The school’s chorus program has the goal of ultimately stopping students from saying "I can't sing." A comprehensive, scaffolded program, beginning in the 6th grade, brings singers to a level of musical, singing, and performance ability that helps them decide whether to choose chorus as their major in 7th grade. If yes, they build on and expand those skills until the 8th grade...and then, if they decide, they pursue singing/choral interests in high school.
In 6th grade, the students learn how to use their singing voice (even if it is just to "sing in the shower") by: learning how to use proper posture and breathing techniques; analyzing a range of vocal music to explore melody, harmony, form, rhythm, tempo, beat, etc.; arranging, composing, and improvising choral music; exploring varied musical styles; and performing. Students demonstrate these skills during an end-of-year 6th grade chorus showcase where all classes perform a repertoire of songs; small student groups perform original socially relevant pieces; and the extracurricular lunchtime choral volunteers share uniquely arranged musical pieces.
In the 7th and 8th grades, students build on the choral foundations to study the mechanics and anatomy of vocal production; explore complex vocal technique; delve into music theory; learn how to sight-sing and read music; further develop their composing and arranging skills; and perform and attend professional music performances. Chorus majors perform during two annual concerts and sing at select events around the city.