Jackson Elementary Goes Music/Math


Wondering about this picture? Its the chart with the classes that have mastered piano playing on different songs in the Let’s Play Piano curriculum.  But its so much more than that…    

Jackson Elementary School, under the leadership of Principal Patrick Buchser, has been transformed into a math and music school.  Morgan Hill Unified School District Superintendent Dr Wes Smith and Buchser reopened the school in Fall 2012 as an elementary with a clear focus…and focus it has!  

I had the opportunity to visit Jackson last week and to say I was “amazed” is an understatement. If I lived in Morgan Hill, I’d be sleeping on the front steps until I could get my children into the program.   

Pictures speak a thousand words, and those from my Jackson visit can’t speak the volumes that need to be shared about the quality of instructors and admirable leadership at Jackson. Students are receiving music instructor from first-year teacher (and superstar) Amanda Knudtzon.  

She is using The Mind Institute program for Music this year and I was very impressed with the skills acquired by the students since late Fall. They are able to easily demonstrate their work using 5 fingers on the keyboard and can write music in different ways.  

ALL students were engaged when I visited, and I stayed a while so the novelty of a visitor wasn’t why they were focused and participatory. Ms. Knudtzon has a gift. She commands herself in front of a class better than most seasoned teachers and shares history and poetry while covering music, both vocal instrumental.


The students at Jackson are clearly focused and engaged. When I spoke with them, they were energized and sincere – they love their music classes. More importantly, they love their teacher.   

Yeah…I can see why….


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