Worcester’s premier college-preparatory co-ed day school serving students from Central MA and MetroWest, Pre-K–Grade 12

Lower School Music

Music is an integral part of Lower School life at Bancroft. Students Pre-K through Grade 5 have regular music classes. Community singing and student performances are highlighted at our Friday morning assemblies every week, and cross-curricular projects at every grade level connect music to Central Subjects as well as to French, Drama, and Physical Education.

In addition, Lower School students have the opportunity to participate in a performing ensemble as part of our band, chorus, or strings program.

Classes and Performing Ensembles


Singing games revolve around the daily routines of the children, the weather, and nature. Listening skills are enhanced as we develop the ability to match pitch and keep a steady beat.

First Grade

Students are introduced to the Orff instruments, especially playing simple "bordun" accompaniments and cluster chords. We sing work songs, songs about animals and transportation, and folk songs from many cultures, especially France. Our listening focus is on melodic and rhythmic pattern recognition.

Second Grade

We sing songs about the rainforest, ancient Egypt, and Japan as the second graders study these Central Subject areas. We use two-part Orff accompaniments and read music from a two-line staff.

Third Grade

Besides learning to play the recorder and to read music for this instrument, third graders sing songs from the slave era and accompany with African percussion as well as the Orff instruments.

Fourth Grade

Students learn to read music from the grand staff and to notate the melodies and accompaniments they create. They are invited to join one of three ensembles: Chorus, Band, or Strings (their choice) and to perform with fifth graders at assemblies and concerts.

Fifth Grade

After studying traditional rounds and canons and singing Revolutionary Era songs to go with their Central Subject theme, students prepare for their culminating performance: The Fifth Grade Play. This musical/dramatic event in May incorporates improvising, arranging, and all the musical and teamwork skills they have learned over their years in the Lower School.


Lower School Bands meet twice a week and focus on developing the basic fundamentals required for the successful playing of their instruments. Both Beginning Band and Band II (second year band) perform in two concerts each year, and regularly play in Lower School Assemblies.


The Lower School Chorus is a mix of boys and girls from 4th and 5th grades who sing with pathos and/or humor as fits the occasion. Our repertoire includes camp songs, children’s musicals, and well-seasoned seasonal songs. Besides concerts and assemblies at Bancroft, we are occasionally invited to sing off campus.


Suzuki Violin:
Students in Pre-K through Grade 3 have the opportunity to participate in a special program for beginning violin. A parent attends the classes with their child. The focus is on fundamentals of violin playing and ear training.
Beginning String Class:
Students in Grades 4 and 5 may begin violin, viola, or cello in a class that meets twice a week. The focus is on the fundamentals of string playing and reading music.

String Ensemble:
Students in Grades 4 and 5 with a minimum of one year of experience on violin, viola, or cello may join this group. The focus is on reading music and building performance skills. The group meets twice a week and performs at assemblies and school concerts.

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