Lower School Music

At Durham Academy students become musicians, singers and movers in a very active way.  The philosophy for music and movement education for our students is rooted in the Orff Schulwerk creative process of learning music. Orff Schulwerk uses poems, rhymes, games, songs and dances as vehicles to actively learn the elements of music. Students explore rhythm, melody, harmony, form and expressive qualities through singing, speaking, moving, playing instruments, listening, reading and notating. 

A unique aspect of this approach is an emphasis on developing a student's creativity and the opportunities to improvise in many ways. Students create their own rhythms, dramatizations, lyrics/words, instrument parts and melodies for sections of many pieces. Their own work is encouraged and valued. Through this process, students gain a deep understanding and love of music as they develop their creative potential. 

First- and second-grade students host a musical performance each winter; third-grade students perform several musical selections during GrandFriends day each spring; and third- and fourth-grade students may also choose to sing in chorus and play in the recorder ensemble.

Lower School Arts Faculty

Pamela McKenney


Elizabeth South


Luke Hoffman



An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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