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Music Program

About The Program

Group drum classThe General Music Program at BGCS was established in order to offer hands on musical experiences to all BGCS students grades K5 - 5th. The fundamental premise is that music has many transferable skills that can benefit a developing child, including: coordination, motor skill development, emotional development, team work and collaboration, as well as cognitive areas such as – reading, language development, understanding of spatial relations, mathematical concepts related to music, recognition and production of patterns, etc.  Another important benefit is that all students will explore the world of music, which gives children a mode of expression as well as a different way to see and experience the world. Finally, our strong music programs will benefit from a student body that has fundamental training in a variety of musical instruments and genres.

Band Program

The BGCS Band Program is comprised of students in grades 4-8. Students are offered private and group instrument lessons during the school day.

The Band Program gives instruction on the following instruments:

  • Woodwinds - Flute, Clarinet, and Saxophone
  • Brass - Trumpet and Trombone
  • Percussion - Drums and Bell Kit. 

The Band has two concerts a year, in December for the Holiday Concert and in May for the Spring Concert.

Latino Arts Strings Program

For information for the Latino Arts String Program click here.

Bembé Drum & Dance Program

Group performing on drumsBembé Drum and Dance is a commitment-based, year-round after-school performing arts program for Bruce-Guadalupe Elementary and Middle School students. Students learn and rehearse folkloric and contemporary percussion-based music and dance from the Afro-Latino Diaspora and perform throughout the City of Milwaukee. Each fall, the program welcomes BGCS students from grades 3-8 to apply for music or dance for the full academic year. Led by three instructors, the curriculum includes ethnomusicological, technical and performance-based skill development, and includes intergenerational programming with the UCC Senior Center for 8 weeks each summer. The program offers a summer study abroad opportunity in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, in collaboration with Bembé's sister school, La Escuela de Bomba - Municipio de Mayagüez. 

Learn more about enrolling in Bembé @

Learn About Programming at Each Grade Level:
  • K5 classrooms will learn pre-violin skills using fun foam violins. Along with the violin fundamentals, each student will be immersed in singing and experiencing music within the group setting. Students will also enjoy interactive activities that will develop fine motor skills.
  • 1st and 2nd grade classrooms in the Afro-Latino drumming program will get an opportunity to learn how to play rhythms from the Afro-Latino Diaspora as an ensemble. The students will learn a brief history of the culture, basic hand and stick drumming technique, to play as an ensemble, and the names of percussion instruments used and the materials used to make them. They will also be introduced to reading and writing rhythms.
  • The 3rd grade classrooms will learn the fundamentals of the piano using state-of-the-art software and equipment. The interactive lessons will incorporate singing, music and rhythm reading and basic theory. Students will also prepare sung material prepare for the semester concert.
  • In 4th grade, students will be exploring the rich heritage of Son Jarocho, a folk music style with Afro-Indigenous and Iberian roots from Veracruz, Mexico. Students will learn the three musical components of this musical style: learn to play the fundamentals of the jarana, a traditional, guitar like, stringed instrument; learn to dance zapateado, a percussive dance form; and sing traditional Son Jarocho songs.  
  • In 5th grade general music, students build upon all the skills of the previous years, by developing basic guitar playing techniques used in Latin-American folk music. The students are going to have the opportunity to learn differences rhythms such as cumbia, ranchera, and trova, among others. They will learn guitar history and the components of the instrument. They will explore guitar styles and build upon the basic theory and rhythmic components they explored in previous years. For performance, students will learn to play well-known traditional pieces, such as: La Bamba, Las Mañanitas and a Puerto Rican parranda medley!