Hilltop and Shirley Hills primary schools use two basic approaches to teaching music education: Orff Schulwerk and Kodaly. They are considered best practices in developing a child's musical skill and repertoire.
Orff Schulwerk Approach - Sing, Say, Dance & Play
The Orff Approach of music education uses very rudimentary forms of everyday activity for the purpose of music creation by music students. It is a "child-centered" way of learning that treats music as a basic system, like language. Just as every child can learn language without formal instruction, so can every child learn music by a gentle and friendly approah.
The Kodály Concept is a way of developing musical skills and teaching musical concepts beginning in very young children. This method uses folk songs, Curwen hand signs, pictures, movable-do, rhythm symbols and syllables.
Primary school Grandfriends' Day celebrations feature grade-level vocal concerts for grandparents and special friends.
The Operetta has been a Westonka tradition since 1978. It is a great opportunity for students in grades 2-4 to audition, rehearse and perform a musical as an after school activity. Hilltop Primary School celebrated the 40-year anniversary of its first Operetta in 2018 with a performance of "The Wizard of Oz."
As an extension of the music classroom, both Hilltop and Shirley Hills expose students to live music performances through field trips to Orchestra Hall or the Ordway. This allows students to witness
and experience music in a new and exciting way. Not only learning about the instruments of the orchestra but also seeing people play them in real life has been a wonderful opportunity for them.
Every student has the opportunity to audition for and participate in a Variety Show at both elementary schools. This is a fun chance for students to show their unique talents and interests while gaining confidence through performance.