Since 1989, San Francisco Performances has taken a different, more intimate approach to arts education in the schools. In small, hands-on programs, our resident artists—guitarists Beijing Guitar Duo, jazz pianist Vijay Iyer, sorpano Jessica Rivera and the Alexander String Quartet—work directly with students and teachers in public schools around the Bay Area.
This seminar brings the Alexander String Quartet and other apprentice ensembles into high school classrooms for multiple visits of musical dialogues that introduce motivated English and History students to chamber music. Through performance and discussion, the quartet demonstrates how the evolution of the string quartet reflects Western socio-political ideas and events from the 18th to the 21st centuries. A study guide*, sample CDs, and outlines for classroom activities are an integral part of this program.
*To view the study guide, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader (available as a free download from Adobe).
The diversity of American culture and society is truly reflected in America's native music, and VIjay Iyer connects the traditions and history of the genre with new American influences, including spoken word, hip-hop, and world music. Elementary, middle and high school music students learn to identify, perform and create elements of musical language true to their own cultures and time.
In collaboration with Bay Area teachers, Jessica Rivera provides many points of entry into the study and composition of poetry and song. Through preparation and teamwork, students read, write, discuss, demonstrate, listen and perform their own works. Students learn to work together while learning to critique and accept their peers.
Developed to highlight Guitarists-in-Residence the Beijing Guitar Duo’s in-school performances, this program presents a history-based curriculum that traces the evolution of the guitar from ancient times to the present. With a wide-ranging guitar repertoire at their disposal, the Beijing Guitar Duo introduce world history students to the diversity of cultures whose musical heritage embraced this most versatile of instruments.
See our Resources page for the study guides for the Guitar Trek programs.
Graduate students and young professional instrumentalists provide weekly coaching to music students. Through the Mentors program, middle and high school students improve their technique, concentration, and level of performance. The Mentors learn and apply techniques for successful outreach with students of all backgrounds, and are coached, in turn, by SF Performances’ Artists-in-Residence.
In collaboration with other community partners, SF Peerformances develops workshops linked to major performances, sparking new ideas about how teachers and students can experience the performing arts in the classroom and on stage. Workshops provide cross-disciplinary forums for discussion and interaction with artists and their art. Tickets to related performances are offered especially to teachers at a significant discount.