Programs
Middle School

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Music

Our mission is to help our students experience the feeling of pride, responsibility, and joy that comes from learning to read and perform music in a safe and inclusive environment.

The sequential Middle School curriculum is designed to achieve these specific goals and objectives:

1. To inspire and encourage students to be patient with themselves and each other as they learn this new craft.

2.  To develop technical skill as a vehicle for self-expression, building confidence and self-esteem as a musician.

3. To guide each student to accept new challenges to achieve success as an individual and as an ensemble member.

4.  To nurture what we hope will become a lifelong love for music.


Music Skills

4th Grade
5th Grade
Class Description
General music - 18 weeks of classes.  

Introduction to the instruments: 6 weeks each of violin, clarinet and flute headjoint, cornet mouthpiece and percussion.  
First year of specialization in one of six areas:  Chorus, Strings (violin, viola), Low Strings (cello, bass), Woodwinds (flute, clarinet, saxophone), Brass (cornet/trumpet, trombone, French horn), or Percussion.
Study Skills
Develops self-discipline necessary to                                      achieve one’s musical best and work
successfully in ensembles (R)

Being supportive of and exercising patience with fellow musicians.  (I)
Develops self-discipline necessary to achieve one’s musical best and work successfully in ensembles (R)

Exercises patience with self and others (R)

Prepares theory assignments (I)

Learns proper practice and rehearsal technique and the difference between the two. (I)
Theory
Learns basic rhythmic and melodic components through listening, counting, clapping and singing (I)
Learns rhythmic, melodic and harmonic structure through listening, reading, singing, writing and playing (R, I)

Identifies time and key signatures (I)

Identifies dynamic and tempo markings (I)

Identifies words and symbols that guide the performer through a piece of music (I)

General Music
(18 weeks)
Singing
Develops basic vocal technique, correct singing posture and breath support (R, I)

Develops standard repertoire of children’s literature—seasonal, immigration, patriotic songs, including study of a shortened libretto of “HMS Pinafore” (I)

Reading
Learns basic rhythms clapped and spoken and written in music notation; note names learned from C to G above the treble clef staff. (I)

Performs repertoire at specific level of
difficulty on tone bells (I)

Learns to recognize instruments of
the orchestra through hearing recorded and live performances of standard repertoire (I)
Vocal Technique
Develops embouchure, singing posture and breath support (R)

Develops ability to blend with other voices (I)

Music Reading
Learns solfege and intervals and to read sections of songs by sight (I)

Learns to control dynamic levels in vocal performance (I)

Unison and Part Singing
Learns acapella and accompanied songs, unison and two-part singing in English and another language sometimes combining with the Sixth Grade Chorus (I)

Repertoire
Studies music of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Cole Porter (I)
Instrumental
Learns proper instrument handling and maintenance (I)

Technique
Understands correct rest and playing position & posture (I)

Learns proper tone production (I)

Learns proper fingering and/or
bowings (I)

Tuning  
Understands & demonstrates awareness of pitch accuracy (I)

Pitch matching (I)

Rhythm
Develops ability to count, clap or play basic binary rhythms using oral counting system (R, I)

Performance
Learns to play beginning scales and songs (I)
Learns proper instrument handling and maintenance (R)

Technique
Understands correct rest and playing position & posture (R)

Learns proper tone production (R)

Learns proper fingering and/or bowing (R,I)

Tuning  
Understands & demonstrates awareness of pitch accuracy (R)

Pitch matching (R)

Rhythm
Develops ability to count, clap, or play multiple binary rhythms using oral counting system (R, I)

Performance
Develops ability to prepare and perform lessons in first year method book (I)

Develops ensemble skills to join other classes for concert work (I)

Learns to follow a conductor (I)



MUSIC
6th Grade
7th and 8th Grade: Performance Groups
Study Skills
Develops self-discipline necessary to                                      achieve one’s musical best and work
successfully in ensembles (R)

Being supportive of and exercising patience with fellow musicians.  (I)

Prepares theory assignments (R)

Learns proper practice and rehearsal technique and the difference between the two. (R)
Develops self-discipline necessary to achieve one’s musical best and work
successfully in ensembles (R)

