Lower School Music Program

“Where words fail, music speaks.” Hans Christian Andersen.

Many Centreville Layton School students are challenged by self-expression through written or spoken word yet thrive when expressing themselves through the arts.  Our Lower School music program provides opportunities for the students to engage their right brains in the exploration of music through auditory, visual and kinesthetic modalities.

Enjoyment of music comes in many forms.  Some students enjoy performing in a group while others prefer to perform solos.  Some students enjoy exploring instruments while others enjoy moving to music.  And sometimes, they simply like to listen.  All these ways in which music can be experienced are recognized and fostered through Lower School music classes.

During music classes, the students are exposed to a variety of genres and modalities as well as the elements of pitch, rhythm, melody and dynamics.  Students learn to read basic notation and to write rhythms from dictation.

Music history is incorporated into lessons for the older students.  They learn not only the history of the musical pieces but how history influenced the composition of music.  The study of composers adds depth and breadth to the understanding of music.  A variety of performances and performers are studied and include examples of child prodigies so students realize you can be an accomplished performer at any age.

Students are taught to recognize the instruments in an orchestra and band and to classify them into the four families.  They explore predecessors of our modern instruments and learn how non-conventional items can be used to make music.  

Performance builds self-esteem and self-confidence, teaches cooperation, spreads the enjoyment of music to others and showcases what has been learned.  The elements of stage presence and being a good member of the audience are discussed and practiced.  Whether through singing, playing musical instruments, recitation or dance, all students are encouraged to participate in performances.

In the words of Henry Van Dyke, “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”

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The difference is clear

Our son learned the valuable skills of teamwork, patience and perseverance during his time at Centreville Layton as well as the academic strategies to move forward into a typical high school setting. Centreville Layton strikes a great balance of family-like warmth and discipline in a beautiful country setting.

Jan B.
Former Parent

This past year has been completely transformational for our daughter and her positive strides have been noticeable both at home and at school. She is growing into the best version of herself and her teachers at CLS have played a significant role in her progress.

Michelle L.
Middle School parent

This year, I’ve learned to understand that acceptance is greatly appreciated but difficult to find. Compared to where I came from, CLS houses some of the most accepting people that I’ve ever met. I am thankful for every little act of kindness shown towards me or even towards another student. They have not gone unnoticed.


We’re prepared for this because we’ve learned how to work hard, solve problems, be independent, happy, responsible and kind to all.


The support from my teachers taught me not just reading and writing, but to embrace who I am, to learn from my mistakes and grow because of them.