About the Music Program at TBWS

Music is an integral part of a child’s experience at The Brooklyn Waldorf School. Children sing songs from a variety of traditions and cultures, beginning with simple singing games in the early grades to polyphony in the upper grades choir. Children begin by playing the Choroi flute and choose a string instrument (either violin, viola, or cello) in the third grade. Starting then, children also begin to learn the fundamentals of notation and solfege, with history and theory woven into the later grades.

After starting with individual strings lessons, there is a progression from group classes (separated into upper and lower strings) to grade orchestra, culminating in a full combined orchestra (6th through 8th grade) playing in four-part harmony. The long-term goal for the orchestra and its members is to play music from the standard classical string orchestra repertoire (such as Palladio by Karl Jenkins or the Holberg Suite by Grieg) while also enjoying arrangements of different musical styles (rock, pop, jazz, world music, etc.).

In the strings and orchestra classes we are striving for excellence, beauty, excitement, and musical depth. While we work to achieve those ideals, the children will learn the following life lessons through their work: working as a team, discipline, patience, self-awareness, mindful behavior, respect, and positive working habits, among others. We teach the children to deeply appreciate music in many different ways, setting the stage for life-long enrichment.

To support its strings and orchestra curriculum, TBWS expects every child to take individual stringed instrument lessons from third to eighth grade.

Stringed Instrument Individual Lessons

Individual lessons are an important factor in making the school’s strings and orchestra program a success. It is in the individual lessons where students and teachers can focus on the intricate technical elements of playing an instrument. A progressive curriculum tailored to each individual student is implemented by the lesson teacher. The one-on-one attention with focus on details of playing, note reading, and musicianship is what enables the student to strive in the school’s string program, making it a life-forming experience.

Students may choose to take individual lessons either outside of the school or through The Brooklyn Waldorf School. The School is offering individual stringed instrument lessons to help families and string teachers by providing them with individual lessons in a safe, convenient, professional, and community environment. The connection between the string music programs and the individual lessons within the same school and setting ensures continuity and an integrated approach.

Only individual lessons are offered at TBWS.

The BWS Individual lesson program offers 28 lessons per year between 3:15PM and 6PM. Please consult the strings lesson calendar available here for lesson dates.


Make-up Lessons: If the student is unable to attend a lesson, the parent will call the school 24 hours in advance. Each student is entitled to one 1 makeup lesson per year for an excused absence, which implies that either the school or instructor bas been notified at least 24 hours in advance. No makeup lesson will be given with less than 24 hours notice. All missed lessons due to the teacher’s absence will be made up.

Safe Space: The School Library will be open with staff to accommodate students who are waiting before their lesson time. There is a cost of $150 to enroll for the year.

Tuition Assistance: Families in Tier 1 and 2 will receive Tiered tuition for lessons. 

Director of TBWS Music Program, Sibylle Johner

All students are expected to practice 20 minutes at least 5 times per week.

AfterSchool Coordinator, Amy Sherman


Mark Humberg - cello

Shanda Wooley - cello

Sarah Goldfeather - violin

Trevor Day- viola & violin

Registration: Registration begins on Monday, August 31 for the school year.  The registration form can be found here:

For questions, please email amy@brooklynwaldorf.org

Sign up: Online – register and sign up for specific spots on a first come first serve basis. Familes will be emailed as soon as registration becomes available.

Strings recitals at 630PM for Individual Lesson students on:
Fall: TBA
Spring: TBA

About the Teachers


Sarah Goldfeather, violin and viola
Ms Goldfeather is a Minnesota-born, Brooklyn-based violinist and vocalist whose diverse activities range from solo, orchestral and chamber music to performing with indie, folk, and bluegrass groups.
An honors graduate of Vassar College, Ms. Goldfeather has performed as orchestral musician with the Trinity Wall St Novus Orchestra, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, the New York Repertory Orchestra, the Northern Dutchess County Orchestra, and the Vassar College Orchestra (where she was concertmaster for 3 years). Ms. Goldfeather is also active as a chamber musician and has performed throughout the US and Europe, most recently featured at the IES Abroad Music Program in Vienna, at Killington Music Festival, at the Artaria Chamber Music School, and the Madeline Island Music Center. As a soloist, Ms. Goldfeather has been twice featured with the Vassar Orchestra, performing the Lalo Symphony Espagnole and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. Ms. Goldfeather has received scholarships from Vassar College and the Eastern Music Festival.

As a bluegrass, folk , and rock musician, Ms. Goldfeather is the violinist and vocalist for her own self-titled band, the New York-based Great Dog Almighty, the New York-based Mixtape Cover Band, and the Northfield, MN based Sideporch Trio. She has performed with the Atlantic Theater Company as has recorded music for Meredith Fierke and the upcoming film Welcome to Harlem.

In addition to her active performing life, Ms. Goldfeather has taught violin and music history at Vassar College, assisted research with the International Gustav Mahler Society in Vienna, and maintains an active private violin studio.

Trevor New began his studies on the viola when he was 9 years old in Salem Oregon with Stephen Nelson.

As an undergraduate in Portland, Oregon, Trevor was the Oregon Laurel Scholar and studied with Joel Belgique. Trevor completed his Masters degree as a Walgreen scholar at the University of Michigan where he studied privately with Yizhak Schotten on viola and Dennis Wilson in jazz performance. He has participated in master classes with the Paris Piano Trio, the Tokyo String Quartet, the KLR Trio, Paul Neubauer, the Berlin Philharmonic's Philharmonia Quartet, and many others.

Trevor has extensive experience in both ensemble and solo work. He was a finalist in the 2010 University of Michigan concerto competition.

In January 2014 he premiered the Josh Henderson Viola concerto with the Chelsea Symphony of New York and October of 2011 Trevor performed his transcription of the Elgar Cello Concerto transcribed for viola. The following year he recorded and played Feist’s Metals album in a sold out show at Radio City Music Hall, recorded a solo on Joseph Daley's Portraits and Virtues Album, and in 2012 played the CD release of FUN's hit album, "Some Nights". His latest work on various hip-hop, indie, and solo projects as a producer/writer and performer will be released starting in September of 2014. 

Trevor recently returned from a country-wide tour in Japan with the Balkan Chamber Orchestra and performed in Carnegie Hall for "Black Stars of the Great White Way Reunion" under the direction of Chapman Roberts and David Alan Bunn, and with Ben Vereen, the Original cast of Dreamgirls, and many others. 



News & Events

7/1/2015 Annual Fund Totals
We did it! The BWS Annual Fund reached $300,000 with 100% family participation.