Exercises patience with self and others (R)

Learns proper practice and rehearsal technique, and the difference between the two. (R)

Learns to prepare in a timely fashion for winter and spring concerts (I)
Theory
Learns rhythmic, melodic and harmonic structure through listening, reading, singing, writing and playing (M, R, I)

Identifies time and key signatures (M, R, I)

Identifies dynamic and tempo markings (R)

Identifies words and symbols that guide the player through a piece of music (R)
Learns additional theory through performance repertoire (R, I)

Choral
Vocal Technique
Develops embouchure, tone quality and unison choral singing through more developed choral posture, breath support, intonation and blend strategies (R)

Music Reading
Sings larger sections of songs with interval recognition and solfege;  identified by sight and by ear; and interprets more sophisticated dynamic levels with greater accuracy  (R, I)

Repertoire
Learns songs in unison and two and three parts in several languages (R, I)

Boys learn to adjust to their changing voices (I)

Prepares for increased amount of performances (R, I)
7th / 8th Chorus
Learns to develop individual voice (R, I)

Develops complex sight-singing and interval study (R, I)

Learns increased amount of SAB and SSA repertoire (R, I)

Increases appreciation and awareness of the art by rehearsing and performing with the High School Chorus and by attending Metropolitan Opera final dress rehearsals. (I)
Instrumental
Learns proper instrument handling and maintenance (R)

Technique
Understands correct rest and playing position & posture (R)

Learns proper tone production (R)

Learns proper fingering and/or  bowing (M, R, I)

Tuning  
Understands & demonstrates
awareness of pitch accuracy (R)

Develops ability to match pitches (R)

Rhythm
Develops ability to count, clap or
play multiple binary rhythms using
oral counting system (R, I)

Performance
Develops ability to prepare and
perform lessons in method book (R)

Develops ensemble skills to join other
classes for concert work and to form duos and trios (R, I)

Learns selected repertoire from various cultures (I)

Learns to follow a conductor (R)
7th / 8th Wind Ensemble andString Ensemble

Learns proper instrument handling and maintenance (R)

Technique
Understands correct rest and playing position & posture (R, M)

Learns proper tone production (R)

Learns proper fingering and/or bowing (M, R, I)

Tuning  
Understands & demonstrates awareness of pitch accuracy (R)

Learns selected repertoire from various cultures and periods (I)

Learns to follow a conductor (R)

Develops ability to balance within a section and with a full ensemble (R, I)


  • 5th Grade Violin

    Beginning violin classes are designed to introduce students to the instrument and help them to develop the self-discipline necessary to work successfully in ensembles. Students learn proper practice and rehearsal techniques and the differences between the two. Reading music is emphasized as are correct rest and playing position & posture. Students also work on proper tone production, fingering, and bowing.
     
  • Chorus

    Students who have developed the appropriate skills and motivation to continue in music become members the seventh and eighth grade Chorus. The music literature that is chosen for performance represents a broad spectrum of periods, styles, and cultures, and is designed to be suitable, challenging, and satisfying for each ensemble.
     
    Middle school performers often join the high school groups for attendance at master classes and performances given by visiting professionals.
     
    In addition to the winter assemblies and the annual spring concert, other performance opportunities are pursued to allow the groups to share their achievements. Past venues have included nursing homes, holiday store events, and the Interschool Choral Festival for the Chorus; Interschool Instrumental Festival at Alice Tully Hall for various ensembles; and the “Music in The Parks” adjudication for the Jazz and Percussion Ensembles where they recently received Excellent and Superior ratings.
     
  • Concert Band MS

    Students who have developed the appropriate skills and motivation to continue in music become members the seventh and eighth grade Concert Band. The music literature that is chosen for performance represents a broad spectrum of periods, styles, and cultures, and is designed to be suitable, challenging, and satisfying for each ensemble.
     
    Middle school performers often join the high school groups for attendance at master classes and performances given by visiting professionals. Schedules permitting, some exceptionally advanced instrumentalists may be invited to join the High School Orchestra after consultation and/or audition with the Director.
     
