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The Joy of Making Music

The performing arts teachers share with students the joy of making music and performing for others. Our faculty members are talented educators, professional musicians, and accomplished directors, allowing Sanford School to offer a high-caliber program—in our state-of-the-art Geipel Center for Performing Arts—in which students experience music as both an academic discipline and an art form.

Our curriculum teaches students from Preschool through 12th grade to

  • Understand and apply musical concepts.
  • Learn and apply theory and techniques.
  • Appreciate a wealth of music literature.
  • Perform with polish and confidence.

Express yourself through music!

Throughout the school day, students may participate in Sanford’s award-winning choirs and bands and take advantage of on-campus, group music instruction and fee-based private lessons.

Sanford’s music education teaches discipline, teamwork, and goal-setting; develops students’ work ethic and artistry; and helps them realize their own talents and abilities through individual and collective challenges. Our performing arts center offers spacious rehearsal rooms, dedicated practice rooms, a professional theater, a dance studio, and even a music technology lab! Let us entertain you!

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Curriculum & Ensembles

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  • Lower School

    Our music curriculum stimulates children's natural interest in music and helps them discover basic concepts using the Carl Orff-Schulwerk approach. Each elementary grade attends music classes twice weekly to engage with choral work, recordings, game songs, dances, and instruments. To gain experience in front of an audience, we perform for families, peers, and throughout the local community. Optional fee-based private music lessons start in first grade, and fourth-grade students may begin our band program or join a chorus.
  • Middle School

    Students in fifth and sixth grades meet twice weekly for performing arts class. Playing instruments, singing, and moving their bodies remain essential to the program, with the addition of improvising and playing the recorder. At this level, students are ready for more difficult musical concepts and advanced techniques.
    In seventh and eighth grades, students who do not participate in band or chorus meet twice weekly for performing arts class. Topics include music of different cultures, musical concepts and music history, perceptive listening, musical styles, and the varying functions of music in society. Students will complete performance and composition projects and enjoy an introductory guitar unit.
    We eagerly invite all Middle School students to join our choir, concert band, and jazz band. Students also have the option to receive fee-based private lessons in voice or their instrument of choice.
  • Upper School

    High school-aged students must successfully complete a one-trimester credit in the performing arts. Choices include:
    • Concert Band
    • Jazz Band
    • Concert Choir
    • Vocal Ensemble
    • Music Theory
    • Music Exploration
    Contact Clint Williams or consult the Upper School Curriculum Guide, unless already logged in; then link to Resources.] to learn more about each ensemble or class.
    We eagerly invite all Upper School students to be active members of the department’s ensembles and classes.

Private Music Lessons

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  • Offerings

    Sanford students study voice and specific instruments with private instructors who are leaders in the Delaware arts community as well as great educators. Non-Sanford students may also take lessons with us. Instrumental lessons start at ages that we believe are developmentally appropriate for student success, given each instrument’s demands. Lessons take place right here on Sanford’s campus on the following instruments

    •  Piano (Grades 1–12)
    •  Violin (Grades 1–12)
    •  Band Instruments (Grades 4–12)
    •  Guitar (Grades 4–12)
    •  Voice (Grades 6–12)
  • Scheduling

    Students and families work with the private teacher to schedule lessons at a time mutually agreed upon. When possible, we try to schedule during the school day.
  • Fees

    $30 (30-minute lesson)
    $45 (45-minute lesson)
    Contact Clint Williams for more information about our program, costs, private lesson faculty, or to arrange for private music instruction.

Music News

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  • Seniors Sing their Way to All-State Recognition

    In mid-November Smyrna High School and Smyrna Middle School hosted the All-State Chorus auditions. Each student was required to learn an audition song and perform it before a panel of judges, competing against “the best of the best” chorus students from the entire state. This year, Sanford Upper School seniors Katie Bruxelles, Chris Keiser, and Willilam Zimmer earned medals which designate them as All-State honorees.
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