“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.” – Plato

Program Overview

Temecula Preparatory School’s music program is thriving and growing! Miss Michelle Risling leads the upper school program, containing over 100 singers in three choirs, as well as Music Appreciation and AP Music Theory courses.

The upper school choir program offers two beginner choirs, Junior Choir (7-8) and Concert Choir (9-12). Our third choir is the Chamber Singers (9-12), which is an auditioned ensemble for advanced singers. All three choirs present several public concerts throughout the year. In addition to concerts, the Chamber Singers perform on tour, in choral festivals, and are available for public and private events. The students learn a wide variety of music, from classical to contemporary, and perform in many languages from all around the world. They also study music theory and history daily, and are internalizing all the fine details of good musicianship and performance practice.

The Music Appreciation class is a unique study of the timeline of music, from ancient through contemporary. Each unit (Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century, Contemporary) focuses on important composers, musical works, theoretical concepts, and technological advances of the era. Students are given the opportunity to play several authentic instruments from around the world, and compose music in the style of each artistic era. No prior experience is needed for this class, and students leave it with a lasting love and appreciation for music.

AP Music Theory is available to students with a high level of understanding in music theory. Students may take Music Appreciation as a pre-requisite, or take an entrance exam in order to enroll. This course is the equivalent of a first-year college theory course, and places great emphasis on aural skills, sight-singing, and harmonic analysis.

Lower School Music Instruction (TK-6)

Music is part of every Lower School student’s weekly schedule.  

Upper School Music Instruction (7-12)

Michelle Risling | Music & Choir

Miss Michelle Risling earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, choral emphasis, at California State University, Fullerton in 2010. She then completed a single-subject California Teaching Credential in Music, after year-long student teaching at Fountain Valley High School and McAuliffe Middle School. As a member of the University Singers, she performed with such notable figures as Andrea Bocelli, Dale Warland, Eric Whitacre, Nintendo, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. She is an active member of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), the National Association for Music Education (NAME), and the Southern California Vocal Association (SCVA).

She currently teaches music classes and directs four choirs at Temecula Preparatory School, and previously taught at Hemet High School for two years. She has also directed an advanced high school ensemble with the San Diego North Coast Singers, called Capella, since 2008. Miss Risling is a member of the Choral Arts Initiative professional choir, based in Newport Beach.

Miss Risling has studied voice and piano since she was a child, and teaches private lessons at her home studio in Murrieta. She also composes and arranges choral music, and was honored to have an original song cycle performed by the San Diego North Coast Singers in 2004 and 2007. She regularly composes and arranges pieces for many different types of choirs.