St. Brigid School provides an extensive musical education for its students. All students, not just choir members, are beneficiaries of this unique program. This year, we are beginning Stage Five of a unique 5-stage program, centering on the Ward and Kodaly Methods, a graded system based on vocal music, stressing music reading and artistic expression. The methods are used exclusively in K-7, although grade 8 benefits from some elements of both systems as well. In K-3, music instruction is every day, in grades 4 and 5 four times a week, and in grades 6-8 three times a week. Students learn to read and experience music through listening, singing, writing, and moving. The plan is to bring the methods up one grade at a time, with the whole school being musically literate by the year 2020.
To enhance the Kodaly and Ward Methods, classroom instrument instruction is integrated into the curriculum. Recorders are taught in grades 3 and 4, a voluntary violin program will be started this year in grades 5 and 6, and handbells are taught in grades 7 and 8. The lower grades will have some percussion instruments integrated into their music study. The choir school project is partially funded by St. Mary’s Cathedral.