Upper Level Music In the higher grades, students spend more time learning music theory: notation, tonal centers and chord structure. Melodies are written and set to lyric. Singing focuses on tonal quality and harmonizing. Students also study the various historical periods of Western Music and the qualities that make each period distinct. Major composers from each period are highlighted and the connections to Art History are made. Beginning in sixth grade, students study the piano, guitar and percussion, and other instruments of their choice, in collaboration with Wells College. Instrumental music focuses on contemporary popular music and accompaniments.