A Language Common to All
As a school and a community, we are committed to giving our children a strong music program. Even in this challenging economic climate, we are determined to stand behind our mission to serve the whole child; providing programs to inspire the heart as fully as we educate the brain.
Music and children are natural companions. We create a safe, inviting place for young people to explore, create, celebrate and grow with music. Often awakening a lifelong love, our programs provide the depth and training to support students wherever their talent takes them.
Beginning in elementary school, students sing and dance; try out movement and simple theatre; and explore xylophone, marimba, guitar, drums, tambourine, recorders and keyboard. The music of many cultures animates this nurturing, playful program. Experiencing the delight of performing together, students build trust and self-confidence early. In addition to weekly music class and at least two community productions a year, many students go deeper in an after-school elective music class.
By middle school, students are making meaningful connections between music and life. Our student-centered program builds on this developing interest by offering electives geared specifically to teens. In addition to appealing to the widest cross section of students, we specialize in reaching out to students who don’t feel successful in other areas of school. Through the years, many young people struggling with learning or social problems have found a path to support, belonging and success in the music department.
Middle school begins with everyone learning an instrument. Choosing marimba, keyboard, guitar, or a wind instrument, sixth graders develop their skills, learn to read music and take part in a community performance at the end of the year.
Students in 7th to 12th grades have many options. The World Beat Ensemble focuses on African music. The choir’s holistic approach helps students learn concentration, breathing and how to find their own natural voice. The Rock and Roll Band is a uniquely student-centered class. Forming their own band, students sing, play guitar, trap sets, base, and keyboard and often write and record their own music.
Local musical professionals and others regularly volunteer in the classroom with individual coaching, technical help or performance preparation.
“The music department at Lopez offers a curriculum that is relevant to youth in today’s electronic world. My son, now a documentary film maker in NYC, learned guitar in middle school and has used that knowledge to write and record musical scores for his own films and those of other film makers.” —Lopez parent
Live Music on Lopez:
While state mandates have dictated tough budget cuts, we are extremely fortunate to have a community willing to step in. The Lopez School Music Advocacy Foundation is one example. A nonprofit organization, LiveMusicOnLopez funds opportunities for top regional and national musicians to mentor, inspire and perform for our students. The world-class Overton Berry Ensemble, Pearl Django, the Randy Oxford Band, Rory Block, Blues Street Jazz Voices, the Susan Carr Ensemble, the nationally renowned Garfield High School Jazz Band, Art Foxall and others have performed on campus in the last two years.
“People relate to each other through music. Music helps students with academic capability, thought processes and social skills. It creates lifetime bonds, crosses borders and builds bridges. We want to bring our own personal and community resources to music and the school: to bring in musicians who are educators and educators who are musicians.” —Dean and Carolyn Jacobsen, co-founders of the Music in the Schools Foundation