What We Do
"If we can get them to fall in love with music, everything else is easy."
The Music Program prepares students for ensemble performance, emphasizing skills such as listening, collaboration and creativity while balancing technical learning and hands-on experience. Teachers and coaches have been successful in helping students to "own" their work – the result is that students invest themselves far beyond the requirements. A progression of courses has evolved that allows students to develop their individual skills in a group setting: opportunities abound for singers and instrumentalists to work in small groups at their own level, and in a wide variety of music styles that they love.
Music students receive the level of coaching and teaching that their level of maturity and experience dictates. For the younger students, that often means a lot of adult presence; for the older ones it can mean that the adults become consultants as the students work to make lasting musical statements through performance and recording. Leadership from experienced students is highly valued and has become part of the Performing Arts Department culture. The more experienced ones pass on their legacy and high standards.
A student in one of our advanced ensembles once wrote, "The best thing about this music program is that we're forced to go away and work it out for ourselves". Our structure is simple: The adults work the most with the least-experienced. For us, the definition of an advanced ensemble is one that doesn't need the teacher anymore.