.Musical Arts

Introduction to Fine Arts (Grade 6)

Semesters: two

Students at St. George’s are engaged in opportunities to confidently develop critical thinking skills, perform well, and, with a sense of wonder, create art with purpose. Sixth graders participate in band, chorus, theatre, and the visual arts, each for one quarter of the year. Students are introduced to the basic skills necessary to perform in a vocal or instrumental ensemble: focus/concentration, ear training, sight singing, rhythm dictation, note recognition, and sight reading simple melodies and rhythms. The visual arts component is designed to introduce students, through practice, to the elements of art and the principles of design; and, through reflection, develop their intellectual and artistic acuity. Basic art-making skills, organizational skills, and peer-to-peer discussion of artwork are emphasized. In the theatre arts section, students are introduced to the basic concepts of theatre. They use various creative drama techniques to build ensemble, stimulate imagination, create movement, and role play, with an emphasis on developing authentic characters and situations. Along with performing and visual arts skills, students also gain an understanding of the expectations involved in performance and visual art classes to better prepare them to make an objective decision in opting into the fine arts in the future.

Middle School Jazz Band (Grades 7 and 8)

Semesters: two            

Prerequisite: must play an instrument at a basic level

Music is an essential part of the human experience. Everyone is musical, has a need for musical expression, and, through music, develops as humans in very unique ways. Music allows us to unleash our creativity in re-creation (interpretation) and in music creation (composition), and allows us to find unique ways to bring beauty into the world through sound, increasing our ability to understand others and clarify our own communications. At St. George’s, middle school students engage with all the elements of practical music-making, concentrating on the music of our region, allowing them to understand other cultures and places in an intimate way. Through the study of Jazz, Blues, Soul, and other American music, students learn about the complex relationships between society, music, and ideas, discover the critical rigors of music-making, working collaboratively to create something new within the framework of the past. Developing the kinesthetic and critical fundamentals of music: reading notation, sound production, technique, ensemble playing, dynamics, and style; performing repertoire of historical significance in the Delta, Memphis, and the Mid South, the St. George’s middle school band student becomes a lifelong musical human being.

Note: Generally, students must secure their own instruments. The school does have a few instruments available on loan for students' time in the music program.

Upper School Jazz Band (Grades 9 - 12)

Semesters: two

Prerequisite: must play an instrument with proficiency

Music is an essential part of the human experience. Everyone is musical, has a need for musical expression, and, through music, develops as humans in very unique ways. Music allows us to unleash our creativity in re-creation (interpretation) and in music creation (composition), and allows us to find unique ways to bring beauty into the world through sound, increasing our ability to understand others and clarify our own communications. At St. George’s, upper school students engage with all the elements of practical improvisatory music-making, concentrating on the music of our region, allowing them to understand other cultures and places in an intimate way. Through the study of Jazz, students learn about the complex relationships between form and style, and continue to discover the critical rigors of music-making, working collaboratively to create something new within the framework of the past. Developing the kinesthetic and critical fundamentals of creative music: chord/scale theory, sound production, technique, ensemble playing, composition, and style;  performing repertoire of both historical significance in the Delta, Memphis, and the Mid-south; and creating and collaborating on new compositions,  the St. George’s upper school band student becomes a lifelong musical human being.

Note: Generally, students must secure their own instruments. The school does have a few instruments available on loan for students' time in the music program.

Modern Music Ensemble (Grades 9 - 12)

Semesters: two

Prerequisite: by audition or permission of instructor

Music is an essential part of the human experience. Everyone is musical, has a need for musical expression, and, through music, develops as humans in very unique ways. Music allows us to unleash our creativity in re-creation (interpretation) and in music creation (composition), and allows us to find unique ways to bring beauty into the world through sound, increasing our ability to understand others and clarify our own communications. At St. George’s, Modern Music Ensemble students engage with all the elements of practical music-making, concentrating on the music of our region, allowing them to understand other cultures and places in an intimate way. Through the study of Pop, Rock, and other American music, students learn about the complex relationships between society, music, and ideas, discover the critical rigors of music-making, and work collaboratively to create something new within the framework of the past. Engaging in critical listening, creating new music, and using technology to capture and share their work, St. George’s Modern Music Ensemble students develop a sense of wonder and curiosity grounded in confidence and open-mindedness.

Note: Generally, students must secure their own instruments. The school does have a few instruments available on loan for students' time in the music program.


Gryphons Choir (Grade 7 and 8)

Semesters: two

Prerequisite: none

Gryphons Choir is comprised of male and female students in the 7th and 8th Grades.  Students will study and prepare music to be sung at two concerts, one per semester, and at several other events throughout the school year, including but not limited to Chapel, performance workshops at the two Lower School Campuses, and pop-up performances at the Collierville Campus. Students in this ensemble will more thoroughly cover the fundamentals of music that were introduced in the 6th Grade Introduction to the Fine Arts course.  Each student will practice music literacy skills such as pitch and rhythm reading, learn and be able to utilize a vocabulary of musical terminology, and explore how singing functions in our society and others.  By the end of the 8th Grade, students will be ready to continue their choral practice in St. George’s Singers as 9th Grade students. Gryphons Choir students will also keep a class journal that will be stored in the Choir Room. Descriptions of journal assignments are described in the Journals section of the handbook.

St. George's Singers (Grades 9 - 12)

Semesters: two

Prerequisite: none

St. George’s singers will study and prepare music to be sung at two concerts, one per semester, and at several other events throughout the school year, including but not limited to Chapel, performance workshops at the two Lower School Campuses, and pop-up performances at the Collierville Campus. Students in St. George’s Singers will practice and study musical concepts that are more advanced.  The material covered during rehearsals will help to prepare them for choral opportunities such as honor choirs, All State, and collaboration with other choirs. Students are encouraged to audition for these opportunities and help will be available during office hours, both before and after school. St. George’s Singers will dive deeply into a variety of styles of music and will explore the connections that exist between them and the people who created the music and how it is used within different societies. Students will also continue to refine their music literacy skills by practicing more complex combinations of pitch and rhythm, as well as learning and performing more difficult repertoire.


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