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Preparatory Music Dept.
"The musical education I received at the Preparatory Music Department continues to enrich my life everyday. I hold dear to my heart the incredible faculty members, wonderful musical performances, and lifelong friends I made at PMD".  ~ Colleen Moore

Preparatory Music Department Classes

String Enrichment Classes and Ensembles

These classes meet weekly throughout the fall and spring semesters. Students from beginner to advanced gain the experience of playing in a group through the use of various repertoire and ensemble music that compliments their private study. There are at least two performance opportunities per semester.

Da Capo Youth Orchestra

Designed for the intermediate-level string player to provide a stimulating, high quality ensemble experience with instruction in orchestral technique and ensemble playing. DCYO offers young string players the opportunity to improve their technique and develop their ensemble skills while performing more advanced literature with others in an enjoyable and supportive setting. There are at least two performance opportunities per year.

Intermezzo String Orchestra

An early intermediate string experience for violinists, violists, and cellists which will explore string orchestra and chamber music arrangements for young musicians, with a deeper focus on basic instrumental and orchestral performance skills. This class is geared for students between the Divisi String Orchestra and Da Capo Youth Orchestra levels. There will be at least two performance opportunities and the possibility of more in each year.

Divisi String Orchestra

A beginning level ensemble for violinists, violists and cellists with no required prior ensemble experience. This ensemble group will focus on beginning note reading, along with basic instrumental and orchestral performance skills through repertoire built around the Suzuki Method as well as popular and classical excerpts. At least two performances are scheduled each semester, with the possibility of more.

Cello Choir

Classes are for beginning cellists, with a focus on refining technical and musical skills with an emphasis on Suzuki repertoire. Rhythm, pitch, and musical notation games will be incorporated.

Preludio I & II

Suzuki Violin repertoire and technique will be emphasized, along with theory, note-reading, and ensemble playing skills. Weekly sessions will include individual and group performance opportunities. Open to both violinist and violists. Preludio I open to students in early Book 1, from Twinkle Variations through Andantino; Preludio II open to students in late Book 1, from Allegretto to Gossec Gavotte.

Suzuki Parent Seminar

This two-hour seminar is offered to parents interested in learning more about the Suzuki philosophy and method, and/or are ready to begin Suzuki study with their children. The class gives an overview of Suzuki-style teaching, how it differs from traditional styles, parents’ roles in lessons and in home practice, and what to expect from Suzuki study. It is open to all parents, and also is a pre-requisite for Prep to Twinkle Classes.
More information about upcoming Suzuki Parent Seminars »

Suzuki Prep to Twinkle Music & Movement and Parent Education

The Suzuki music & movement classes will familiarize parents and children with Suzuki Book 1 repertoire through singing, dancing, movement, percussion, and listening. Instructor Christina Berg, a former Suzuki mother of three and married to a veteran Suzuki violin teacher herself, will offer expert parental advice on practicing, motivating and inspiring your child to practice once you’ve begun private lessons. The Suzuki Seminar is a pre-requisite.

Piano Ensemble Classes

Using a 9-piano and a 5-piano labs, the beginning, intermediate and advanced piano students engage in an intensive 14-week ensemble program to study multiple-piano repertoire. There is a 38 Hand/9 Piano Ensemble concert at the end of each semester.


Preparatory Music Department
3500 Mountain Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94619
Contact: Katherine Baird
Phone: (510) 436-1224
E-mail: baird@hnu.edu