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SUSD Music Program Overview

Music education for students begins in elementary school starting from TK/Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Elementary School Music Programs

Grades TK-5 General Music

Music in elementary school focuses on listening, singing, following rhythms and beat, and exposure to different musical styles including folk, traditional, jazz and musical theater. Throughout the school year, students have the opportunity to play many musical instruments including the xylophone, the metallophone, the glockenspiel, unpitched percussion, and recorders (grades 4-5). Through this process of singing, playing and listening, students are introduced to the elements of music theory, all while gaining an appreciation for music.

The district has adopted a digital subscription of our curriculum “Spotlight on Music,” which will be very useful as we continue with remote instruction. The digital component includes listening maps, sheet music that moves along to the music, detailed explanations of movement activities, listening selections, music theory slides, and historical information for many lessons. Many genres of music will be explored including folk, jazz, pop, musical theater, and classical works. As they sing, listen to, and study music in class, we hope that students gain an appreciation for music and have fun along the way!

5th Grade Band

Students in 5th grade have the option of either continuing on a general music track or selecting one of “The Big Four” band instruments where they can continue onto the middle school band track. Students are carefully guided to select either flute, clarinet, trumpet or baritone where they have practice one day a week during the regular school day. In addition, all band students from the three elementary sites are encouraged to attend the optional extra practice at Redwood middle school on Wednesday afternoons. 

4th and 5th Grade Strings

Elementary School String Orchestras Program (violin, viola, cello and string bass) is available after school for SUSD students in grades 4-5. Students may take part in Beginning Strings (no prior experience), Allegro Strings (advanced), and Scherzo (audition only). Scherzo students are part of Allegro Strings but may also participate in practices/concerts with the middle school Adagio ensemble.

Grade 1 Music Class

Middle School Music Programs

The Redwood Middle School Music Department oversees instrumental music from grades 4-8, as well as the choir and color guard/dance program for grades 6-8. In addition to classes, groups perform at the district concerts during the school year and at other community events.

For a full description of the middle school program, visit

Band for Grades 6-8

The band program includes woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Some classes take place before school during A Period, others during the school day. Students perform at various events throughout the school year including district concerts, parades, and community events.

  • Griffin Band, grades 6-7, year 2 level or equivalent proficiency
  • Concert and Symphonic Bands, grades 7-8 (audition needed for grade 6)
  • Marching Band, grades 7-8
  • Jazz Band, grades 7-8
  • Woodwind and Brass Sectionals, grades 6-8
  • Percussion Fundamentals, grades 6-8
  • Percussion Ensemble, grades 7-8 (audition needed for grade 6)

Choir for Grades 6-8

RMS Choir welcomes any student who loves to sing! Choir performs various times throughout the semester at concerts as well as in competition. Classes meet after school.

Color Guard and Dance for Grades 6-8

Redwood’s flag and dance team is open to all students, male and female, beginner to advanced. The Color Guard utilizes dance, shields, and flags in a visual interpretation of the music. Focus is on learning basic movements and choreography. Classes meet during A period. The Color Guard performs at parades and shows throughout the school year.

Grade 6 Music Exploratory

All Redwood students in the 6th grade are given a year of 6-week exploratory blocks in which they are introduced to small segments of possible electives that they may choose in 7th and 8th grades. Music exploratory includes topics on basic music notation and reading, percussion rudiments, music in film, color guard basics, music as a communicative and artistic medium and more.

Orchestra and Strings for Grades 6-8

The Redwood Strings program encompasses violin, viola, cello, and string bass. Students audition to be placed in one of four string groups. Classes meet during the day. Students continuously work on refining playing techniques, enhance musicianship, and play in a group with their peers. All string groups participate in various events and performs at district concerts.

  • Adagio, Presto, and Vivace Strings, grades 6-8, by audition only
  • Chamber Strings, grades 7-8, audition only

Visit for detailed descriptions of the programs listed above.

RMS Marching Band
Choir performance

SUSD Elementary School General Music Program, grades TK/K-5

Redwood Middle School and SUSD Instrumental Music, grades 4-8

Redwood Music website

Saratoga Music Boosters

Several aspects of the music program including, but not limited to, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Choir, Color Guard, and Percussion Fundamentals are solely funded by Saratoga Music Boosters. Your generous donation to support the music program and extra-curricular music is very appreciated.