    In addition to the winter assemblies and the annual spring concert, other performance opportunities are pursued to allow the groups to share their achievements. Past venues have included nursing homes, holiday store events, and the Interschool Choral Festival for the Chorus; Interschool Instrumental Festival at Alice Tully Hall for various ensembles; and the “Music in The Parks” adjudication for the Jazz and Percussion Ensembles where they recently received Excellent and Superior ratings.
  • Jazz Ensemble MS

    Students who have developed the appropriate skills and motivation to continue in music become members of the seventh and eighth grade Jazz Ensemble. The music literature that is chosen for performance represents a broad spectrum of periods, styles, and cultures, and is designed to be suitable, challenging, and satisfying for each ensemble.
     
    Middle school performers often join the high school groups for attendance at master classes and performances given by visiting professionals. Schedules permitting, some exceptionally advanced instrumentalists may be invited to join the High School Orchestra after consultation and/or audition with the Director.
     
    In addition to the winter assemblies and the annual spring concert, other performance opportunities are pursued to allow the groups to share their achievements. Past venues have included nursing homes, holiday store events, and the Interschool Choral Festival for the Chorus; Interschool Instrumental Festival at Alice Tully Hall for various ensembles; and the “Music in The Parks” adjudication for the Jazz and Percussion Ensembles where they recently received Excellent and Superior ratings.
     
  • Music 4 General

    Fourth graders spend half the year in General Music and half the year rotating through introductory brass, percussion, string, and woodwind classes. The General Music classes focus on the development of music reading, listening, and singing, and the instrumental classes concentrate on the physical skills used to play each family of instruments. At the end of the year the students, teachers and parents communicate to help determine the area of most interest and compatibility to ensure an informed selection for an area of specialization in grade five and six. The students select one of the following: Chorus, Violin, Viola, Cello, Flute Clarinet, Saxophone, Cornet, Trombone, French horn, or Percussion.
  • Music 4 Instrumental

    Fourth graders spend half the year in General Music and half the year rotating through introductory brass, percussion, string, and woodwind classes. The General Music classes focus on the development of music reading, listening, and singing, and the instrumental classes concentrate on the physical skills used to play each family of instruments. At the end of the year the students, teachers and parents communicate to help determine the area of most interest and compatibility to ensure an informed selection for an area of specialization in grade five and six. The students select one of the following: Chorus, Violin, Viola, Cello, Flute Clarinet, Saxophone, Cornet, Trombone, French horn, or Percussion.
  • Music 5

    Specialists in the chosen area of study teach each class and work to ensure that the students are properly prepared and correctly guided through these new and formative stages of music making.
     
    Choral students develop the fundamentals of vocal production by working on their intonation, range, and sight-reading with the use of solfege and unison and two-part literature drawn from many sources and composers. The instrumental classes use published methods found to be most helpful for developing technique and reading and are supplemented by studies and arrangements that suit a particular class’ needs. Instrumental classes are divided into specific sections: Cornets separated from trombones and French horns; flutes from clarinets and saxophones; and cellos from violins and violas. As the year progresses, the families of instruments are slowly brought back together for ensemble work. We celebrate this first full year of study with a concert for the parents in the spring.
     
  • Music 6: Brass

    Intermediate music classes are designed to increase the learning pace to prepare students for more advanced studies in the future. As they learn to sing or play a larger volume of music and with more skill, the greater will be their enjoyment.
     
    Classes and mixed ensembles have several opportunities to perform throughout the year including assemblies, Greek Festival--which is part of the sixth-grade academic curriculum--and the annual spring concert.
     
  • Music 6: Chorus

    Intermediate music classes are designed to increase the learning pace to prepare students for more advanced studies in the future. As they learn to sing or play a larger volume of music and with more skill, the greater will be their enjoyment.
     
    Classes and mixed ensembles have several opportunities to perform throughout the year including assemblies, Greek Festival--which is part of the sixth-grade academic curriculum--and the annual spring concert.
  • Music 6: Low Strings

    Intermediate music classes are designed to increase the learning pace to prepare students for more advanced studies in the future. As they learn to sing or play a larger volume of music and with more skill, the greater will be their enjoyment.

