Music Department

The Stoneleigh-Burnham instrumental and vocal music program welcomes each student at her level and helps her continue to grow as a musician. From beginner through advanced, through a wide variety of musical styles, students are encouraged to explore and develop their love of music. SBS has been recognized as a pioneer in girls’ music education for its award-winning vocal, jazz and classical groups and for instituting a course in rock band. Whether you want to begin an instrument or continue a passion, the Stoneleigh-Burnham music program has a rich variety of offerings to meet individual needs.

World Music

World Music covers the fundamentals of studying music-cultures through a survey of traditional music from around the world. Students explore the four components of a music-culture including: ideas and beliefs, activities, repertories, and material culture.

Students learn how to study, play, dance, and listen to music from different cultures. This course is a precursor to the IB Music courses offered to eleventh and twelfth graders.

This is a one-trimester, graded course and is required of all ninth-graders. Other students may take the course on an elective basis.

Chorus

This course is designed to deepen students’ appreciation of vocal music, to develop a sense of discipline and responsibility through participation, and to enhance their appreciation of a wide variety of vocal masterworks. Students sing choral literature of various genres including American spirituals, jazz, pop, and gospel, classical European choral literature, and traditional, folk, and popular music from around the world. This is a full-year, pass/fail performance group that fulfills 1 arts requirement.

Octet

In this course students learn correct vocal, sight singing, and performance techniques as they work with all types and styles of choral literature. The literature may include: choral masterpieces by composers of the Renaissance, Baroque, classical, romantic and twentieth-century style periods of both sacred and secular type, folk songs, chorales and spiritual arrangements, madrigal music and chamber choir, Broadway musical tunes and medleys, lighter pop arrangements suitable for large ensembles and jazz/show choir. Students should have some background in singing, either formal or informal. This is a full year, pass/fail performance ensemble that fulfills 3 arts requirements. An audition is required.

Big Band

Big Band is open to players of mostly traditional and jazz band instruments. Students must be at least at a beginner to intermediate level to join. Students develop individual and ensemble instrumental techniques through the study and performance of a variety of musical styles. Students perform at all Performing Arts concerts and often at other school and outside school functions. This is a full year, pass/fail performance ensemble that fulfills one arts requirement.

Throughout the year, students learn band and jazz band repertoire. Styles covered include, but are not limited to, jazz standards, popular, funk, Latin, rock, and holiday music.

Chamber Music Ensemble

Listen to some of the SBS Chamber Players’ Greatest Hits by pressing play below. Track one: Spider Dreams. Track two: student composition. Track three: Mozart trio.

The SBS Chamber Music course is designed for students who have some instrumental experience and are interested in studying and performing chamber music. A variety of ensembles may be formed according to instrumentation and ability. Students develop individual and ensemble instrumental technique and perform at concerts, school functions, and outside events. Styles covered can include but are not limited to classical, baroque, romantic, modern, Latin, popular and more. This is a full year, pass/fail performance ensemble that fulfills one arts credit.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

Jazz Combo

This course is designed for students who have some instrumental experience and are interested in studying and performing standard jazz combo literature. In addition to developing instrumental technique, students will study the art of jazz improvisation. Jazz music theory and forms will be discussed. Students perform at concerts and jazz festivals. This is a full year, pass/fail performance ensemble that fulfills one arts requirement.

The course primarily covers jazz standards and the art of improvisation. Classes are dedicated to creating a cohesive rhythm section with plenty of room for soloists to improvise.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

International Baccalaureate Music

IB Music is an in-depth study of all areas of music including performance, research, score analysis, and composition. Students spend the first year of IB Music fulfilling their performance component. This allows students to focus predominantly on improving their performance skills through in-class practicing and rehearsals, and gives them ample opportunity to perform. In the second year, students research and write on the musical links between two cultures. The curriculum also covers topics in Western and non-Western music such as theory, aural skills, performance, composition and music technology. Students benefit from various approaches to instruction including close listening, score reading, harmonic analysis, composition, and performance projects. Students can choose to focus on one of the following concentrations: solo performance (SL/HL), or group performance (SL).

Offered at HL (Higher Level) and SL (Standard Level). International Baccalaureate courses are two years in length, and usually taken during the 11th and 12th grade years.

Middle School Rock Band

This course is open to anyone interested in making great rock music together. Students may sing or play instruments, and beginning instrumentalists are welcome. Students work together to choose what music they want to perform, rehearse those pieces, and prepare for performances. This group may perform in major concerts such as Fall and Spring Family Weekend and the Winter Solstice Concert, in informal concerts at the end of each term, and in the Middle School Performance in late May. Through the year, students develop practice skills, rehearsal skills (including collaboration), and performance skills. Students who take this course are exempted from Music 7 (as 7th graders) or Music 8 (as 8th graders), though many students choose to take those courses anyway.

Upper School Rock Band 

This course is open both to experienced and beginning musicians, singers and instrumentalists alike. Students work together to choose what music they want to perform, rehearse those pieces, and prepare for performances.This group typically performs in major concerts such as Fall and Spring Family Weekend and the Winter Solstice Concert, in informal concerts at the end of each term, and in the special Senior Performance the day before graduation. Through the year, students develop practice skills, rehearsal skills (including collaboration), and performance skills. Individual students work with the teacher to take on new technical challenges as they become ready. This course is pass/fail and fulfills one art requirement.