Our middle and high school music program consists of vocal and instrumental offerings that focus on appreciation and technique through practice and performance. From our Fundamental Vocal Music class in 6th grade, where students learn songs from various cultures, time periods, and genres, to the Angry Pigeon Music Collective, which is composed of a stellar group of high school instrumentalists performing at various events on and off-campus, our music program aims to provide students of all levels with the skills needed to continue with music as a hobby or to develop into professional artists.

Music Offerings at Northwest Academy

List of 3 items.

  • Guitar

    Guitar classes are also offered in the Preparatory and Exploratory levels in middle school.

    Preparatory Guitar serves the specific needs of beginner and intermediate-level players and provides an opportunity to build and refine skills through playing with others and occasional guided individual practice. Students will explore a variety of genres including blues, pop, folk, rock, etc., and everyone will have the opportunity to play their favorite songs along the way. 

    In high school, the intermediate guitar course expands on the middle school courses, where students improve their technique and knowledge of the instrument and music theory through collaborative playing and guided individual practice.
  • Music

    Fundamental Music is the beginning music course offered to middle school students. Preparatory Music is an intermediate-level group (although some beginners may join) that continues with the basics learned in Fundamental Band. In Exploratory Music students rehearse and perform symphonic literature for band. Fundamentals of rhythm, intonation, instrumental technique, theory, and history will also be covered. 

    In high school students participate in a variety of instrumental music ensembles, from Beginning Band through to the Angry Pigeon Music Collective (APMC). Beginning Band is based on the process of preparing and performing music, and students explore many different genres and forms of music. The APMC, an advanced ensemble, performs at school events, outside, venues, and festivals in and around Portland.
  • Vocal Music

    The Fundamental Vocal Music class focuses on music appreciation and technique through practice and performance. Students learn songs from many cultures and time periods and understand how they relate to music now and how they can help our voices develop.

    Preparatory Vocal Music is an intermediate-level group (although some beginners may join) that continues with the basics learned in Fundamental Vocal Music. In this class, students develop their instrumental techniques in order to perform more complex music. 

    The Exploratory Vocal Music class focuses on deepening students' understanding of vocal techniques and theory. We will use music from many different genres, time periods, languages, and styles to further our understanding of music theory and good vocal technique. As a group, we will work on blend, intermediate harmonies, and intermediate rhythms to allow us to practice and perform more difficult repertoire.

    After the middle school track of Fundamental, Preparatory, and Exploratory Vocal Music courses, high school students can join the Vocal Music Collective, which is a performance class with high expectations and regular, on- and off-campus performance opportunities throughout the school year. This ensemble has an emphasis on accompanied and a cappella close harmonic music from standard jazz and contemporary repertoire.