At Colorado Academy, music education is an integral component of the curriculum from the earliest grades. In our digital recording studio and composition lab, and in private lessons on many instruments, CA’s musicians-in-training assemble in Schotters Music Center to develop a love of various types of music, and experience the joy and satisfaction that come with making music of their own.

Music Education

Through both vocal and instrumental music, students work toward comprehensive musicianship skills and are given the opportunity to grow into life-long musicians and music makers.

Music in Lower School

Beginning in Pre-Kindergarten, students begin making music by singing, dancing, and playing classroom instruments. By first grade, they are playing and improvising in drum and xylophone ensembles, reading iconic notation, and identifying elemental forms. Students continue to develop fundamental skills of singing, movement, and instrument playing, while learning foundational music notation concepts. By the fifth grade, students are singing in canon, performing complicated rhythms, improvising in a variety of capacities, and performing folk dances from around the world. Students may also choose to begin learning an instrument through private instruction in Lower School.

Music in Middle School

During Middle School, students have the opportunity to participate in sixth grade and Middle School choirs, where they develop individual and ensemble singing skills, and continue to explore music reading skills and concepts. Students participate in two choral performances each year, and also have the opportunity to audition as 8th graders for Gioventu, the specialty choir that meets after school. Private instrumental instruction is continued through the Middle School years.

Music in Upper School

Beginning in ninth grade, students may join Men’s or Women’s Chorus, the non-auditioned choirs for Upper School students. In tenth grade, students have the opportunity to audition for Chamber Choir, the advanced ensemble. From there, students who wish to further their choral experience may audition for three specialty groups: Chanteurs, Fratelli, and Sorella. Literature for all groups is chosen to challenge the adolescent singer’s musicianship and incorporate a variety of styles, genres, and musical eras. All choir students participate in weekly music theory instruction. Private instrumental instruction is continued through Upper School.

Private Lessons

More than 14,000 private music lessons, with accompanying recital performances, are given every year for 47% of students in grades K-12. Private music lessons are offered for: piano, harp, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, classical guitar, and music composition. Private voice lessons are available for students in grades 9-12. Get the music lesson contract | View the catalog.

For the 2019-2020 school year, yearly flat-rate fees are as follows:
  • 30 min lessons: $396 per trimester
  • 45 min lessons: $572 per trimester
  • 60 min lessons: $759 per trimester

Recording Studio

Whether creating an audition recording or exploring the art and science of sound, students can create perfectly mixed audio recordings in our state-of-the-art sound and recording studio, located in CA’s Schotters Music Center.

Music Composition

CA offers a digital music composition lab with eight workstations, for instruction from grades K-12, as well as music composition courses. Students collaborate as they compose, arrange, and record music.

Music Faculty

List of 13 members.

  • Photo of Katy Hills

    Ms. Katy Hills 

    Director of Visual & Performing Arts
    Connecticut College - BA
    At CA Since: 2009
  • Photo of Kevin Padworski

    Dr. Kevin Padworski 

    Vocal Music Director
    Eastern University - BA
    University of Denver, Lamont School of Music - MM
    University of Colorado Boulder - DMA
    At CA Since: 2019
  • Photo of Rebecca Burchfield

    Ms. Rebecca Burchfield 

    Private Lesson Coordinator & Violin/Viola Instructor
    University of Colorado at Boulder - BM
    At CA Since: 1978
  • Photo of Jennifer Arnold

    Ms. Jennifer Arnold 

    Cello Instructor & Chamber Music Coordinator
    University of Denver - BM
    University of Denver - MM
    At CA Since: 1993
  • Photo of Brenda Bartel

    Mrs. Brenda Bartel 

    LS Music
    Bethel College - BS
    At CA Since: 2017
  • Photo of Javan Carson

    Ms. Javan Carson 

    Violin/Viola and Orchestra Instructor
    University of Denver - BM
    At CA Since: 2017
  • Photo of Connie Char

    Ms. Connie Char 

    Piano Instructor
    University of Colorado at Boulder - BM
    Ithaca College - MM
    At CA Since: 2004
  • Photo of Andrew Friedrich

    Mr. Andrew Friedrich 

    Guitar Instructor
    University of Texas-Austin - BM
    At CA Since: 2017
  • Photo of Brian Golden

    Mr. Brian Golden 

    Music Composition Coordinator & Instructor, Piano Instructor
    SUNY-Potsdam - BM
    At CA Since: 2000
  • Photo of Nora Golden

    Mrs. Nora Golden 

    LS Music
    University of Puget Sound - BM
    University of Puget Sound - MAT
    At CA Since: 2010
  • Photo of Phil Jones

    Mr. Phil Jones 

    Combo Director & Instrumental Music Instructor
    Northern Arizona University - BM
    At CA Since: 2012
  • Photo of Joyce Li

    Ms. Joyce Li 

    Piano Instructor
    Manhattan School of Music - BA
    Manhattan School of Music - MA
    Columbia University - MAE
    At CA Since: 1999
  • Photo of Isabella Ubertone

    Ms. Isabella Ubertone 

    Flute Instructor/Pre-K Music
    Graceland College - BM
    University of Northern Iowa - MM
    At CA Since: 2000
Colorado Academy
3800 South Pierce Street
Denver, Colorado 80235

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