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A Week in Music
Lower School Music Classes


Greetings from the Music Conservatory! We thought it would be fun to share some recent updates from Lower School music classes: 

In Violin Class, students are getting more proficient bowing open strings and more fluent at reading and playing notes. The violinists love performing for each other and are also doing some ear training where they echo what Violin Teacher Turi McClain plays. 

In Cello Class, students are playing songs and exercises “pizzicato” (plucking with fingers). They are also doing exercises with pencils in anticipation of bowing soon. Check out this quick video of our young cellists performing the French Folk Song with Music Teacher Amy Leung.

In Chorus, students are exploring songs in duo and trio collaborations. The singers are also building repertoire for future performances, including working on the song West Coast with their director Louise Nalbandian. 

In Rock Band, students are playing Seven Nation Army and Takin’ Care of Business. Music Teacher Ari Giancaterino is also working with instrumental soloists on improvising, working with the rhythm section on how to play more together, and working with singers on performance techniques. 

In Percussion, we are very excited to have taken delivery of some brand new marimbas! Check out the photo of our first day getting to play them! Currently, we are learning an African-style marimba piece for a future performance. It has three different marimba parts and we will add some drums and improvisation to the final arrangement as well.


3rd Grade Music Class


Plus, here is a behind-the-scenes description of Third Grade Band practice, as told by Music Teacher Steve Pierce:

“We begin class with an activity we call ‘The Seven Patterns,’” explains Mr. Pierce. “Each pattern is a different combination of pats, claps, snaps and other body percussion that we do as rhythms in time. I love how this activity ‘syncs up’ the classroom and transitions us into making music together.”

“After the seven patterns, we stand up to sing "You Can Make It If You Try" by Sly & the Family Stone. While singing we do some movements to get the bodies moving too.”

“Now for some Third Grade Band practice! We've been working on a version of "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black-Eyed Peas with students taking turns on ukuleles and xylophones while singing. For this day it was a three-part band and soon we will add a drum part to make it a four part band. The class band is a great opportunity for students to apply skills we learned earlier in the school year. Skills like playing chords on the ukulele, playing two mallet chord patterns on xylophone, singing and playing an instrument at the same time. We also get to work on group skills, or band skills, like playing in time together, changing chords together and playing the last note together for a satisfying ending.”

At SD, we believe that a day full of music is a good day indeed!