Del Mar Heights School World Music Program: Building awareness and ability with a variety of musical traditions


Del Mar Heights School embraces the elements that make students unique and celebrates the diversity of the community. Educators at Del Mar Heights appreciate that technology has made the world an increasingly small place, requiring students to grow in awareness of global ideas and international concepts.

They also seeks to give children the inspiration and instruction to become expressive, creative members of their communities. With this in mind an innovative program was created.

Members of the Del Mar Heights PTA worked with arts teacher Andrew Smith to create the Del Mar Heights World Music Program to increase exposure to, understanding of, and ability with various musical traditions.

Each grade level at Del Mar Heights has multiple instructional sessions with visiting musicians and dancers from various cultures. Students participate in creating and understanding music using a wide range of instruments. These instructional sessions often culminate with student concerts or presentations of learning.

This school year, students have spent time with Spanish Flamenco dancer and musician Reyes Barrios and Kourosh Taghavi, a masterful persian string-musician. These artists’ unique perspectives allowed our students to engage with traditions that are quite foreign to the western ear.

Later in the year, students will have the opportunity to work with West-African percussionist and dancer Amara Camara and Indonesian Gamelan musician Tyler Yamin, who will lead students in a Gamelan orchestra.