year curriculum includes: Introduction to clef signs, time signatures, key signatures, note values and 1-3 major scales. Students have one sectional per week and one band rehearsal.
    6th Grade 
    Sixth Grade band is an intermediate band, a transition to upper band and covers the following: They continue in Standard of Excellence Book I. More extensive musical terms list, more major scales and extending the range on their instruments. Students have one sectional per week and one band rehearsal (also one rehearsal with the 7th and 8th grade band). Students have the option to audition for the CMEA Regional Music Festival.
    7th and 8th Grade 
    The 7th and 8th Grade band plays with the 6th grade band to form the concert band. Both grades cover more major scales, musical terms, sight-reading, ensemble playing and chamber music. Students branch out to more difficult music and have two band rehearsals per week. Students have the option to audition for the CMEA Regional Music Festival.
341 Opening Hill Road, Madison, CT 06443
P. 203-421-3113  |  F. 203-421-4390  |  Health Office F. 860-469-2550
Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child.