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New Music Program at Hickory Hill Academy!

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

It's been an exciting couple of months here at Hickory Hill Academy as we have launched our new, one of a kind music program, specializing in strings!

What makes our music program unlike any other in the Madison area is that it starts with HHA's youngest students through a new violin music education program. The strings program utilizes a combination of techniques from other established music education models, including the Gordon Music Learning Theory and the Suzuki violin method.

This program emphasizes repetition; students learn hand signs for each note, which correspond to the note’s location on a musical staff, and sing every song they learn on violin using both solfège syllables and lyrics. Singing helps students learn music by ear. This process - called auditory discrimination - also helps students’ development of language skills. Music education also teaches teamwork by encouraging students to listen to one another, play different parts, and create something greater than themselves. This musical collaboration is an essential real-world skill that applies not just to academics,

but will help students in future workplace scenarios.

"I know that every child has music within them, and we honor that by encouraging them to be creative, connecting to their existing musical interests, and providing opportunities for teamwork and mentorship. We provide a full general music program, which includes vocal music, body movement, and a variety of instruments in addition to strings. We hope to engage all levels of musical interest and ability." - Jessica DeGrazia

Meet our Music/ Orchestra teacher Jessica DeGrazia. Miss Jessica earned a Bachelor's of Music in Music Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to joining the HHA team in 2021, she taught elementary music in Virginia Beach. Her experience with music has given her a lifelong passion for teaching, she and loves enriching young minds through the power of creativity.

"Our Strings Program experience starts in 4K, where children use their existing love of song, movement, and rhymes to grow their musical understanding. They are then able to apply their knowledge to composition, improvisation, and learning early violin skills.

In Kindergarten, children begin playing violin using primarily the Suzuki method, where children listen, sing, and then play music by rote. As students progress in grade and skill level, they begin learning to read musical notes and rhythms.

By 4th grade, our musicians are able to choose to continue playing violin, or switch over to viola, cello, or double bass. Once they reach this level, our focus becomes playing together as an orchestra, playing multi-part music and exercising teamwork as well as individual growth.

Of course, none of this is possible without fun! As we have begun our inaugural year with this amazing program, we have never ceased laughing and playing in the classroom. We can do and learn hard things and enjoy the process all the while. We use games, silly phrases, and plenty of encouragement to keep our learning process engaging and enjoyable. At Hickory Hill Academy, we believe that children learn best when they feel cared for and safe, and this is never more true than in the music classroom." - Miss Jessica

If you are not a part of the HHA and would like to learn more about our school and our new music program, please click HERE to inquire more!

We also are having a community event on December 17th, 2-5 PM where we will have a lot of winter festivities including reindeer, Santa, princesses, and a chance to learn more about the program in a fun way! Join us for live music, a chance to see and hold the instruments, and more!

To learn more about the event, click HERE


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