The Arts


K – 12 Curriculum

Punahou’s nationally recognized music program runs from kindergarten through the Academy. Tens of thousands of students have participated in music education at Punahou through both the Music Department curriculum and Music School, which provides private and group instruction to both Punahou students and those in the community. Although these two entities are distinctive, they work in collaboration to guide the overall music education.

From kindergarten through fourth grade, Punahou students take part in a comprehensive general music curriculum, as well as Chapel, May Day celebrations and other events. Starting in fifth grade, students select a music direction – either band, orchestra, choir or general music. They continue on this path (or can choose another musical route) through eighth grade, with opportunities to participate in musical theatre productions and other co-curricular offerings. In the Academy, music becomes an elective, yet the offerings expand considerably.

List of 4 items.

  • Kindergarten – Grade 4

    Music begins with the classroom teacher and progresses to activities that engage increasingly complex skills, with the guidance of a music specialist. Through grade 6, music is taught as a special class by a music teacher.
  • Grades 5 and 6

    The opportunity is available to take beginning group instruction in all wind, string and percussion instruments, as well as sing in the choir.
  • Grades 7 and 8

    Students can choose from choir, orchestra and band on a beginning, intermediate or advanced musical ability. This is the first concentrated study of music literature of various periods and styles. Several concerts are presented during the school year. For seventh- and eighth-graders not involved with one of the above musical groups, a class in music exploration is required.
  • Academy

    Students must earn two credits in performing arts courses in order to graduate. Beginning in grade 9, students may fulfill these requirements through participation in music courses, including performance-based classes, Music Theory, Music History or Perspectives in the Arts. Concerts and other performances periodically culminate their classwork and demonstrate their developing skills, knowledge and understanding.

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