GA is a PreK-12, coed, nonsectarian day school in Fort Washington, PA

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Selecting and Beginning an Instrument

All 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students will see an instrument demonstration during the first week of school. At that time, an instrument sign-up form will be sent home with interested students asking them to indicate their first, second, and third choice of instrument. Once the forms have been returned and we have reviewed the sign-ups and evaluated the needs of the program, you will be contacted by the appropriate teacher to schedule lessons.

Please note that while we strive to give every student their first choice of instrument, there may be limitations on how many students can sign up for a particular instrument due to staffing, scheduling, rehearsal space, and ensemble balance. Enrollment is done on a "first come, first served" basis. Once space in an ensemble section is filled, remaining students will be asked to choose a different instrument.

Fill out the Interest Form online to begin the instrument selection process.

Curricular Ensembles

Beginning String Ensemble

The Beginning String Ensemble is a training ensemble that performs once a year at an assembly for other students. It consists of 3rd grade violin, viola, and cello students and rehearses weekly during All-Together Music time.

Lower School Orchestra

The Lower School Orchestra includes all stringed instruments from 4th and 5th grades. The group performs at the Winter Program and Spring Concert, and at additional school functions. Frequently, orchestra pieces require piano accompaniments open to 4th and 5th grade pianists by audition.

Lower School Band

The Lower School Band consists of 4th and 5th grade students of woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. In GA's Lower School Band program, we believe that engaging the play-instinct of every student is the key to music literacy. We actively seek out music that motivates students to collaborate with their peers and create thrilling rehearsal and performance experiences. Our caring faculty of professional musicians establishes an atmosphere of compassion in the classroom, which acts as a foundation for our young musicians to develop the independence and confidence required to navigate the mental and physical challenges of mastering their instruments. We strive to make every day in the band program the greatest music day of a student's life!

Lower School Choir

Any 4th or 5th grade student who does not participate in band or orchestra participates in the Lower School Choir. The students in choir focus on group singing, collaborating as part of the choral ensemble, expressing the meaning of the words to the songs, and reading and understanding how to navigate choral music.

Private Music Lessons

Participation in Curricular Ensembles requires that a student is enrolled in private music lessons, either here at GA or elsewhere. Germantown Academy invites master teachers to conduct lessons on campus before, during, and after school.

Learn more about Private Music Lessons

Extracurricular Ensembles

Extracurricular Ensembles are offered as After School Activity Programs (ASAPs) and require a full-year commitment and additional fees.

Learn more about SPARK and ASAPs

Suzuki Violin Workshop

Suzuki Violin Workshop is a group class and an introduction to ensemble playing for beginning students. Participants will practice repertoire, learn music theory, play games, and even learn a few fiddle tunes. 1st and 2nd grade Suzuki students are welcome to join, but must also be enrolled in private Suzuki violin lessons at GA or elsewhere. Mondays, 3-3:30pm

Jazz Band

Lower School Jazz Band is an opportunity for 4th and 5th grade musicians to sharpen their musical skills while exploring the amazing world of jazz, blues, R&B, rock and pop music. The Jazz Band performs at the Rowan University Jazz Festival, GA’s Annual Jazz Cabaret, the Spring Concert, and other assemblies. Enrollment is open to students of woodwind, brass, percussion (including piano), guitar, and strings. Students are required to know how to read music, play a brief audition for the director, and have the recommendation of their private teacher. Wednesdays, 3:15-4:30pm

Jazz Jam Session

The Jazz Jam Session takes a play-based approach to developing independence and confidence for Jazz Band students seeking to take their music to the next level. In addition to having more time to perfect their Jazz Band music, these young musicians are encouraged to further explore the full range of their instruments and abilities through extended playing time overseen by professional musicians. Jam Session musicians are also encouraged to explore music publisher websites to seek out new and fresh arrangements of their favorite tunes to read and play with friends. Students must be enrolled in Jazz Band to join the Jazz Jam Session. Thursdays, 3:15-4:30pm