The High Meadow music program is central to our mission and vital to our community. It engages students’ innate curiosity and encourages creative, personal expression, fosters collaboration across ages and interests, and builds intelligence that can be applied across disciplines.
Last year, we expanded our instrumental and choral program to include the Nest (aka 3rd and 4th Grade) Choir, ukele instruction for all 3rd graders, and guitar for all 4th graders.
This year, we’ve added wind instruments and vocal coaching to our upper school elective program, and introduced a new violin program for 1st and 2nd grade students.
Our violin program is just one example of the depth of our community’s engagement with music on and off campus. While the program began to fill a gap in early elementary instrumental instruction, it has quickly become a community effort to provide a musical experience that will have lifelong reverberations for our students.
The Suzuki Method is an ideal way to introduce young children to the world of instrumentation. It emphasizes every child’s ability to learn the language of music, as well as the value of parent involvement and listening to music.
Lead teacher for both grade levels is Olivier Manchon, parent of Gustav (PreK), and a professional composer and performer. Clare Manchon, Olivier’s wife and composing partner, serves as an administrator of the program, and was responsible for connecting with Hungry for Music, which donated six violins to High Meadow.
Sarah Perotta, parent of Jack (3rd) and Reid (K) and former High Meadow music teacher,assists Olivier during lessons, as well as working in other areas of our music program.
At the beginning of the year, each 1st and 2nd grade student was fitted for their own violin, which comes home for weekly practice. So far, students have worked on properly removing and replacing the violin in the case, naming the instrument’s parts, holding the violin, and holding the bow.
In learning to play violin, Olivier says, “gratification will almost never be instant. My goal is to make this learning process fun, engaging, and try to instill real excitement for the instrument.”
We want to hear from you! When has music made a difference in your life? We’re collecting stories and would love to know yours.