Welcome to the Preston High School Music Department!

We offer courses in instrumental (wind band) music, as well as guitar and vocal music.  In addition to our curricular offerings, we offer a variety of extra-curricular ensembles including  band, choir and rock band that cover a wide-range of musical styles and provide enrichment to supplement our course content.  Students wishing to participate in extracurricular ensembles are welcome to join in September and/or January. We also have an active student Music Council who help organize and run concerts, fundraisers and social events. The Music Council is an excellent way for music-minded students to gain valuable leadership skills and experience under the supervision of music department staff. 

Thanks for your continued support of our students and our program.

 Extra opportunities in Music

  • Music Council
  • Concert Band
  • Undercover (rock cover band)
  • Preston Singers (choir)
  • Harmony Spring Concert
  • Sounds of the Season Winter Concert
  • Performance opportunities in the school and community throughout the year

Student FAQs

Q: Can I play piano in instrumental music in grade nine?

A: Unfortunately, piano is not offered as part of  the wind band program; however students with piano background do exceptionally well playing mallet percussion instruments and their strong general musical knowledge sets them up for success when learning a wind instrument. 

Q: Do I have to know how to sing and/or play guitar to take the Modern Music Making course?

A: NO! The grade ten course teaches students HOW to sing (including proper vocal technique, breath support and pitch development) AND play the guitar (chording and fingerstyle). 

Q: Do I have to own my own instrument to take a music course?

A: NO! We have a wide range of musical instruments for loan to students in music courses and extra-curricular ensembles. Students taking instrumental music or guitar will be assigned an instrument to use while they are in the course.

Parent FAQs

Q: My student isn’t planning to go into music as a career…why should they take music?

A: The benefits of music education are well documented. There are many studies that document the ways playing a  musical instrument helps brain development and has long-lasting positive effects on executive functioning and  academic performance. Students who study music tend to do better in school over all, so no matter what career they are planning to pursue, musical study will benefit them.

Check out these resources to learn more:



Q: Practicing at home isn’t an option…is it required if my student takes a music course?

A: While practicing is essential to skill development in music, it doesn’t have to take place at home. Time is provided during class for students to practice and we have practice rooms which may be booked by students for use during the lunch hour or after school.

Q: Does it cost anything to join an extracurricular music ensemble?

A: We wish the answer to this question was NO, but the reality is that it is expensive to run these ensembles. The board provides no funding for extracurricular activities. While the music department runs several fundraisers throughout the year, they are insufficient to cover our costs. To help off-set the cost of things like purchasing music, busing to performances, and festival fees, students involved in our extracurricular program are required to pay an activity fee (much like those involved in athletics). The fees are prorated based on the number of ensembles a student is  involved in. Each year we re-evaluate our fees and adjust them based on the planned activities for that year.  Students are also required to purchase a uniform shirt, which they will wear for performances throughout their career in the extracurricular program.

Department Staff

Ms. Girsa Department Head  leena_girsa@wrdsb.ca

Ms.  Gardiner  laura_gardiner@wrdsb.ca

Courses and curriculum documents

Instrumental Music Courses – Offer instruction on wind band instruments, including skill development, music theory, listening and analysis.  AMI1OI AMI2OI AMI3MI AMI4MI

Modern Music Making Courses – Offers instruction on both vocal and guitar performance techniques. Students in the grade ten course will receive instruction on both and then choose an area of focus for the remainder of the semester. The senior-level courses will continue to develop students’ preferred area of focus. Each course offers a culminating performance at Synergy, our end-of-semester curricular showcase. AMU 2OI AMU 3OI AMU 4EI

Grade 9 & 10 The Arts curriculum documents

Grade 11 & 12 The Arts curriculum documents