Music instruction at Arbor is based on the philosophy and teaching practices of composers Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. Orff-Schulwerk invites an active, multi-sensory approach to music making through the integration of movement, singing, wordplay, and instruments. Primaries and Juniors have the opportunity to "play" with rhythm and melody in intentional ways, mining favorite chants and rhymes for rhythmic and melodic patterns to extract, read, play, and notate. Soprano recorder is introduced at the Intermediate level, adding a wind instrument timbre to our music making plus an opportunity for children to grow in independent musicianship through home practice and reading from a score. The study of Music has its own skills, history, masterworks and vocabulary, which weave throughout Arbor's Music program K-8th. Additionally, integration with homeroom themes and Senior Humanities deepens and enriches the role music can play in all of the subject areas the children encounter. On a given day, one can see for example, the Primaries playing instruments and stepping into a Greek circle dance, Juniors charting the names of rainforest animals into rhythmic notation, Intermediates performing on their recorders, and the vibrant sounds of African marimba music emanating from the Seniors.
The Music room, a Design Studio, and a mixed-use classroom are nestled in the Loghouse, which is situated on the edge of Arbor's woods and Saum Creek. Outside the Loghouse lies an amphitheater complete with a hand-crafted bottle wall, providing a lovely outdoor gathering spot, weather permitting.