For many parents and guardians, an opportunity to study instrumental or vocal music means a well-rounded education for their students. Studies have pointed to the many benefits of studying music: academic success, leadership skills, increased discipline and responsibility. Beyond that, many of us know the joy of playing an instrument or singing in a choir, the pleasures of making art, of being creative, of bringing music to life.

Thanks to the continued support of the Carlmont Academic Foundation, which funds three class sections in the Instrumental Music Department ($66,000) and provides funding this year for choir support ($13,000) and show choir ($2,500), over 500 Carlmont students are experiencing that joy – daily.

saveTheMusic2015_1200x629“What I enjoy most about teaching music, are the students. The students here at Carlmont are just fabulous. They are enthusiastic about learning, and it’s just wonderful when you get to that point where you are no longer looking at notes on a page, but now they’re making art and bringing the music to life,” says John DaBaldo, Carlmont’s Instrumental Music Director and veteran music teacher for 30 years.

The Instrumental Music Department offers classes in Concert Band, Symphonic Band, String Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Band, which is a program offered before the school day begins.

John works closely with Lieven Smart, Carlmont’s Assistant Instrumental Music Director, to foster students’ performance confidence, aesthetic perception, creative expression, responsible citizenship, and an awareness of the historical and cultural heritage of music through performance. The two instructors team-teach many of their classes in order to offer students more personal attention and guidance.

Lieven Smart shares, “The benefit of doing music is to have a sense of belonging to a group, dedication, discipline, to be able to pursue something that’s not easily accessible right away. The improvement that’s being made from a freshman to the last concert in your senior year is huge.”

As Director of Vocal Music and Performing Arts Department Head, Genevieve Tep directs all of the Carlmont vocal ensembles, which include five class sections in choral music: Women’s Choir, Men’s Choir, Concert Choir, Treble Clef, and Chamber Singers. Thanks to the financial assistance of CAF, Ms. Tep is also able to offer Melodynamics, an after-school program for Show Choir. Through her instruction, Ms. Tep hopes to develop lifelong choral musicians while providing leadership opportunities for students who may go on to careers in music.

“Performing arts inspire students to be disciplined, to be focused, and to learn life skills that they can carry on and use in the future. I get very nervous when I get up on stage. They do it and make it look so easy. I find it very rewarding to support that,” says Lisa Costello, Past Carlmont Arts Council Co-Chair.

Students from both the Instrumental Music Program and the Choral Program perform in seasonal school concerts, play for community events, and participate in numerous festivals throughout the country, regularly receiving top honors. With your support, these students will continue to enrich their educations and experience the joy of making music.