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Kidznotes programming is offered in the form of group lessons and is accessible to beginner students at our partnering schools in DPS and WCPSS. Students who already play an instrument–but do not attend a Kidznotes partner school–may audition to be placed accordingly into the program.

Kidznotes programming for all students includes group instrumental lessons, large ensembles, orchestra, choir, and general music. Weekday instruction meets after school at various locations (see below). On Saturday mornings, all Kidznotes students come together for joint rehearsals at the “nucleo” (“orchestra hub”).

Durham programming


Kidznotes Durham Partner Schools:

  • Eastway Elementary
  • E.K. Powe Elementary
  • Maureen Joy Charter School
  • Sandy Ridge Elementary
  • Y.E. Smith Elementary

Durham Nucleos:

  • Holton Career and Resource Center
  • Eastway Elementary School (*Vivaldi/advanced students only)

Musical Ensembles


The “Mozart” ensemble is the beginning class for Kindergarten, 1st-, and 2nd-grade students at Kidznotes partner elementary schools. Mozart classes are co-taught in a group setting by the general music teacher at that school and a Kidznotes violin instructor. Students learn the basic elements of general music, sing in choir, and learn basic violin technique. Mozart classes meet after school twice per week (Tuesday and Thursday) at the partner schools and on Saturday mornings at the nucleo.


The “Haydn” ensemble is the first intermediate class, generally for 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-grade Kidznotes students. In order to qualify for the Haydn level, students must first successfully complete the Mozart curriculum. Haydn students are eligible to either continue on violin or switch to one of the following instrument groups: brass; woodwinds; percussion; viola; cello; bass. Haydn classes include choir, sectionals, band, string ensemble, and a continuation of general music. Sectionals are classes during which each instrument group meets separately to focus on technique and to prepare repertoire for their large ensemble. The Haydn band is an opportunity for all brass, woodwind, and percussion students to rehearse together as an ensemble. Likewise, the Haydn string ensemble includes all violin, viola, cello, and bass students. Haydn classes meet after school three times per week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) and on Saturday morning. All classes for the Haydn level (and above) meet at the nucleo–bus transportation is provided.


The “Copland” ensemble is the second intermediate class, generally for 3rd-, 4th-, and 5th-grade Kidznotes students. In order to qualify for the Copland level, students must first successfully complete the Haydn curriculum. Copland students continue on the instrument that they played during their time as a Haydn. A new ensemble is introduced at this level: the symphonic orchestra, which combines all string, brass, woodwind, and percussion students into a single ensemble. Copland classes also include choir, sectionals, band, string ensemble, and a continuation of general music.


The “Vivaldi” ensemble is Kidznotes’ most advanced class, generally for students 4th grade and older. In order to qualify for the Vivaldi level, students must first successfully complete the Copland curriculum. Vivaldi students participate in symphonic orchestra, choir, sectionals, band, string ensemble, and a continuation of general music. Vivaldi students who demonstrate exceptional ability and dedication have multiple opportunities throughout the year to perform at a wide variety of community events for pay.

Other Opportunities:

Please note that the opportunities listed below are only available on a seasonal basis and/or pending instructor availability:

  • Bucket Band: Students have the opportunity to learn the basics of rhythm and hand percussion in a group setting by participating in the “bucket band.”
  • Chamber music: Students rehearse and perform in small groups of typically 10 or fewer members. While these ensembles are primarily for string students, some opportunities are available for woodwind, brass, and percussion students.
  • Composition: Students learn the basics of music composition. Successful completion of the Copland-level general music curriculum is typically a prerequisite.
  • Conducting: Students learn the basic techniques of how to lead a musical ensemble as a conductor.
  • Keyboard/Guitar: Students have the opportunity to take elective classes in keyboard and/or guitar as a supplement to their primary instrument.

Raleigh programming

Nucleo Location: East Garner Elementary School – Days of instruction: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

At the Nucleo we offer the following instruments for beginners, intermediate, and advanced students:  Viola, cello, flute, clarinet, percussion, trumpet, and trombone.  The violin is only available for intermediate and advanced students

Large ensembles and orchestras offered at the Nucleo:

  • Mozart Choir, Nucleo Choir, Haydn String Orchestra, Haydn Band, Chamber Orchestra

Partnering schools offering beginner violin classes:


Days of instruction: Two weekdays (depending on school) and Saturdays

  • East Garner Elementary
  • Walnut Creek Elementary
  • Poe Elementary
  • Bugg Elementary
  • PAVE

Kidznotes Levels (same descriptions above excluding schedule details)

  • Mozart – K-1 students (at partnering elementary schools only)

Levels offered at the Nucleo:

  • Haydn – Students grade 1-2
  • Copland – Students grade 2-4
  • Beethoven – Students grades 3-5
  • Vivaldi – Students grades 4-12
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