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Preparatory Music Department

sitting-pianoPreparatory Music is a community school for young musicians, founded in 1968 by Sister Therese-Cecile Murphy, a Holy Names College music professor and early advocate of Suzuki music education. Preparatory Music is one of the first Suzuki centers on the West coast, and has remained a renowned institution for both Suzuki and Traditional music instruction.

We private instruction on ten instruments: violin, viola, cello, harp, guitar, piano, flute, oboe, recorder, and voice. In addition, youth orchestras, group classes and piano ensembles are offered, as well as numerous performances and large musical events.

Our well-established, renowned program offers numerous performance opportunities. In addition to “studio recitals” provided for students by each instructor, Prep Music hosts department-wide events completely unique to us: Friday Evening Recitals, Honors Auditions, a Concerto Competition and subsequent Concerto Festival, and a Pops Concert. While we are a tuition-based community music school, tuition alone does not meet the costs of providing these wonderful programs to our students. Support from donors and volunteers strengthens our ability to fulfill our mission and reach the goals of our program.


Our Mission

The mission of the preparatory music department is to develop the musical potential in young people by creating a nurturing environment where students, teachers and parents together foster a life-long appreciation of music.

We believe that music:

  • contributes to the total development of the child
  • study enhances all learning, develops sensitivity, discipline and character
  • prepares students to make meaningful contributions in the world

Suzuki Method

The potential of every child is unlimited.
—Shinichi Suzuki

This philosophy provides a logical, developmentally sound approach to instrumental learning. Based on how children learn their language, it begins with training the ear and with fostering ability in a nurturing environment. Music reading proceeds once a sense of musicality and fluency are achieved.

Private Lessons

Students register through Holy Names University Preparatory Music Department. Most lessons are given on the Holy Names University campus, although some instructors teach locally in their home studios.

Select excerpts from the annual Preparatory Music Department Pops Concert

Holy Names University's popular PMD family event features music on all instruments of non-Classical, popular and New Age themes.

Learn more about our music events.

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