Waldorf schools infuse music into all levels of learning; music teaches focus and concentration; it enhances the learning of academic material; it brings culture and social graces to the student. Music reminds us that we are beings of body, soul, and spirit. From the nursery to the eighth grade our classrooms are bursting with song at all hours of the day. Many main lessons throughout the elementary school begin with music. Like every subject at the Waldorf School of Princeton, the music curriculum is in tune with the developmental stages of child. In the earlier years, children are naturally musical and readily imitate whatever they hear. Daily, children experience melodies and rhythms, learning to sing with expression and joy. After age nine, students relate to music more consciously. They begin to sing rounds and canons in which harmonies are created as different groups blend the same melody. In the upper grades the songs become more complex, often with three or four parts.
Waldorf students also learn a variety of instruments. The children learn to play simple recorders in the first grade. In the third grade all students learn to play the soprano recorder, and the alto recorder is introduced in grade five. In the fourth and fifth grades students learn violin, viola, or cello during in-school lessons. In the sixth through eighth grades, they participate in an all-school orchestra and chorus.