Congressional School Blog

Living Music to the Fullest

Written in Collaboration with Ashley Spalletta, Music Teacher


Music teacher, Ashley Spalletta’s passion for music is contagious. Coupled with her love of teaching, her passion for music inspires students to pick up instruments, to explore music, and gain an appreciation for this form of artistic expression. Classically trained as a vocalist she chooses music that will get students excited and motivated. For many students, that means “popular” music—the kind they listen to every day. In fact, when walking past her classroom you may hear the sound of students performing a familiar melody together, and in warmer weather you might see them sitting outside on the patio practicing guitar chords.


Edge of the Clef    

Middle school students have music class for one trimester and take fine art and speech and drama in the other two trimesters. Mrs. Spalletta offers many supplemental musical options so students have ample opportunity to pursue their musical interests all year. One of the choice electives she offers is Guitar Class in which students learn finger warm ups, scales, improvisation, and chords. “In this class, my students get to go a little deeper into learning the instrument,” states Mrs. Spalletta. Jam Sesh is another middle school choice elective, and it is extremely popular. “In Jam Sesh, students form a band, pick a name, and select two songs that they learn and perform. They pick their instrument and practice together,” she says. Chorale is another activity that is highly popular, and the Congressional Chorale has even performed the National Anthem on television in front of thousands of spectators at Washington Nationals and DC United games. This year, Mrs. Spalletta debuted a new singing group— Edge of the Clef, a 15-student ensemble whose participants were chosen through audition.
2019Fall_Congressional_047    Ashley
Music education at Congressional School has an interdisciplinary aspect to it also. Mrs. Spalletta describes one of the most memorable examples of this when two of her students, Gibson and Drake, put together an “epic hip hop song” that they wrote in honor of Newton’s 3 laws of physics. “They were demonstrating both musically and visually the content they were covering for science class. They performed it for the whole school and it was a hit,” she gushed. She aspires to offer meaningful learning experiences to students, not just in music class but in all subject areas. “Continuing to create real-world opportunities for students in which they can implement ideas and take on leadership roles is a powerful experience for students,” she says. Between the Jams 4 Fams Music Festival, the 8th Grade Coffee House, and the many other opportunities she provides for students to explore all aspects of music, it seems she is doing just that!







Ashley Spalletta

Music Teacher

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