The Crowden School, where music changes everything!

What is The Crowden School's educational philosophy?

We believe that the active engagement in making music, and the fun that children have in doing it, fosters a joy in learning that lasts a lifetime.

To that end, The Crowden School offers comprehensive musical training in balance with a first-class academic education. At the heart of the program is chamber music, small ensembles in which our students play music collaboratively with others.

Crowden’s ensemble-based curriculum instills in its students the collaborative, creative, and critical-thinking skills to succeed in life. This approach cultivates an environment of empathy and trust, fostering close bonds of friendship and respect among students.

In music study and in all areas, Crowden students learn the importance of discipline, preparation and perseverance to achieve success.

Communication and concentration skills, self-confidence, curiosity, and a life-long love of music are just a few benefits of Crowden’s program.

Is The Crowden School only for children who want to become musicians?

By providing a broad education with a creative focus, the Crowden School prepares its students to excel in a variety of pursuits after they graduate. Crowden alums can be found all over the world, with careers in fields ranging from business to medicine, academia to the arts.

Crowden School alumni are well-rounded individuals and confident leaders, ready to meet the artistic and intellectual challenges of the high school years and beyond. Their creative problem-solving skills are valued by all major private and public college preparatory high schools.

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.

What if my child has never played an instrument?

We welcome beginners on string instruments in the third, fourth and fifth grades. At the audition, we value aptitude and enthusiasm for music as much as experience. These traits can be demonstrated by playing any musical instrument or by singing.

Candidates applying to sixth–eighth grades must have prior experience playing an instrument.

Candidates for the piano program at all grades are expected to demonstrate facility with sight-reading.

What are the entrance requirements?

Prospective students are expected to demonstrate academic and musical proficiency at the appropriate level for their grade.

Academic proficiency is determined by review of transcripts or report cards from the past two years, and by the results of the Crowden School Entrance Exam. The exam includes sections on English and Math.

Musical proficiency is determined through an audition process. Applicants are asked to play a short piece or sing a song (less than two minutes) that best shows off their current musical level. Members of the music faculty will listen and may ask a few questions. Students are also asked to complete a music theory placement test to assess their level.

Read more about the Steps to Apply to The Crowden School.

What is the daily school schedule?

The school day begins at 8:00am for all students. Third graders are dismissed at 2:05pm, and fourth–eighth graders are dismissed at 3:30pm. The school building opens at 7:40am, and aftercare is available for all students until 6:00pm.

What is the tuition, and do you offer financial aid?

The annual tuition for the 2019-2020 school year is:

Grades 4–5: $25,000
Grades 6–8: $27,325

The Crowden School does have a need-based Financial Aid program, and qualified students are encouraged to apply regardless of their ability to pay.

What is the parent volunteer requirement?

The Crowden community is vibrant and dynamic, and parents have many opportunities to get involved and build connections. The Crowden School requires the following number of hours for parent participation:

  • 25 hours per year for families with one student
  • 35 hours per year for families with two or more students
  • 10 hours per year for families with a single parent

Which high schools do Crowden graduates attend?

Crowden prepares its students to succeed in a variety of school environments. Most Crowden students are accepted into their first choice high school. Throughout the eighth grade year, we help students get ready for high school through our High School Prep Course.

Recent high school choices include: Albany High School, Athenian School, Bentley School, Berkeley High School, College Preparatory School, Head Royce School, Lick-Wilmerding, Marin Academy, Maybeck High School, San Domenico School.

Additional Questions?

If you would like to learn more about The Crowden School, please contact Hande Erdem, Admissions Manager, at admissions@crowden.org or 510.559.6910 ext. 122.

The Crowden Music Center is a member of EBISA (East Bay Independent Schools Association) and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, national and ethnic origin, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.

The Crowden School

A coeducational day school for grades 3–8, the Crowden School provides a distinguished education with chamber music at its core.