Music inspires creativity, positive brain development, and soothes the mind.

Music plays in our classrooms all throughout the day and is enjoyed live through our music program. Our music director, Mr. Mitchell Gustin, leads the exploration of music development and composition.

Native to Southern California, Mr. Mitchell Gustin is a pianist, composer, performing artist, and all around music educator. He recently returned from an eight month long stay in South Korea where he taught within EPIK (English Program in Korea) as a guest English teacher for elementary school grades 1-6. His experience in arts education spans five summers contributing as the Director of Productions to the IMPACT workshop held at New York University, where in a three-week arts intensive, international and U.S. students collaborate in multiple art practices to form a final multimedia production involving music, dance, theatre, visual art, and technology.

Mr. Mitchell currently teaches private piano, works at several high schools within the Capistrano Unified School District as an AVID tutor, and serves as the Assistant Director for St. Margaret’s Upper School musical, The Drowsy Chaperone. He studied music composition at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA, and plans to continue his education as a specialist of music curriculum and instruction for young learners. You can hear some of Mitchell’s music at

“I’m grateful for every smile and hug I receive at the Gratitude Garden Preschool. It has been the most rewarding experience to share the joy of music with young learners right here in my hometown. Let us be grateful for our gifts and every opportunity we have to share them, for one day we may inspire someone to teach their gift to others.” ~ Mr. Mitchell 

Music Program Includes:

Investigation of musical instruments

  • Studied an array instruments and the families to which they belong (woodwind, brass, etc.)

  • Learned about key musical figures and icons throughout Western music

  • Introduction to the sounds of baroque, classical, jazz, American folk, march, and modern rock music

  • Exposure to real instruments: alto saxophone, trumpet, keyboard, melodica, acoustic guitar, ocarina

Inventing Music

  • A look into unique and landmark musical inventions throughout the ages from all over the world

  • Creation of a class instrument(s)

  • Inventing our own music and developing a deeper musical mind via app play

  • Songwriting

  • Exploring the creative process of writing an original song

  • Lyric writing

  • Experimenting with melody and musical form

  • Pairing our class song with a music video fully conceived by the students


Music curriculum concepts for emotional, physical, and social success and development include:

  • Bridging the mental process of sight recognition and hand/limb coordination

  • Interactive exposure to musical sounds and basic theory

  • Creative expression of language and rhythm

  • Freedom to imagine, plan, create, and play

  • Goal oriented lessons for group engagement