Music is an important cornerstone of the liberal arts program at Summit School of Ahwatukee. Students have the opportunity to play instruments, sing, explore all genres of music, and create original musical compositions.  Our music department also orchestrates the Winter concert for the school.

The music program spans preschool through eighth grade.


Music Class, preschool – 5th grade

In kindergarten through fifth grade, the music curriculum involves participation in hands-on musical explorations that incorporate thinking musically, creatively, and critically. Students will develop a comprehensive, basic foundation of musical understandings, skills, and experiences that will enable them to choose and pursue enriching musical experiences beyond elementary school. Musical experiences, as recommended by state (AZ) and national (MENC) standards will include:

Performing  Singing, Playing Instruments, Improvising

Creating  Composing, Arranging, Improvising

Listening  Listening, Analyzing, Describing music, Evaluating music and music performances, Responding to music through Movement

Musical Context  Understanding music in relation to history and culture, Understanding relationships between music and the other arts and disciplines outside the arts

Experiences will be structured as whole-class, small-group, and individualized activities.
Concepts explored include:

• Tone Color (timbre)
• Duration (rhythm)
• Musical Controls (volume, tempo, articulation)
• Pitch (melody, harmony)


Band Elective, grades Sixth – Eighth

The primary goals of this elective class are for students to develop the skills needed to be a creative, expressive, and supportive ensemble musician and to perform at school events. Repertoire will be drawn from styles such as Pop, Rock, Jazz, Latin, World, and Western Classical.

Our seventh and eighth grade band is a performing ensemble. Each year, the band incorporates all instruments played by students and those they wish to explore. Students who do not play instruments are invited to share their vocal talents.

Student engagement in every class is improved when the content presented is relevant to them, be it popular or classical music. Enthusiasm is also improved when students feel they have a choice in what they work on. Therefore, our approach is supplemented with popular songs and classical literature of their choice.

The Summit School of Ahwatukee Sabre Cat Band performs at the school’s winter concert, school sponsored events, and student assemblies. Our band has also been invited to perform at several church and community events within the Phoenix area.

Get to Know - Music Faculty

Dr. Christopher Dorsey

Music, Fourth and Fifth Grade
Band Elective, Sixth through Eighth Grade

Dr. Chris Dorsey was born in Byron, Georgia, and began formal guitar training at Georgia Southwestern University. Continuing at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. He earned his Master of Arts in Guitar Performance from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Guitar Performance from the School of Music at Arizona State University in 2005.

 Dr. Dorsey has studied and performed throughout the world, including Spain, Argentina, and locally in Phoenix and Sedona. In 2000, the Arizona State University College of Fine Arts and the “Friends” of the ASU Center for Latin American Studies awarded Chris grants to study tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is active both as a soloist and as a member of the Santa Fe Guitar Quartet of Argentina. He has recorded three albums with the quartet: Journeys (2003), Wapango (2007) and Antiguo Canta (2007).

Dr. Dorsey began teaching classical guitar at the university level in 1996 and has been teaching children and youth since 1999. In 2005, he established the Dorsey Guitar Studio in Phoenix, Arizona, which offers high-quality instruction in music and classical guitar to children and youth. In 2007 he joined Summit School of Ahwatukee.

Jennifer Horne

Music, Preschool through Third Grade

Jennifer Horne originates from upstate New York, and earned a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at State University of New York College at Potsdam (SUNY College at Potsdam) in Potsdam, New York.  Beginning in 2003 Ms. Horne’s teaching experience has included general, instrumental, and vocal music at all levels, preschool through collegiate.

Ms. Horne continually enhances her knowledge through active participation in international and national conferences, reading professional books and journals, and discussing issues with colleagues, making music education relevant and meaningful for the children. Recognized for her expertise in fostering creativity through music education, Ms. Horne was invited to co-create Music, Meaning, and Imagination, an elective music course for undergraduate non-music majors at Arizona State University. Ms. Horne also plays flute and piano, sings, and can play a variety of concert band instruments proficiently.

Ms. Horne stands out among programs across the state for her project-based approach and integration of technology in ways that are both innovative and developmentally appropriate. She joined Summit in 2008.