Sponsor Spotlight: The Crowden School - 510 Families

Sponsor Spotlight: The Crowden School

This post is sponsored by The Crowden School in Berkeley, a third through eighth-grade day school with chamber music at its heart.

Photo: The Crowden School


I've lived across the street from The Crowden School for more than a decade, so the sight of grade school-aged children hustling up the sidewalk, carrying the telltale cases of string instruments, is a familiar one to me. From my living room window, I see these students playing soccer and running around during recess and after school. Many of you have probably been there, as the North Berkeley campus, located on Rose Street at Sacramento, is one of East Bay Music Together's sites. You may also have attended Crowden’s very popular annual musical carnival, Community Music Day.

The Crowden School is unlike any other school in the country, a third through eighth-grade day school with chamber music at its heart.

For students in grades 3-8, Crowden offers a special daily schedule designed to provide students who love music with the collaborative, creative, and critical-thinking skills to succeed in life

Students come to Crowden from all over the Bay Area, not just Berkeley.

Each day begins with music periods before moving on to academics. I went to an information session one evening where I got to sit in an academic classroom and was completely impressed by the level and quality of the students' work. The classes are really small. The average class size is 13 students and the overall student/teacher ratio is 3:1

Why playing music together in groups helps students succeed in all areas of life

Crowden students learn teamwork and advanced communication skills as they practice and play music together. They must watch each other for cues and learn to both lead and follow in order to be a valuable part of the whole. As they see the results of their daily practice, they learn confidence that they will achieve progress and change when they work with dedication and focus.

The cooperative and communication skills Crowden School students learn as chamber musicians—and the fun they have in doing it—carries over to all aspects of their lives. They are lively, curious, and confident learners.

At The Crowden School, you will find students who are actively engaged with learning, whether they are making music or discussing books, solving equations, or playing soccer.

The enduring friendships among alumni are one of the most remarkable outcomes of the cooperative learning experiences found at Crowden—whether they go on to careers in microbiology or music, they reunite around a shared love of playing together.

Beginning in Fall 2020, The Crowden School will expand to serve grades three through eight.

Since 1983, The Crowden School’s ensemble-based educational model has provided a transformative experience for hundreds of students. Its new third grade program offers an opportunity for students to start their Crowden School journey at an earlier age.

The third grade will have a shorter school day, 8am to 2:05pm, and have one period of music per day (rather than two for fourth through eighth graders) as well as chorus. Crowden’s admissions manager, Hande Erdem, is happy to give you more information.


Photo: The Crowden School

“Is Crowden only a school for prodigies?”

No, you don't have to be a classical prodigy to thrive at the Crowden School! Crowden accepts students of all levels. In the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, students can be beginners on string instruments. Students coming in for upper grades have experience on their instrument and be able to read music. The MOST important thing is an enthusiasm for music and a willingness to try new things. The one defining factor among all Crowden students is a love for music.

Note that Crowden accepts students each year in all grades, with high success. The admissions team encourages families to look at Crowden even if it's not the traditional 3rd or 6th-grade entry point.

The Crowden School invites families with children who love music to visit during the school day, by appointment. You'll see the school in action and can spend about 90 minutes observing both music and academic classes.

Crowden invites all Bay Area families to a November 11 Open House

“Though it is clear that the music program is exceptional, I want to emphasize that the academics are superlative. High schools beg for the kids from Crowden since they are known to be leaders, creative, and self starters.” ~ Crowden School alumni parent

Email admissions@crowden.org or call 510. 559.6910 x122 to set up a tour.

Upcoming Events for Prospective Parents at Crowden

  • Admissions Info Session: Saturday, October 12, 10:30 am
  • Community Music Day: Sunday, October 20 10am–3pm
  • Admissions Info Session: Friday, October 25, 5:00pm
  • Lower School Evening of Music: Friday, October 25, 6:30 pm
  • Admissions Info Session: Friday, November 8, 5:00pm
  • Upper School Evening of Music: Friday, November 8, 6:30 pm
  • Crowden School Open House: Monday, November 11, 8am–3:30pm (drop in anytime)
Crowden Community Day
Crowden Community Day | Photo: Sam Breach

Want a taste of The Crowden School this summer? Consider a camp program this winter or summer.

Crowden also offers music lessons, classes, and ensembles for all ages and levels in the general community. We thank them for sponsoring {510} Families.  Learn more >

[All photos provided by The Crowden School and used with permission]

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1 thought on “Sponsor Spotlight: The Crowden School”

  1. Pingback: Private school information and admission events

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