MacPhail Center for Music

Since 1998 Whittier International has partnered with MacPhail Center for Music to enrich music instructionthrough the MacPhail-Whittier Partnership. This partnership is funded largely through grants from MacPhail and fundraising by Whittier's PTA

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 all materials and instruments. Participating families must sign a commitment contract and attend an information session 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). 

Other resources offered for Whittier students include a 75% discount on tuition for summer learning on their instrument at MacPhail. This discount can be applied toward a summer camp, or private lesson. Interested families should connect directly with their student’s MacPhail teacher to discuss lessons and camps. Additionally, families opting out of the MacPhail program at Whittier are still able to enroll in piano or violin private lessons at MacPhail at a 25% discount. 

In past years we have funded MacPhail programming for Kindergarten through 3rd grade ranging from 6-week classroom music residencies to 8-week hands-on piano and violin sampler experiences in the classroom to introduce students to instrument specific study. Due to a decrease in available grants these programs are not available in 2018-19 or 2019-20. 

Questions about curriculum, program goals, or anything else related to the MacPhail-Whittier partnership can be directed to MacPhail's Director of School Partnerships, Roque Diaz. Contact Roque by email at or by phone at 612-767-5256. Whittier's partnership with MacPhail is coordinated by our IB Coordinator, Ms. Libby Dominguez. 

(Page updated May 2019)