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Instrumental Programs


The Ensemble provides the opportunity for Classes 4 and 5 students to explore music by learning an instrument in a group setting. Among the skills developed are playing techniques, reading music, and following a conductor. The ensemble meets once a week during the school day, and students are expected to practice to keep pace with the group. A concert in the spring will feature a performance by the Ensemble. Instruments choices for Classes 4 & 5 are: trumpet, trombone, violin, cello, clarinet, flute, alto saxophone, French horn, and xylophone. 

Families are encouraged to obtain a student rental instrument from one of the many local music companies. Some provide online services along with weekly delivery and repair services to Dexter Southfield School. Two popular options are K&C Music, town code: “9771” and Rayburn Music, “MA Private Schools,” “Dexter Southfield."

Middle School Ensemble and Upper School Ensemble allow students the opportunity to play in a group under the leadership of a conductor, and also perform as featured soloists. New music throughout the year allows students to work on technique and improve sight-reading and arrangements and repertoire are tailored to the particular group of individuals every year. Performances include the Thanksgiving and Christmas Assemblies, as well as Arts Night.​​

Jazz Band

Jazz Band is open to upper school students and meets weekly for rehearsals. The group performs throughout the year at school events. Repertoire is typically jazz but may also cross over into other genres depending on student interest.


Musicales give students in Classes 2-5 a chance to share with their classmates and families the musical work they’ve been doing outside of school with private instructors. Performers are required to be taking lessons either on an instrument or with a voice teacher if singing.​

Chamber Music

Students in the upper school who are interested in chamber music may choose to play in smaller groups, such as piano trios or string quartets. These groups are coached by members of the music faculty who help in choosing pieces appropriate to the group’s skill level and who work with students on interpretation, technique, and ensemble playing.

Jam Club

Jam Club is a student-run group that meets during activity blocks. Expect fun and lively rock, jazz, and pop jam sessions.

Other performance opportunities for instrumentalists exist throughout the year. In addition to our annual events, students with a special interest in music can perform during assemblies, all-school meetings, alumni/ae events, talent shows, and occasional off-campus events.



Dexter Southfield School • 617-522-5544 •

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20 Newton Street Brookline, Massachusetts 02445 Directions


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