Welcome to VAPA Music Department
BUSD Music is a world-class program that is unique in our commitment to deliver music education to EVERY student in the district. All students in Berkeley Unified study music for three years- general music in 3rd grade (Orff, singing, recorder, note-reading) and- our flagship program- all 4th and 5th graders choose an instrument that they study for 2 years twice a week in small instrument-alike groups of 10-15 students with a teacher who specializes in that instrument. Our middle and high schools offer outstanding band, orchestra, chorus, guitar, and mariachi classes and ensembles.
Our staff of over 19 full-time, fully-credentialed music teachers, a VAPA Technician, and Music Equity and Inclusion Specialist all work as a team, collaborate, learn together, and operate as an itinerant-but-cohesive music school within BUSD. Headquartered in our own office building and warehouse in beautiful West Berkeley, we provide every student with an instrument and centrally manage sheet music, supplies, and instrument inventory as well as provide a hub for art professional development.
Equity, inclusion, and representation continue to be integral values in our department. Many equity resources are available for your perusal on this site, but we also invite you to partner with us in this work.
We owe many thanks to Berkeley voters (for our BSEP funding!), our community partners, and especially to our Berkeley families- for supporting their students’ music education.