- Where are you located?
- Is this a school for children who want to become professional musicians?
- Do you accept beginners?
- What is the daily school schedule?
- How does the music program work with the academic program?
- What is the average class size?
- Do you offer after-school child care?
- Which high schools do Crowden graduates attend?
- Do you require an entrance exam?
- Can my child keep his or her current music teacher?
- What if my child wants to study both piano and a string instrument?
- How do the musicianship and composition classes work?
- Does Crowden offer any foreign languages?
- What's the balance between homework and practicing an instrument?
- Additional Questions?
The first two hours of the school day (8–10am) are devoted to music instruction (instrument technique, musicianship, orchestra, and chamber ensembles). Music assignments change after each concert.
The academic program runs from 10:10 am until 3:30 pm and includes English, history, math, science, French, art, chorus, physical education, and music history. Find academic schedules by grade here.
The study of music enhances students' cognitive abilities by training the brain in critical thinking. Students develop the ability to sustain a high level of concentration and attention to detail while working in a cooperative manner. They become more creative, effective, empathetic communicators. The same set of skills honed in ensemble training crosses over into academic classrooms. Students develop a confidence in their own abilities. The smaller class setting encourages discussion and a greater depth of understanding. The best evidence supporting Crowden's approach to education is the success rate of its graduates in high school admissions and beyond. Whether they choose a professional career in music or pursue other interests, music remains an integral part of their lives. Crowden graduates describe their experience as transformative, and go on to excel in their chosen fields.
Recent high school choices include: Athenian School, Berkeley High School, College Preparatory School, Head Royce School, Lick-Wilmerding, Marin Academy, Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, San Domenico School Virtuoso Program.
Yes, academic testing and auditions will be held on the following dates:
- February 8, 2017, 9:15am–12:15pm
Lower School Auditions (for applicants to grades 4 and 5)
- February 15, 2017, 9:15am–12:15pm
Upper School Auditions (for applicants to grades 6. 7, and 8)
If the child demonstrates high proficiency on both instruments we will make every effort to make it work within our schedule and our available resources. Other factors to consider include the requisite practice needed for both instruments and the child's ability to juggle our school's musical and academic demands. We offer an annual, informal piano workshop to both Upper School students and Lower School students who primarily play a stringed instrument at Crowden.
In general, homework and practice is assigned daily, using the guidelines below.
Fourth and Fifth Grades: approximately 60 minutes daily
Lower School students learn how to write down homework assignments, complete them, and turn them in punctually. Homework is assigned regularly and adjustments are made accordingly throughout the year. Lower School students will typically be asked to practice at home for a total of 20 minutes per day.
Sixth through Eighth Grades: approximately 120 minutes daily
Typically, homework and practice should not exceed 120 minutes of consistent, uninterrupted effort. Upper School students spend on average no more than 60 minutes per school night on homework, and will typically be asked to practice at home for a total of 60 minutes per day. Part of the Upper School experience is adjusting to specialized content-area teachers. Upper School students learn that each teacher has different expectations for class participation and homework. Some teachers assign homework as part of what develops from the day’s classroom discussions; others find giving a weekly assignment more useful. By the time students reach Upper School, it is part of their academic responsibility to write down assignments in class and to check the school’s on-line grading system for homework.
If a student is regularly exceeding these guidelines, teachers should be advised so that appropriate adjustments can be made. Note that at the beginning of the year and after holidays some students take longer to adjust to the demands of their new or changing schedules.
Healthy playing habits are of prime importance to all performers. We urge families and private teachers to communicate promptly with the school if a student exhibits any signs of strain or if there are concerns about his or her participation in school activities.