San Francisco High School of the Arts

Music Conservatory

"Their arts classes are extraordinary and the academic program is strong as well." -- Feedback from parent

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The pre-professional music program at San Francisco High School of the Arts equips our students well for success in universities and professional conservatories. Our music curriculum is rooted in classical music. It is comprised of high-level private and ensemble lessons as well as academic courses on music theory and composition. Our teachers are dedicated to helping students attain a foundation in professional music and develop a portfolio for college applications.

Music Conservatory Curriculum

  • Studio Class
  • Music History
  • Chorus
  • Voice

Studio classes meet once a week, during which time students perform for their peers and faculty in a masterclass setting. Pieces are workshopped and critiqued with the aim of discussing rehearsal, practice and performance techniques with the entire department.

This two-year course is a survey of the genres, styles, famous composers, and compositions that are seen throughout the development of Western Art Music. Students observe the elements of music from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque Age, Classical Period, Romantic Era, and Twentieth Century. They will learn to contextualize musical achievements throughout history as they relate to the philosophies and events of their time.

All music conservatory students will participate in weekly chorus rehearsal. Performing in choir enhances a musician’s ability to naturally phrase and bring the ink of the notes on a page to life. It provides students an opportunity to not only perform on their own, but to work together as a team in a larger ensemble. 

A course designed to enhance your vocal range through various exercises and technique training.

  • Private Lessons
  • Chamber Ensemble
  • Music Theory & Musicianship

The focus of the music department curriculum is private instruction with our academy faculty. Each student has two weekly 30-60-minute private lessons on his or her principal instrument. We currently offer private lessons for piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, trumpet, trombone, horn, flute, clarinet, saxophone, Chinese Erhu and voice.

Chamber performance ensemble focuses on developing individual musicianship through a small group setting. Students will work on their specific repertoires with an ensemble coach while they develop note reading skills, intonation, rhythm, articulation, dynamics, and balance. Ensembles will study individual and group practice and rehearsal techniques, interpretive and stylistic decisions as an ensemble, and performance skills.

This course covers music fundamentals including scales, intervals, key signatures, and harmony. Students work on notation as well as ear training/aural identification and sight singing.

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