“My name is Rebecca Thornborrow; I am the president of CHIME, the parent group that supports the performing arts in the Piedmont schools. On behalf of the CHIME board,
I would like to thank the tri-school principals for listening to our feedback and taking our concern over the future of instrumental music instruction in Piedmont so seriously. We are relieved to hear that in the current proposal, Piedmont 4th and 5th graders will continue to receive weekly instrumental music instruction for a minimum of 45 minutes. Moving forward, we would like to work with the principals in order to determine the best structure and staffing for those classes, so that our 4th and 5th graders are as well prepared as possible for middle school band and orchestra.
Regarding vocal music instruction, we welcome the proposed addition of 5th grade vocal classes to the curriculum; in both 4th and 5th grades, the instrumental and vocal classes should complement one another and serve to strengthen our students’ understanding of basic music theory. While we absolutely would prefer year-long, weekly vocal music instruction K-5, we are cautiously optimistic about the proposed plan to integrate some vocal music instruction into the general classroom. We expect that performing arts projects will be directed by both the classroom teacher and music staff in a rigorous and thoughtful way. Once again, we would welcome the opportunity to work with the principals to ensure that such integration best supports the instruction of music, drama and dance curricula, while nurturing creativity and a love for the performing arts.
Thank you very much for your time and your dedication to our students.”
Dear CHIME Members:
As the school year winds down, the CHIME Board would like to update you on performing arts news across the district.
Elementary School Instructional Design
First and foremost, we would like to update you on the elementary school instructional design process. After countless hours of thought, discussion, and conversations with the elementary school principals, the CHIME Board submitted the following statement to the School Board on April 27, 2016:
We will continue to meet with the tri-school principals in order to give our feedback on the structure and staffing of the performing arts curriculum at the elementary level. In order to improve the quality of instrumental music instruction, and to keep it in a weekly rotation, the instructional design team currently has the 4th and 5th grade instrumental time blocked as a "zero" hour -- a once weekly early start to the school day. While this is not an ideal solution, and while we continue to brainstorm a possible alternative, we appreciate the principals’ commitment to continuing weekly instruction.
We are very excited about the possibility of 4th graders choosing an instrument in the fall and beginning focused instruction shortly thereafter. This change would mean that elementary students study an instrument for at least 1.5 academic years before enrolling in middle school band or orchestra. Currently, the 4th graders explore various instruments all year long and do not focus on one instrument until 5th grade. We believe that such a change would improve the quality of instrumental music at the elementary level. With over $50,000 raised specifically for the elementary instrumental program via this year’s Spring Fling Fund-A-Need, we look forward to increasing the quality of the instruments available to the students as well.
In addition, we plan to work with the principals to ensure that the proposed integration of performing arts curriculum into the classroom is achieved in a thoughtful and meaningful way. Such integration already has begun at the 4th grade level in the form of “Gold Rush or Bust”, a musical theater collaboration between Janine Mortan (4th grade teacher at Havens) and Adrian Behrendt (vocal music teacher at all three elementary schools). The rehearsals for the leading roles are during lunch, the kids are learning the all-company songs during their music prep, and are making the sets during their art prep. Adrian brought the musical to Wildwood and Beach so those 4th grade students could participate as well. Performances will be at the end of May.
Dear CHIME Supporters,
This new academic year has brought significant change for performing arts education in the Piedmont schools, particularly in the elementary schools. Of these changes, our Piedmont Middle School music teacher Cathy DeVos writes:
"…the people that have been hired [for 2016-17] are outstanding in their specialties and are dedicated to the students… I love this team!!"
Elementary vocal arts teacher Adrian Behrendt updated us with this observation:
The addition of the fifth grade program now includes vocal music and Orff ensemble. It is an opportunity for fifth graders to grow in their musical learning. It is also a time to sing and make connections to their social studies curriculum. In that regard, the first classes have been successful.
Last week, Wildwood Principal Carol Cramer joined the instrumental teachers and music clinicians to host our very first Family Music Night to describe (and demonstrate) the new instrumental music program to fourth and fifth grade parents. It was a standing-room only event!
At the high school level, theater teacher Kim Taylor is excited to point out that her advanced acting class’s first production will be this fall and is the musical The Drowsy Chaperone. She is thrilled to announce that PHS will put on two musicals this year!
Please join us this year in building on the excitement and passion expressed above by our performing arts teachers. CHIME is wholly dedicated to helping our community’s talented and dedicated clinicians, accompanists and performing arts staff, and to ensure every student gets the very best opportunities in the arts.
Every dollar contributed to CHIME goes directly to support PUSD students.
Co-Presidents of CHIME
The 2016-17 CHIME Board
I am thrilled to announce that Annette Clear and Birgit Hottenrott will be the co-presidents of CHIME next year. Both Annette and Birgit are intelligent, conscientious, and committed to strengthening the performing arts programs in our schools. But they need your help! Please email us if you would like to join the board; we are actively looking for a few more CHIME board members.
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
C H I M E N E W S L E T T E R
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As always, thank you very much for your support of the performing arts in our schools. We wish you a wonderful (and not too hectic) end of the school year.
On behalf of the CHIME Board,
CHIME President 2015-16
A R C H I V E :
C H I M E N E W S L E T T E R
M A Y 2 0 1 6
C H I M E
MUSIC DRAMA DANCE
“F R E E” Screening in collaboration with PADC/ADFS
CHIME partnered with the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee and the Appreciating Diversity Film Series to present two free screenings of the documentary “F R E E”. “F R E E” follows five teens who are students at the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company in Oakland, a safe haven for teens to share their stories, build community and express themselves artistically. The film was very well received, and there was a thoughtful presentation and Q & A following the screening by Cristy Johnston Limón, Executive Director of Destiny Arts.
we need your help!
Donations are down from last year, and the District’s needs are ever greater to help support these essential programs.
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Every little bit counts, and if you can consider a little more on this occasion, now is the time.
For our dear alumni parents, you can also donate
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C H I M E
c/o Piedmont Education Foundation
PO Box 11192, Piedmont CA 94611