Students enjoy music with a licensed music teacher three times per five-day cycle, in 1st through 4th grades. Music includes singing, playing instruments, listening, movement and note reading. String lessons may begin in fourth grade. In 5th grade, students may elect to focus their music instruction in band, orchestra, choir or classroom music. Beyond traditional instrumental group lessons, students who elect to specialize have a full band, orchestra or choir experience three times a week with multiple performance opportunities throughout the year. This model has proven to accelerate musical achievement beyond most elementary level music programs. Download the fifth grade Music Handbook for more details.
Our middle schools provide elective options to increase student knowledge and appreciation of the fine arts. Through performance and presentation, opportunities that expand each year, students can explore and pursue potential talents in band, orchestra, choir, classroom/general music, drama and studio art. Students who wish to play an instrument as well as develop vocal talents are encouraged to join morning choir in addition to registering for band or orchestra. Small group and individual lessons are available to help students excel in vocal and instrumental music.
Our band program includes five concert bands, two jazz ensembles, a percussion ensemble, pep band and marching band. The bands make more than 30 community appearances annually at events and competitions. The Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band have traveled to music festivals in California, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., Austria, Norway and China. Our successful Jazz Band has been featured on Minnesota jazz radio, made appearances at the Dakota Jazz Club and has received invitations to perform with college and professional musicians.
Our award-winning orchestra program has four orchestras plus extra-curricular activities. We have been awarded the Meritorious Orchestra Program for the state of Minnesota, and our high school orchestras participate in music festivals around the country. Our high school groups have toured to music festivals in locations such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando, and San Diego in the United States. Our top ensemble has toured internationally to destinations such as Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Puerto Rico. In 2015, they toured to Beijing and Shanghai, China, with the MHS Wind Ensemble. In 2017 they will tour Spain with the MHS Wind Ensemble performing a full orchestra tour. Our co-curricular Chamber Orchestra consistently receives Superior ratings and is often deemed the Best-in-Site performance.
Choir ensembles at the high school include five choirs, chamber singers, the varsity madrigal singers and Donna Voce. Like our bands and orchestras, the top choirs perform and compete locally, nationally and internationally. The Concert Choir toured Ireland in 2012, New York in 2013, Chicago in 2014, and began the three-destination cycle again with a trip to Central Italy and the Amalfi Coast in spring 2015. On previous trips, they have performed in Rome and London.
Minnetonka Music Academy
The Minnetonka Music Academy is an enrichment program offered through Minnetonka Community Education. Recognized by Lake Minnetonka Magazine in 2016 for the "Best Music Lessons," Minnetonka Music Academy offers private and group instruction in piano, guitar, woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion and voice in a relaxed environment for children and adults of all ages. Lessons are scheduled at ten convenient locations in Minnetonka Public School District.