The Music School, hosted by the Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church, is nonprofit, with open enrollment and scholarship assistance available. We believe that learning music should be fun, and open to all ages and abilities.
The Music School offers comprehensive musicianship through active learning for children and adults. Our music educators are highly qualified and share a love of teaching. Our curriculum offers group experiences, private lessons, ensemble participation, theater, and camps. Our Music School family is a mission outreach of Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church, and we love sharing our love of music!
We believe that learning music well can be fun! And we believe in the effectiveness of learning in groups. Group experiences offer students the opportunity to participate in comprehensive musical learning through shared experiences.
All classes and lessons meet once a week. All classes (except Musical Play and Music for Young Children) meet without parent participation. This provides a better learning situation and develops wonderful teacher/student rapport.
Our class curricula have been especially designed for each level, providing appropriate and innovative learning materials for each age group. Each curriculum provides a logical progression of study as students continue through our courses.
- Our preschool classes are built on activities including singing, playing, listening, rhythms, and creative movement.
- Our school age classes include both large and small group activities, as well as individual projects that foster enjoyment in the process of making music.
All our students, whether majoring in piano or not, learn to use the piano, because the keyboard provides the most graphical representation of how music is organized.
Our private and small group teachers individualize the approach that best suits each student. We particularly want to provide students with a good understanding of music reading, not just playing by finger number, hand position, or rote. In addition to Just Playing, the basic music reading method used by the whole school, students will study a variety of repertoire pieces based on their interests and the best choices to help them progress–classical, folk, and fun music.
Students are given a range of performance opportunities, including preschool programs, choral festivals and concerts, musical theater productions, student recitals, and community performances.
ABOUT THE MUSIC SCHOOL
In 1977, Doris Harry and a small group of music educators sought to create a music school where children could learn about music by exploring, reading, and piano. Thirteen children enrolled in a twelve-week pilot program.
Today, The Music School has an enrollment of over 600 students throughout the year, ranging in age from 12 months to well over 80 years old. We offer a comprehensive, hands-on approach to musical growth and experiences, which includes listening, singing, rhythmic activities, instrumental instruction, games and music theory.
Our faculty is made up of highly qualified music educators with extensive teaching and performing experience, with degrees that range from bachelors to doctoral degrees. All our teachers, staff and assistants share a love of music and children.
Music School alumni are making music from coast to coast, as professionals and as amateurs in orchestras, choirs, operas, and musicals on and off Broadway, and are sharing music as educators, choir directors, band teachers and accompanists.
Doris Harry, Director
Doris Harry has been director and teacher at The Music School since its beginnings in 1977. Doris earned her Bachelor and Masters of Music at The College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati in Ohio. She has additional hours in the M.B.A./Arts Administration program at Golden Gate University. Doris began her work in Cincinnati in the 1970’s in research, development, and curriculum writing for Baldwin Music, a company developing pianos for group lessons. Doris has taught students from preschool through the university level. She has made two educational music television series and multiple recordings for children. Her published works focus on music curriculum and songs for children. Doris directed children’s choirs for many years and still does workshops across the country. She continues to write music and record CD’s, and she remains on the cutting edge of music education today.
We are so happy to be launching our new web site so we can continue to improve our communication! It has been quite a year with our new web-based office system and we appreciate your cooperation while we have all been learning.
The musical year has been filled with extensive learning experiences and fabulous performances, including our choral festival, spring musical, 25 student recitals and 2 faculty concerts. I am so lucky to have such a talented staff. Our teachers are experienced music educators who love working with their students…from age 2 through adults!
I get wonderful feedback from both current and past Music School families, and my favorite quote of the year came this fall: “We love this school. There are a lot places where you can get piano lessons or other instruction, but THIS SCHOOL HAS HEART!”
We are glad to have you as part of our music family.
– Doris Harry, Director
Jan Williams came to teach at The Music School in the summer of 1978 and her love and influence have never left. For 19 years, her love for teaching music and working with children touched the hearts of all who had the good fortune of knowing her. Jan’s creativity and hard work were inspirational and resulted in many firsts for The Music School. We can thank Jan for the Teddy Bear Concert, Music and Art Around the World, and Music and Art Camp. She taught in almost every curriculum area at the school, but we will remember her most for the Young Musician Violin and Kaleidoscope classes. Writing music, designing and building sets, making costumes, singing, playing the piano—Jan became the spirit of The Music School. Jan lost her battle with cancer on October 22, 1996. We remember her as a wonderful musician with great creativity, who made music an exciting adventure for her students. All proceeds from our Teddy Bear Concert go to a scholarship fund in Jan’s memory.