Music is central to The Cathedral School's history and vital to the modern student experience. Our teachers foster children's love of music with a curriculum that draws from a variety of methods, including the use of Orff instruments, Kodaly solfege syllables, Dalcroze movement techniques, and Manhattanville compositional methods. Special attention is paid to ear-training, vocal development, and instrumental skills in order to encourage students to become poised, joyful musicians. Students perform throughout the year at assemblies, all-school evensongs, and special productions, such as the eighth grade musical.

In the Lower School, the focus is on both music literacy and developing children's love of music. Students learn to sing, read and write rhythm, and study solfege as a tool for reading melody on the staff. Students enjoy singing games, movement, and dance and use classroom instruments to enhance performances. They have the option of beginning violin in the first grade. (This class is taught during the school day and covers note-reading skills, individual playing technique, and ensemble playing. Each class meets once every six days and performs frequently throughout the school year.) In second and third grade, they study the instruments of the orchestra, famous composers of western music, and begin to play recorder. The children travel to performances off campus and enjoy visiting quartets from Manhattan School of Music on campus, enhancing the richness of their musical education. There is a Lower School Chorus offered weekly for grades one through four. 

In the Upper School, students learn about jazz and the blues; Western classical music, including Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras; Medieval and Renaissance music; and 20th century music. Eighth grade features a unique, in-depth study of music as a force for social change. Woody Guthrie, Joe Hill, Paul Robeson, and Pete Seeger illuminate the rights of workers, and the civil rights movement comes alive through the works of Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and the songs “We Shall Overcome” and “Eyes on the Prize.” Performance is a crucial aspect of music education throughout a student’s years at Cathedral, culminating in the traditional eighth grade musical.
1047 Amsterdam Avenue   |   New York, NY 10025   | P:  212-316-7500   | F:  212-316-7558