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  Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 in review – Bilan de l’année pour notre blog

By Admissions

Our MS blog has increased its readership this year! Our annual statistics show that more students and more parents have subscribed and we will continue to share information about life at SDFAS Middle School with you in 2016. To our readers: thank you for being so faithful and supportive!

Merci à tous nos lecteurs et bonne et heureuse année 2016!

Note that this report is generated by

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report:

  Monday, December 14, 2015

Balinese Gamelan

By Bénédicte Brouder

Hirotaka*, a Gamelan specialist from Japan, drives all the way from Los Angeles. each week to teach our students as part of the Center for World Music’s program to bring music to schools and foster intercultural awareness through in-depth encounters with the world’s performing arts traditions.  Last Friday’s end of term presentation featured 7th grade students playing with Hirotaka, who gave an introduction to the audience about the important and sacred cultural significance of Gamelan in Bali. Our students followed tradition by removing their shoes and stepping carefully around — not over — the instruments. The bronze drums, pots, and instruments are hand carved and brightly painted gold to echo the lively music, and were beautiful to see. It was also enthralling to watch how intently focused our students were with their eyes and their ears : on Hirotaka and the drum cues he was using to lead the group; on their own individual playing (strikes and mutes); and on their classmates’ playing to stay in sync – like a small symphony. This was true teamwork in action, and a demonstration of music as a universal language!




*Hirotaka Inuzuka teaches and performs Indonesian gamelan music. Hiro began studying Balinese gamelan during his undergraduate studies in Ethnomusicology at UCLA; he continued to deepen his knowledge of Indonesian music and dance at California Institute of the Arts, under the mentorship of I Nyoman Wenten, where he earned his MFA in WorldMusic Performance. He continues to travel to Bali regularly, to expand his expertise and study with Bali’s most renowned artists and teachers. Currently he is a prominent member of many gamelan groups in the greater Los Angeles area, such as Burat Wangi,Pandan Arum, and Bhuwana Kumala. He has performed in The United States, Japan, and Bali, participating in events such as Pesta Kesenian Bali (Bali Arts Festival), Bali Mandara Mahalango, and Performing Indonesia at the Smithsonian Institute. He has taught gamelan privately, as well as at workshops and community classes in Southern California, including the “Music of Bali” series at ArtShare LA in 2014, and at Glendale Community College in 2015. In 2014, he established Sekaa Gambuh Los Angeles, a group dedicated to playing the music of Gambuh dance drama, one of the oldest surviving Balinese dance forms, which is facing extinction due to Bali’s modernization. With his focus on teaching and performing gamelan music, he has opened his own community gamelan studio in Tujunga, California, where he teaches and trains new players, in order to further the preservation and performance of gamelan music in North America.

  Sunday, December 13, 2015

Middle School Students at Marché de Noël!

By Admissions

Congratulations to the Middle School students who participated

to the Marché de Noël!

There was many booths by our students and very creative arts and crafts or food for sale.

“Félicitations” for your contribution!

Christian Jarlov

Picture below: Malou Le Boursicaud (8th grade) displays art done with the collaboration of her mom who is also an artist.


  Friday, December 11, 2015

Mosaic Project – Completion!

By Bénédicte Brouder

The 6th graders put the finishing touches on the Mosaic Project yesterday, just in time for Marché de Noël. Thanks to Jane for her guidance and patience, and thanks to all the parents who helped!



7th Grade US Science

By Bénédicte Brouder

7th Grade US Science – Forum This Morning

The 7th grade students culminated their trimester learning about ecosystems with Ms. Jacoway by presenting Public Service Announcements or videos about the effects that humans are having on ecosystems internationally.


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  Thursday, December 3, 2015

Gratitude Board

By Bénédicte Brouder

Gratitude Board

Today in Advisory, students were invited to write 5 lines about 1 thing they are grateful for, or 5 lines about how they helped someone. Here are some images of their sometimes thoughtful, and sometimes funny, replies: