Music Director (Upper Elementary & Middle School)
David Zapotocky (Mr. Z) is a specialist on woodwind instruments and music composition (though he can teach and play just about any instrument!). Mr. Z has a Bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in jazz studies from California State University, Long Beach.
In addition to many years of private teaching experience, Mr. Z has five years of experience running music programs at public elementary schools, two years of university teaching at CSULB, and an additional four years here at Mission Montessori Academy. During all of this time, he has maintained a presence on the professional music scene, often performing at The Nash in downtown Phoenix.
Mr. Z is passionate about the neurological benefits of music on the development of the brain and critical thinking processes. He is deeply committed to the next generation of musicians, and the application of music education to all fields of study and human interaction. Mr. Z began teaching students from grades 4-8 at the Mission Montessori del Norte campus in the Fall of 2011. He has continued instructing the middle school students when they moved to their new campus at The Farm at St. George, and extended the Strings program to students in grade 3.
All of the upper elementary students (grades 4-6) are offered a general music class in which the fundamental elements of music theory, history, and culture are explored. These students perform in Winter and Spring Concert programs that explore themes which coordinate with their regular classroom studies. Middle school students (grades 7-8) are offered a Music Lab experience, combining elements of the aforementioned general music class with opportunities to use their own instruments and voices in creating songs and compositions. Mr. Z offers an extensive instrumental and vocal program to students from grades 3-8. This includes programs for Strings, Band, Choir, and Music Theater. He has also taught classes in piano, guitar, and percussion when the schedule permits. Each of these instrumental and vocal groups will have opportunities to perform at least once during the year.