Lower School Music Conservatory
The Music Conservatory offers a wide array of options for Lower School students including strings, piano, and woodwinds. Whether a student is just beginning an instrument, or is at an advanced level, the Music Conservatory faculty works with parents to place the student in lessons and ensembles that serve the student's musical needs. Conservatory students participate in recitals throughout the school year.
Students from Kindergarten through 5th grade have classroom music instruction during the school day, where they use their voices, rhythm instruments, and movement to develop their musical sense, and note reading to develop their musical literacy. In addition, each grade has specific additional opportunities for students to broaden their musical education.
Kindergarten students have the option to take an afterschool “Introduction to Instrumental Music” class with noted instructor Cindy Cohen. Weekly guest artists teach our youngest budding Mozarts about the instruments of the orchestra, world music, and pop and folk idioms, complete with hands-on opportunities to make music on small-scale instruments. Plans are underway to integrate a version of this enriching course into the school day.
1st & 2nd Grade students can enroll in our free afterschool introductory violin and recorder classes, which meet twice a week. The Level I class offers students the chance to explore both instruments, and the Level II class continues to focus on one instrument of their choice. These classes also participate in three recitals throughout the year.
2nd & 3rd Grade students can also enroll in the Prep Glee Club, taught by Joanna Berg. This group meets at lunch recess Tuesdays and performs in school recitals and off-campus concerts. 4th & 5th Grade students can enroll in the Glee Club, also taught by Dr. Berg, which meets Wednesdays at lunch recess.
In 3rd grade, students have an additional Instrumental Music class as part of the school day, where they get to learn either violin, cello, or flute.
4th & 5th Grade students choose their musical path between chorus, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, or saxophone. All students perform in our December holiday performance and spring “Arts in Action” concert.
Whereas the grade-specific Instrumental Music classes are primarily technique classes, lower school students also taking private lessons (at San Domenico or elsewhere) can also join the Lower School Orchestra or Wildcat Band, ensembles that perform at events such as recitals and Arts in Action. The LSO performs alongside the Virtuoso Program orchestra at our year-end orchestra concert, and the Panther Band also takes the stage at our annual Day on the Green.
Families interested in our programs are always welcome to visit the Conservatory where we are always happy to give tours and answer any questions you may have about private or group instruction, elective course offerings, after school classes, and performance schedules.
Dr. Joanna Berg
K-5 Music; 2nd and 3rd Prep Glee Club; 4th and 5th Glee Club; Bell Choir
Joanna (Dr. Berg) joins us as a Lower School faculty member this year after working as a substitute teacher for violin classes last year at SD. Joanna is a professional flutist, violist, violinist and vocalist. She earned her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and 2011 respectively. More recently she was a flute instructor at McCallum Fine Arts Academy in TX where she taught group and 1:1 lessons and a faculty member of Anthropos Arts where she provided individualized music instruction to students at low income schools. Joanna has coached chamber music groups and has been a guest lecturer at several institutions including the University of Montana. Over this past summer, Joanna was trained in Responsive Classroom.
Joanna grew up in Ashland, OR. She is thrilled to be working at San Domenico in our music department and in our lower school. Joanna’s main classroom and her office will be in our Assembly Hall. She will also occasionally be meeting with K-5 students in their homeroom classrooms for music instruction.
The Music Conservatory instructors are professionally trained musicians who are eager to pass on their extensive knowledge and passion for music.