MacPhail Center for Music

Since the 1998-99 school year, Whittier International has partnered with MacPhail Center for Music to enrich music instruction in all grades K-5 at Whittier through the MacPhail-Whittier Partnership. This partnership is funded through grants from MacPhail and fundraising by Whittier's PTA. To learn more about what MacPhail offers our students at each grade level, read the "program description" at the bottom of this page.

In kindergarten and grade 1, all students participate in a 6-week Musical World residency in their classrooms. No registration is necessary. The Musical World residency curriculum complements the grade-specific IB units of inquiry.

In grades 2 and 3, all students participate in an 8-week, hands-on piano and violin sampler class that introduces students to instrument-specific study. The sampler class gives students the chance to explore whether as a fourth grader they would want to pursue lessons with a group of their peers. Instruction for the sampler classes happens in the classroom; no registration is necessary.

In grade 4, students may elect to apply to the piano/violin program. Students who participate receive weekly 45-minute lessons taught by a MacPhail instructor. Lessons are conducted in a group format over the lunch period. MacPhail provides instruments for practice and materials. Participating families must sign a commitment contract and attend an information sesson with MacPhail.

Students who successfully complete the 4th grade program are invited to continue in grade 5 with weekly 30-minute partner lessons. Continuing students must demonstrate success, commitment, and good academic standing. Weekly partner lessons may involve some classroom pullout for some students. Families can opt to bring students to MacPhail-Downtown outside of school hours for lessons instead of school pullout (restrictions may apply).

To help even more Whittier students to experience the joy of learning music, MacPhail also offers scholarship support to Whittier students: Families opting out of the 4/5th grade MacPhail program at Whittier may enroll in piano or violin private lessons at MacPhail at a 25% discount. 

Questions about curriculum, program goals, or anything else related to the MacPhail-Whittier partnership can be directed to MacPhail's program coordinator, Katie Condon. Contact Katie by email at or by phone at 612-767-5404. Whittier's partnership with MacPhail is coordinated by our IB Coordinator, Ms. Bridget

(Page updated 9/17)