Moraga School District Music Program Plans for a Bright Future
Music education in Moraga has really come a long way in the last two years. In 2012, the music program was increased for 4th and 5th grade students to include band, choir and string music instruction (THank you MEF!!!). Through the Music Core Program, 4th and 5th grade students at Camino Pablo, Los Perales, and Rheem Elementary schools now choose which of these three music classes they want to take, empowering them to take charge of their own music education!
The music program for younger students has also expanded! All lower-grade elementary students in Moraga will now have thirty minutes of music instruction either weekly or bi-weekly, depending on their grade level. In these music lessons, the students learn about basic music skills - keeping time, reading music notation, playing instruments in small ensembles and singing. In third grade, students start learning to play the recorder to help increase their music reading literacy.
Music at JM is also going strong. 2013 saw the addition of an advanced 7th/8th grade string orchestra class, making a total of 5 daily music class offerings. JM’s bands, orchestras and choir all participated in local state adjudicated music festivals and consistently scored in the excellent or superior levels. The choir received three superior ratings, with a highest score of 98/100!
All of the Moraga School District music teachers are active in music and supporting music education statewide as California Music Educators Association (CMEA) members. Sara Stafford, Elementary Band Director, plays flute and piccolo with the DVC Symphonic Band. Adam Noel, JMIS Music Director and Elementary String Director, plays bass and sings at San Ramon Valley Bible Church, sings in musical theater with the Peter Pan Foundation, and lectured on music education twice at San Jose State University and also at the California All-State Music Education Conference last February. Mary La Face, General Music Educator and Elementary Choir Director has just joined the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and will be singing with them throughout the coming year.
MEF generously endowed the elementary music program with $15,000 to purchase instruments for the band and string programs. The band program purchased 6 flutes, 8 clarinets, 4 trumpets, 6 pbones (plastic trombones), and 2 bass drums. The string program has purchased 4 violins, 6 violas, and 2 cellos. The choir program also purchased new music for the upper elementary grades.
Currently, the Moraga School District is asking for instrument donations to help supply the growing pool of instrumental players. Anyone who has a gently-used musical instrument is encouraged to contact the Moraga School District to arrange a donation.