Saturday Music School

On Saturdays throughout the school-year, ELM provides group and ensemble based music education to 120 youth in San Rafael's Canal neighborhood. All students start on the soprano recorder, chorus, and Orff mallet instruments through which they learn ear training, music theory, and music-reading skills. Saturday is when students from all schools come together to participate in ensembles. After students demonstrate basic music competence and commitment, they are offered opportunities to transition to other instruments. Our Saturday Music School compliments and deepens our core program of instruction during the week by providing choral and instrumental ensemble experiences. 

We have two divisions:

  • Pre-orchestra Division students, ages 7-9, all sing in the ELM chorus. They also study soprano recorder and Orff mallet instruments through which they learn ear training, music theory, and music-reading skills. After students demonstrate basic music competence and commitment, they are offered opportunities to transition to other instruments. 
  • Upper Division/Orchestral Program students, ages 10 and older, transition to an orchestral instrument. We currently offer: violin, cello, flute, clarinet, oboe, trumpet and trombone. Students study instrument method and technique, music theory, play in chamber ensembles, and in orchestra..  

All students have multiple ensemble and performance opportunities. Every student teaches his/her peers and mentors students in younger divisions—a wonderful way to build skills and friendships.  

Parent involvement Saturdays provide opportunities for ELM parents, grandparents and families to contribute through attending parent music classes, volunteer in a myriad of ways – from bringing snacks to monitoring recess times, to organizing fundraisers and reach out to and welcome new families. We have many opportunities for parents to assume leadership roles in ELM, by becoming a parent 'rep' for their child's section, working to plan guest speakers, and concert preparation. This year, we are offering ukulele classes for parents and are excited that they accompany their children in concert.