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Maimonides Upper School Music Department
SDJA music instructor Tommy Collins has been a professional musician and taught music for over 10 years.
SDJA’s music courses offer students the opportunity to learn a wide variety of instruments.
Now in its seventh year, the music department has grown and expanded to include a variety of options for students wishing to improve their skills on an instrument, play in music groups or expand their knowledge of music theory. The upper school's state-of-the-art music room is the best environment for studying and practicing music. With its six practice rooms, ample space for ensembles and large stage, it is a place for music students to do what they love.

Tommy Collins, SDJA's upper school music teacher, holds a bachelor's degree in music and California teaching credential from San Diego State University. He has been playing in jazz, rock, blues and pop bands in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas for over 12 years. Tommy has recorded several CD’s consisting of original music by San Diego based progressive jazz bands “Spaceman Spiff” and “Bus Ride.” He has also collaborated and recorded on many other projects. Tommy has played guitar for 25 years and plays bass, trumpet, clarinet and piano on a limited basis.

Student's Music
Band: Wladyslaw and the Nosemobilists
Student Performers: Daniel Penner and Benjamin Graubart
Song: You're as Beautiful as You

Band: Wladyslaw and the Nosemobilists
Student Performers: Daniel Penner and Benjamin Graubart
Song: The Man with Six Ears

Current Class Offerings
Beginning Music
This class is for students who have never played an instrument before or who have started playing an instrument but would like to strengthen their foundation in music reading and instrumental technique. Standard band instruments are taught in addition to guitar in certain circumstances.

Intermediate Music
This course is a performing ensemble for instrumental music students who have at least one year of experience playing an instrument and reading music. Students read music notation relevant to the applied literature, listen to/analyze/describe music, learn the historical and cultural attributes of music relevant to the course and critically examine selections of music from various genera. Students taking this class are expected to supply their own instruments and have a regular practice routine. Students are advised to take intermediate music for at least two years before moving to more advanced classes.

Advanced Music
Advanced music is a one to three year performing ensemble for serious instrumental music students with at least three years of experience playing an instrument and reading music. Students improve their ensemble skills on a wind instrument, guitar, bass, stringed or percussion instrument through the study of musical literature and performance in at least two public concerts. Small group ensembles formed from the larger group perform regularly at local community events. Students also read music notation relevant to the applied literature, listen to/analyze/describe music, learn the historical and cultural attributes of music relevant to the course and critically examine selections of music from jazz, blues, classical and folk styles. Students taking this class are expected to supply their own instruments and have a regular practice routine. This course is open to middle school and high school students with the appropriate musical experience.

Rock Ensemble
This exciting course will give students the opportunity to play in a rock band with their peers while developing musical skills on their main instruments. Students do not have to know how to read music but they must have moderate experience playing guitar, drums, bass, vocals or keyboard. During this year long course, students will study rock and roll music from the 1950’s through the present and will have the opportunity to perform at concerts and school sports events. Students will learn to play together as a class but will also be divided into smaller “bands” according to their experience levels. This course is open to middle school and high school students.

AP Music Theory
The highest level of music SDJA has to offer. Although this course is not a performing ensemble, it is very academically rigorous. Students can expect an extensive, in-depth study of the structure and composition of music and notational practices. In addition to written academic exercises, students are drilled on rhythmic, melodic and harmonic dictation along with an emphasis on sight singing. The main objectives of this course are to develop a student’s ability to recognize, understand and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score.

Music Booster Club
The music booster club is a parent sponsored organization at San Diego Jewish Academy. The organization’s purpose is to support the music department, facilitate communication and participation throughout the upper school and raise funds for the music department at San Diego Jewish Academy.

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