At Advent, all students attend music classes. Starting in 4K and continuing through Fourth Grade, the student has one hour per week of music class. Fifth through Eighth Grades have one and half hours of music class per week. The music program at the Advent is a spiral learning experience. Once a concept is taught, it is continually built upon, refined and mastered.
Music Theory (the reading and writing language of music) is stressed from Kindergarten through the Eighth Grade. By the time a student finishes 5K, they have learned four pitches with hand signals and four types of rhythm notes. Along with theory, students learn the basics of vocal production through a variety of repertoire.
By the end of Third Grade, students have mastered the entire note and rest family, the treble and bass clefs, and the families of the orchestra. Starting in the Fourth Grade, the recorder, a Baroque instrument, is added to the weekly experience in music. The recorder continues through the Eighth Grade. Upon finishing the Eighth Grade, students have written several music compositions.
The Elements of Music and Harmony is introduced in the Fifth Grade and continues through the Eighth grade. In the Sixth Grade, the Baroque Period is examined. The Seventh Grade discusses further in depth the Baroque Period and begins the Classical Period. In the Eighth Grade the Classical Period is continued and the orchestral forms are learned. Listening examples of major Concerto Grossi and symphonies are discussed in each of the periods of music history.
Students are given the opportunity to perform in several ways. Musicals are presented in the Second and Eighth Grades. Every child participates in the annual Service of Lessons and Carols held in December. In this traditional service, the children sing carols and anthems in response to biblical lessons that are read. Carols are sung in English and in one or two foreign languages.
Two extra curricular ensemble groups are offered to students of Advent Episcopal School. The Recorder Ensemble is an auditioned group of ten to twenty players that perform Renaissance and Baroque literature. The Choral Ensemble, a vocal choir, is comprised of twenty-five to thirty auditioned choristers from grades Fourth through Eighth. This choir sings each Wednesday for the weekly service of Morning Prayer in the Cathedral. The Ensemble also sings special services held in the Cathedral and in the community. Lift High the Cross and Emmanuel are two CD recordings the choir has professionally produced in the past. Hurry to Bethlehem is a CD released in 2003. Carols for the Christ Child is the Ensemble's 2010 Christmas CD.