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Program at CIS

Preparing young musicians
through performance

The CIS Music Program develops student ability to express themselves through music and movement, including voice and singing and an introduction to different musical instruments. At each stage of growth, and through continual experience with the process-oriented nature of creating music, students develop musical appreciation, facility with a variety of materials, skills of expression, and the ability to transfer this creative approach to other art forms as to their academic pursuits. Through the Arts, students continuously sharpen and hone their powers of observation, listening, expression, imagination, and “what if” thinking.

Elementary Music Program

PK to Grade 5 focuses on learning about music as well as learning how to make music. In learning about music, students learn the elements of music, such as beat, rhythm, meter, melody, harmony, tempo, dynamics, notation, and style. They also learn how to describe and evaluate music. As they learn to make music, students sing, play percussion instruments, dance, and move. In the later grades (3, 4, and 5), they focus on instrumental performance on the recorder and piano during the second semester. There are also opportunities for solo performances (Talent Days, School Talent Show, etc.) and group performances (grade level performances at Winter and Spring Concerts, school choir).

Middle Music Program 

Our Middle School Choir and Band Programs provide two strands for learning- a semester-long option where students can try and explore either choir or band, and a mastery option that lasts for the entire year, where students take their voice or instrument to the next level.  In each opportunity, students learn about and develop their skills as musicians across a wide range of musical pieces.

Our expert music faculty curated pieces that differentiate students’ singing and instrument abilities through harmonizing less difficult with more difficult singing parts, or through a “chair” system with students in each instrument playing simpler or more complex parts to a song based on current ability.  The best part of this program is the ongoing opportunities our students have to showcase their growth and musicianship at various school and off-campus events.

Daily training is used to grow as singers and musicians, including sight-reading, rhythmic exercises, and warm-ups, and these skills are applied to their performance in the ensemble. In this ensemble setting, students learn about appropriate rehearsal and performance etiquette. This performance-based approach to learning music and music theory and working collaboratively in choirs and bands is an exceptional way to prepare students who wish to pursue music further.  It is also a life skill in terms of being a part of a team to create something unique and beautiful, learning discipline by sticking with voice or instrument development, and in creativity and how a student may apply it to a whole range of skills and ideas both within the Arts and other disciplines.

High School Music Program 

Our High School Visual Arts Program continues with these options for grades 9-10 students and culminates with the IB music program in grades 11-12.  The rigorous IB music program focuses on students’ experiences in music and culminates in a final project, often in conjunction with drama and art students’ final projects.  The process involves extensive reflections, and the final musical pieces serve as their culminating assessment in the program.

Beginning Band

Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion – Beginning band students will learn music concepts by playing an instrument in an ensemble setting. Concepts include posture, tone production, reading notes, reading rhythms, and articulations. Students are expected to acquire an instrument. Instruments must be able to go back and forth between school and home to meet practice requirements.

  • In the Brass section, students may begin playing trumpet, trombone, French horn, baritone/euphonium, or tuba.
  • In the Woodwinds section, students may begin playing flute, clarinet, or alto saxophone.
  • In the Percussion section, students will learn both the snare drum and the mallets. Students will need to acquire a set of drumsticks and soft rubber mallets.

Students will have playing assessments assigned in managebac. There will also be concert performances outside of the school day, and students are expected to participate.

Intermediate Band

Intermediate Band students must complete a beginning band course or be able to play at an equivalent proficiency level to enroll in this class. This ensemble is primarily available to students in grade 8. Music concepts in the curriculum will build on the knowledge gained in Beginning Band, including posture, tone production, reading notes, reading rhythms and articulation. Students are expected to acquire an instrument. Percussion students in class will be assigned to different auxiliary percussion instruments for each piece students play in an ensemble. Playing a drum set is not part of the curriculum, although there may be an occasional piece that calls for it. Intermediate Band students will have regular concert performances outside of school and all students are expected to participate. Intermediate Band students will also be taking field trips to perform in public venues in Bangalore as well as shows or combined school events during the year.

Jazz Band (Grades 9-12)

Jazz Band is an open-enrolment class run as a chamber jazz ensemble (a big band with unconventional instrumentation at CIS). In addition to traditional jazz instruments, this course allows for non-traditional strings, orchestral woodwinds, and brass. The curriculum focuses on skill-building in the broader field of jazz performance. Students will study jazz style, theory, improvisation, and listening skills.