First Program

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The primary objective of the First Program music curriculum is to encourage a love and appreciation of music through singing, listening and movement. Through a combined Dalcroze/Orff approach, children learn about rhythm, notation, harmony style and interpretation. These goals are accomplished through exposure to a repertoire of songs, dances and musical games that reflect varied cultural heritages. The social skills of listening, taking turns and supporting other children’s efforts are emphasized as children experience the joy of cooperative music making. Wherever possible, individuals are also encouraged to be creative and explore their own musical ideas. Instrumental work incorporates a variety of percussion instruments including Orff instruments (xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels). Recorder is introduced in third grade. Sings and assemblies are presented several times a year. They serve to reinforce curricular connections and provide opportunities for children to sing together. Outcomes of the music program include the ability to sing in tune, to read simple rhythmic and pitch notation, to sing two-part music, to practice in listening attentively and critically to music, and to appreciate varied musical styles from different cultures.
Learn more about Music
  • Music Kindergarten

    Kindergartners have two 30-minute classes per week, meeting once in a whole group and once in a half group. Together children sing a repertoire of American folk songs as well as songs from other cultures. Question and-answer songs, ear training games, and solo singing encourage tuneful singing. Children experience the elements of music—tempo, rhythm patterns, tone, color, style, form, and dynamics—through singing games, movement activities, and the use of small percussion instruments.
  • Music 1st Grade

    First graders have two 45-minute classes per week. Students learn a larger repertoire of music, including American folk songs and songs that complement their social studies curriculum. They explore in greater depth the elements of music that were introduced in kindergarten. Children are gradually introduced to formal musical symbols and terminology. Listening skills are taught with selected
    orchestral repertoire where children are able to move creatively as they experiment with making up new words or verses to familiar songs and creating movements and dances.
  • Music 2nd Grade

    Second graders have music once a week for 45 minutes as a whole class. Each child also has 45 minutes of instrumental ensemble for one semester, using Orff pitched percussion and rhythm instruments. In these classes, children work collaboratively, playing xylophones, glockenspiels, metallophones, assorted drums and other percussion instruments. They develop ensemble skills, learning to maintain a steady beat and listening to one another. Part-singing in the form of simple rounds is introduced and the repertoire of American folk songs and songs from diverse cultures is expanded. Children learn music notation through singing, solfege (reading music with do-re-mi syllables), dancing, and playing increasingly complex games. They develop their listening skills with exposure to classical orchestral repertoire, jazz, folk and contemporary music. Children discuss what they hear and how the music affects them.
  • Music 3rd Grade

    Third grade students have two 45-minute classes per week, one general music class and one instrumental class. In instrumental class children work with unpitched and melodic percussion instruments as well as being introduced to the recorder. They learn an increasingly larger repertoire of songs, both American folk songs and songs from other cultures. Part singing of simple rounds encourages children to maintain musical independence while working as a group. Children build on their solfege skills and continue to work on their listening skills.


  • Photo of Janet Chinelli
    Janet Chinelli
    First Program Music Teacher
    University of Rochester/Eastman School of Music - B.A.
    Hunter College, City University of New York - M.A.
  • Photo of Nancy Silber
    Nancy Silber
    First Program Music Teacher
    Eastman School of Music - B.M.
212.423.5200 |
(K-3) 53 East 91st Street, New York, NY 10128
(4-12) 108 East 89th Street, New York, NY 10128