John Stanford offers music class, choir, and instrumental music. Music class with Ms. Katie is part of the curriculum for all grades while choir and instrumental programs are extra-curricular.
Beginning in Third grade, every student at John Stanford has the opportunity to participate in choir. Students come together for one rehearsal each week to prepare a variety of classical, folk, and popular songs for a concert in December. The JSIS choir has sung around the community, including at the Wallingford Center, The Center for Wooden Boats, Seattle Center Winterfest, the Greenlake Pathway of Lights, and the University of Washington's celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There is no cost to be in choir, and no audition necessary.
John Stanford offers Elementary Instrumental Music to fourth and fifth grade students once per week for half a day. A presentation is given to explain the program to the students at the beginning of the school year where they are given enrollment forms to take home and fill out. Fifth grade students receive priority as there is a limited number of time and space. A lottery system is used to select which fourth graders will participate to reach the maximum number of students who can be accommodated.
The main six instruments offered in the program are flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, violin, and cello. Additional instruments are sometimes offered including saxophone, percussion (drums), and viola. Instruments can be rented from local music stores, and a limited number are available through the district at no charge for students on free and reduced lunch.
There are different groups depending on instrument and level of experience. Typically, the students are split into beginning band, advanced band, beginning strings, and advanced strings with a 30 minute class during the school day. Instrumental music offers students a chance to begin learning an instrument and developing skills they can then utilize in Middle School and High School. Students are also given the opportunity to perform for their fellow classmates as well as friends and family with a concert in the spring featuring the work each group has put in throughout that school year.