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How Does Music Work Into the Waldorf Curriculum?

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

Music is a universal language. People have always felt compelled to make music, no matter where they come from or when they've lived in history. It's part of who we are, and Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf education, recognized that. This basic truth is why he made it an integral part of the Waldorf curriculum.

Singing is practiced throughout the grades, however the types of songs and complexity of the music progresses. The music is thoughtfully paired with the stage of childhood and tied in with what is being taught in Main Lesson. The instruments that are introduced are brought to meet the child where they are developmentally.

  • Grade 1-2 - Pentatonic Flute creates simple, open notes that are "tone color." A simple introduction to music that allows the child to feel the music.

  • Grade 3 - Diatonic Flute / Recorder adds more notes and complexity as the child matures.

  • Grade 4-8 - Time signatures in music are explored at the same time Fractions are introduced in Main Lesson. Students begin learning stringed instruments or instruments of local cultural significance.

One of the things that makes Waldorf education so adaptable is that it encourages schools to integrate their own local culture into the classroom. That makes being in New Orleans a big advantage, especially where the music curriculum is concerned.

It is common for Waldorf schools to work with instruments connected to the local culture such as the ukulele in Hawaii, the hammered dulcimer in Appalachia, and the guitar in the West. Here at home WSNO Music Specialist Mr. Bauman is bringing brass and woodwind instruments, those featured in Jazz, to our school.

This latest evolution of our music program is an exciting one. It gives our students a tremendous opportunity to explore music in a whole new way and to really connect with their New Orleans roots.

To learn more about the Waldorf Music Curriculum, read


Families are always invited to dialogue with teachers. If you have a question or concern, meet with your child's teacher to discuss it. Should your question or concern still need further exploration, fill out the WSNO Family Request for Communication Form. A faculty member will follow up with you within three business days.


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