S’Cool Sounds activities promote intellectual growth, attentiveness to detail, habits of cooperation, and confidence through practical, hands-on instruction. Working as an ensemble fosters communication skills, teamwork, mutual appreciation, and support – the same skills required to build a thriving classroom and community. Using music from widely diverse traditions, the program also expands students' appreciation of music as a universal activity that transcends cultural, religious, and geographical boundaries.

In School

The core of the S’Cool Sounds is weekly or twice-weekly recorder and percussion instruction to entire classrooms of students in grades K through 12. The program duration is flexible (from 10 to 30 weeks), and the instructional model can handle classes of up to thirty students.

S’Cool Sounds relies on instruments that are affordable, easily available, and highly suitable for music from a variety of cultures and historical settings. Throughout a year of instruction, students are taught the rudiments of reading music and how to play the instruments with proper technique, follow a conductor, improvise, and perform in front of an audience.

After School

Students who are ready for more concentrated study may sign up for a weekly two-hour recorder or percussion program. After-school lessons are conducted in groups of 10 to 15 students, about half the size of a school-day classroom. The program duration is flexible.

Interactive Performances & Community Events

S’Cool Sounds helps administrators and parents’ groups connect the classroom to the school and its surrounding community through special events. School-wide, parent-student, or community-based performances or short workshop events allow music to touch additional aspects of the students’ lives.

Music & Family Engagement Family Engagement sessions introduce young students and their families to the S’Cool Sounds program, actively engage family members early on in their children’s primary education, and connect all participants as part of the broader school community. Sessions encourage immediate access to musical expression by focusing on singing and percussion – instruments intrinsic to the human body. Learning styles emphasize call and response techniques mixed with improvisation. This unique approach quickly empowers students, together with their family members, to express themselves individually and within a group framework, transforming classrooms and beyond into instant ensembles or “jam sessions.” Music explored includes a flexible synthesis of classical, world, jazz, and folk traditions.

OPERAtion Sing! This interactive concert brings the multi-disciplinary magic of opera into the primary school classroom. Our program spotlights the role of the operatic aria as a vehicle for emotional expression. Children explore feelings such as happiness, anger, sadness, and friendliness – first by labeling physical and vocal qualities noticed while acting them out, and then by recognizing analogous musical features in performances of arias written to express these feelings. Teaching Artists reinforce melodically memorable phrases by utilizing call and response and music terminology to support learning in the areas of music-making and music literacy.

Recorders without Borders – In Concert! Recorder pyrotechnics join with with world-class percussion in a dazzling performance of music from around the globe. Drawing from a repertory representative of numerous musical traditions and centuries, this interactive performance introduces children to the expressive and creative possibilities of the instruments familiar to them from their own classroom learning, while also explaining musical terminology and highlighting universal modes of expression.

Build & Play A Drum: Students build their own percussion instrument from easy-to-find household objects. Children first explore the amazing sounds waiting to be discovered in the environment around them and then assess how they could be incorporated into a musical instrument. An SCS Teaching Artist demonstrates a variety of world percussion models, which students may (or may not!) refer to when designing their own model. Teachers supervise the assembly of instruments, which are then used to learn a variety of world beats.