Music class is participatory by design, where students perform and create their own compositions.

Using the Orff Schulwerk approach of imitation, exploration, and improvisation, students become familiar with the basic elements of music: rhythm, pitch, form, timbre,

and meter.

The first benchmarks are marching or clapping to a steady beat, repeating short rhythmic phrases, and matching two tones in a singing voice. By the time students complete fourth grade, they will be able to perform multipart pieces in a variety of genres and styles from around the world by singing as well as playing pitched and unpitched percussion and recorder. Along the way, students will play games, dance, use body percussion, and perform with a variety of instruments to practice their musical skills.

Music of various styles and cultures is introduced across the grades, with an emphasis on Spanish language repertoire to collaborate with the Spanish curriculum. Lessons also support learning across others subject areas, such as math (fractions), social studies, and social-emotional learning. Basic rhythmic notation begins in first grade and extends to the following years. Overall, music is used as a tool to build community. It is woven into many school activities such as weekly singing times in kindergarten and first grade, morning assemblies, winter concert, and graduation.

©2020 Alta Vista School
 for curious young minds |

Lower School Campus:

450 Somerset Street | San Francisco, CA 94134 | ​Tel: 415-467-3700 

Middle School Campus:

2558 Mission Street | San Francisco, CA 94110 | Tel: 415-510-8492