Bucket drumming photo by Phil Roeder

Off-Site Classes

In addition to our in-house music instruction, Bird offers music classes at local preschools, schools and after-school programs in San Francisco.

Our group classes teach kids from preschool through middle school basic musical concepts like rhythm and how to play an instrument, but they also teach essential non-musical life skills like teamwork and cooperation, discipline, communication and goal-setting. Plus, research shows that playing music can help with everything from stress relief to math skills. But, most importantly, learning music is fun!

From traditional lessons like Group Guitar and Ukulele to off-beat offerings like Found Sound and Bucket Drumming, our classes are designed to engage your students while teaching them new skills. Have an idea for a class not listed here? Contact us to design a custom offering for your school or organization!

These are our most popular offerings for school-site classes:

Bucket Drumming
With its roots in street performance, bucket drumming is a fun, hip, accessible way to explore group music-making. Using standard 5-gallon buckets, participants learn about drumming, rhythm, pitch, melody and improvisation as we learn how to use different parts of the bucket and different implements (sticks, hands) to make a variety of sounds. Like other group drumming classes, bucket drumming also encourages collaboration, active listening and coordination. Because it’s active and relatively easy to pick up, bucket drumming is a great confidence booster, too!

Group Drumming
Humans have been drumming in groups pretty much since the beginning of time, and for good reason: Working together to produce music teaches empathy and cooperation, builds community, develops fine and gross motor skills and improves math skills. Drumming also helps develop confidence – playing loudly is powerful! In this class we explore drums and musical styles from a variety of world cultures.

Group Ukulele
Ukulele is a great “gateway instrument” for kids – with its kid-friendly size and only four strings, it’s one of the easiest instruments to learn, and kids feel proud of their accomplishments. Playing the ukulele develops hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. In this class kids learn about chords and basic rhythms and how to read a ukulele tab, skills they can build on with other instruments later on. We learn how to play at least one traditional Hawaiian song all the way through.

Group Guitar
Guitar is a great instrument to learn, because it’s portable and can be used for lots of different types of music. Learning guitar in a group setting inspires kids to share ideas, learn from each other, build listening skills and work together to play in time, an important musical concept. Group guitar is also an excellent introduction for students who want to join a band later on. And reading guitar tabs and playing chords improves concentration and memory – picture how focused and “in the zone” your favorite musician looks when playing. In this class, we learn to read guitar tabs, form chords, keep time and play at least one song all the way through.

Intro to Music (Kindergarten)
In this class geared towards kindergartners, we explore musical concepts through fun percussive jams using shakers, tennis balls and other instruments. As we play and talk about music, kids effortlessly pick up concepts like rhythm, melody, tempo and spatial and sequential reasoning. We learn how to improvise and how to use our voices, bodies and instruments for musical expression.

Preschool Music
This high-energy class is built for preschoolers’ shorter attention spans! Mixing traditional songs, rhymes and games with newer music, we keep the fun and music flowing. Through percussion and movement, kids intuitively explore rhythm and different musical styles.

Private Lessons
In addition to our group classes, we also offer one-on-one 30-minute music lessons with students at your location. Our experienced instructors teach guitar, ukulele, piano, drums and more, from beginner to advanced.

Lots of ukuleles

Drumming photo by Phil Roeder (Creative Commons license)