Music Experiences

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At Woodland Hill Montessori School, we value music education. The benefits expand far beyond the scope of learning how to sing or play an instrument; students who are given musical education experiences learn skills that support them academically, socially, emotionally, and so much more. To read more about the way music education is so important, check out this list from the National Association for Musical Education

Beginning at the Primary level, all Woodland Hill students participate in weekly music classes.  Susie Gordon teaches children at the Primary and Lower Elementary levels, while Iggy Calabria works with our older students in Upper Elementary and Middle School. These regular classes give children opportunities to learn how to sing, to explore various instruments, and to make connections between music and the world around them. Susie and Iggy often collaborate with our classroom teachers so the children’s music experience has a direct connection to their cultural work. Several times each year, the children perform for the school community (parents included!), giving them an opportunity to gain confidence and share what they have learned.

For families who are interested in supplementing regular music classes, we offer a wide variety of opportunities, including:

Interested in learning more?

Guitar lessons

Led by Charles Austin, guitar lessons are available to children in grades three through eight. Private instruction begins in September and concludes in May.  For more information or to sign up, click here.

Violin lessons

Dr. Andrew Snow leads Woodland Hill’s Suzuki violin program. This method was developed by Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki, who believed learning to play an instrument was similar to language acquisition. He created the method to reflect these ideas, and it is celebrated around the world today. Much like Dr. Montessori’s vision, Suzuki believed that his methods might help teach children on a deeper level, developing their character and nurturing them as positive global citizens. Typically, children ages three- and four-years old may participate in the Magic Violin program, while children ages five-years and older begin regular lessons.

To learn more about the violin program at WHMS, visit this page. A registration form can be found here.

Piano lessons

Piano instructors Sue Anthony, Chuck Lamb, and Cathy Schane-Lydon, offer private piano lessons to WHMS studnets once per week for 30 or 45 minutes.  For more information please access our registration form.

School band

Charles Austin instructs an after-school group available to children in grades 4 through 8.  Students may choose to study bass, clarinet, trumpet, flute, saxophone, or drums/percussion. Aftercare before lessons will be provided free of charge if needed.  Children will have the opportunity to perform during our Spring Concert. For more information or to view the registration form click here.

Need to rent an instrument? A number of our families rent from John Keal Music in Albany. Instruments are delivered directly to Woodland Hill. For more information or to rent, visit their website

For students taking violin lessons, please visit Shar Music's website. 

Learn more about our music teachers here.