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Music

Philosophy

  • Music is a universal language which knows no boundaries. Students gain access to the world of music by actively engaging in it, whether by singing, playing, moving, listening, or discussing.
  • Each student has an 'internal voice' which is moved by music and in turn responds to music in a unique way. This dynamic promotes self-esteem and has a positive effect on performance in other areas, including academic disciplines outside music.
  • In service to the school and the greater community, music is shared in a variety of performance settings, both on campus (such as concerts and musical theater productions) and off (for example, Roosevelt Island events such as the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Fall for Arts).

Co-Curricular Activities

For students who are interested in developing their talents and skills beyond the classroom, the music department offers a number of ensembles which rehearse on 'Wacky Wednesday' and perform at various functions throughout the school year. Our annual spring concert, the 'Evening of Music and Art,' represents the culmination of these efforts.

Performance ensembles include:

  • Wind Band *
  • Chorus
  • Percussion
  • Violin
  • Flute
  • Harp
  • Guitar
  • Rhythm Section *
  • Recorder
  • Handbell

Wind band includes such instruments as trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, and trombone.
Rhythm section is by audition, and consists of piano and/or guitar, electric bass, and and drum set.

The school presents two major musical theater programs each year: Through these opportunities, students further refine their artistry as singers, actors, dancers, and instrumentalists.

Music Curriculum

Classroom musical activities are correlated to the following standards. All students are expected to:

  • Create, perform, and participate in Music
  • Know and use musical materials and resources
  • Respond to and analyze musical works
  • Make connections between Music and its broader cultural context
  • Contribute to music based on those connections

To demonstrate the application of standards to a lesson for grade 4-5, students might:

  • Play a simple, transposed melody from a Haydn string quartet on Orff xylophones
  • Read the piece from traditional notation using proper instrumental technique
  • Discuss the structure of the piece in terms of melodic patterns and phrasing
  • Learn about the piece in the context of the composer's life and environment
  • Compare and contrast the piece with another Haydn work based on the above learning

In addition to experiencing musical learning in the above example, students strengthen their proficiency in all the core academic disciplines:

  • Language Arts: verbal expression of music terminology and cultural history
  • Math: Pattern recognition in melody and phrasing
  • Science: Sound resonance in relation to proper instrumental technique
  • Social Studies: placing the composer and the work in its cultural context

Future initiatives of the music department include increased emphasis on:

  • Field trips to connect students with the careers of professional musicians in New York City
  • College preparation for our most talented student-musicians
  • Expanding our horizons in the area of musical performance



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