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Welcome to Instrumental Music

at shady side academy JUNIOR SCHOOL

Instrumental music overview

Shady Side Academy is committed to giving every student the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument. Fourth and fifth grade students choose a wind or percussion instrument and begin with three private lessons with me before joining a small group for weekly lessons. Large group rehearsals (held with the entire homeroom) are also held weekly. (Fourth grade will not begin large group rehearsals until December; fifth grade begins immediately at the start of the school year). Ensembles perform throughout the school year, and venues include Tuesday assemblies, The Cydra Vaux Celebration of the Arts, Grandparents' Day, a visit to a local retirement village and perform holiday music, our annual Junior and Middle School Concert, Moving Up Day, and Closing Exercises. I also bring in professional musicians to give demonstrations and master classes.  We've hosted David Sogg (PSO bassoonist), Rebecca Cherian (PSO trombonist), Penny Anderson Brill (PSO violist), Timothy Adams Jr. (former PSO timpanist), Kenny Blake (jazz saxophonist), Jim Guerra's Little Big Band, jazz drummer Roger Humphries, and Wendy Webb Kumer (The Flute Academy).

Third Grade also comes to the instrumental music room by entire homeroom once every 7-day cycle. They are introduced to playing the soprano recorder while also learning to read music. Not only does this help to prepare them for the instrumental music program they will be involved with in fourth and fifth grade. but  it also allows Ms. Price to complete a standard Orff setting in General Music with students singing, playing barred (Orff) instruments, and playing the recorder.

You are invited to come by and hear us perform!




 Please view the video below, created by fifth grade students, demonstrating various instruments


A typical day with fifth graders rehearsing 



Fourth Grade Musicians Hard at Work




*****Fourth Graders: Don't forget that you can find your sheet music under Resources on the "My Classroom" page!


Third Grade Recorders ROCK!


Third Grade Recorder Students!

Try this exercise to improve your note reading. It's fun!


Fourth Grade Trombone Students!

Practice reading in the bass clef with this exercise!



  About me:

I earned my B.S. in Music Education from Edinboro University and have taken many graduate courses at Duquesne University's School of Music. I have an active interest in music technology and completed Level I certification from the Technology Institute for Music Educators through Duquesne University. This is my 24th year teaching at the Junior School, and I consider myself fortunate to be working in an environment where the arts are strong and are considered part of the curriculum. Although I can play every instrument that I teach, my main instrument is Flute. I've performed with several community orchestras in the Pittsburgh area and also have had a flute studio teaching privately since my college days.  In 2001, I was awarded  a Benedum fellowship to attend the Oxford Summer Flute School in U.K. and study with Peter Lloyd, former Principal Flute of the London Symphony Orchestra.  What a wonderful experience!  When I'm not making music, you'll find me working in my flower gardens or riding my bike on the rails to trails. I am a devoted animal lover and have had my life enriched by many wonderful dogs, cats, and horses.

Contact Information

Ruth Ann Modic

Voicemail: 412-473-4414

Email address: rmodic@shadysideacademy.org  (preferred method of contact)

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