    Classes and mixed ensembles have several opportunities to perform throughout the year including assemblies, Greek Festival--which is part of the sixth-grade academic curriculum--and the annual spring concert.
  • Music 6: Percussion

    Intermediate music classes are designed to increase the learning pace to prepare students for more advanced studies in the future. As they learn to sing or play a larger volume of music and with more skill, the greater will be their enjoyment.
     
    Classes and mixed ensembles have several opportunities to perform throughout the year including assemblies, Greek Festival--which is part of the sixth-grade academic curriculum--and the annual spring concert.
  • Music 6: Violin

    Intermediate music classes are designed to increase the learning pace to prepare students for more advanced studies in the future. As they learn to sing or play a larger volume of music and with more skill, the greater will be their enjoyment.
     
    Classes and mixed ensembles have several opportunities to perform throughout the year including assemblies, Greek Festival--which is part of the sixth-grade academic curriculum--and the annual spring concert.
  • Music 6: Winds

    Intermediate music classes are designed to increase the learning pace to prepare students for more advanced studies in the future. As they learn to sing or play a larger volume of music and with more skill, the greater will be their enjoyment.
     
    Classes and mixed ensembles have several opportunities to perform throughout the year including assemblies, Greek Festival--which is part of the sixth-grade academic curriculum--and the annual spring concert.
  • Music Composition Workshop

    No course description currently available.
  • Percussion Ensemble

    Students who have developed the appropriate skills and motivation to continue in music become members of the seventh and eighth grade Percussion Ensemble. The music literature that is chosen for performance represents a broad spectrum of periods, styles, and cultures, and is designed to be suitable, challenging, and satisfying for each ensemble.
    Middle school performers often join the high school groups for attendance at master classes and performances given by visiting professionals. Schedules permitting, some exceptionally advanced instrumentalists may be invited to join the High School Orchestra after consultation and/or audition with the Director.
    In addition to the winter assemblies and the annual spring concert, other performance opportunities are pursued to allow the groups to share their achievements. Past venues have included nursing homes, holiday store events, and the Interschool Choral Festival for the Chorus; Interschool Instrumental Festival at Alice Tully Hall for various ensembles; and the “Music in The Parks” adjudication for the Jazz and Percussion Ensembles where they recently received Excellent and Superior ratings.
  • String Orchestra

    Students who have developed the appropriate skills and motivation to continue in music become members of the String Orchestra. The music literature that is chosen for performance represents a broad spectrum of periods, styles, and cultures, and is designed to be suitable, challenging, and satisfying for each ensemble.

    Middle school performers often join the high school groups for attendance at master classes and performances given by visiting professionals. Schedules permitting, some exceptionally advanced instrumentalists may be invited to join the High School Orchestra after consultation and/or audition with the Director.
     
    In addition to the winter assemblies and the annual spring concert, other performance opportunities are pursued to allow the groups to share their achievements. Past venues have included nursing homes, holiday store events, and the Interschool Choral Festival for the Chorus; Interschool Instrumental Festival at Alice Tully Hall for various ensembles; and the “Music in The Parks” adjudication for the Jazz and Percussion Ensembles where they recently received Excellent and Superior ratings.

Faculty

  • Chris Landriau

    Middle and High School Music Department Chair & K -12 Music Curriculum Coordinator
    (212) 423-5214
    Empire State College - B.A.
    Oberlin Conservatory
  • Madeline Blum

    Middle School and High School Music Teacher
    (212) 423-5466
    Juilliard School - M.M.
  • Jordan Brown

    Middle and High School Music Teacher
    (212) 423-5213
    Florida State University - M.M.
    Florida State University - B.M.
    Yale School of Music - Postgraduate studies
  • Robert Bush

    Middle and High School Music Teacher
    (212) 423-5215
    Juilliard School of Music - B.M.
    Juilliard School of Music - M.S.
  • Elizabeth Cruz

    Music Teacher
    (212) 423-5495 x3061
    Syracuse University - B.A.
    Columbia University - M.S.
  • Marina Fragoulis

    Middle School Music Teacher
    James Madison University - A.D.
    Mannes College of Music - B.M.
    Lehman College - M.Ed.
  • Mia Ibrahim

    MS Music - Cruz
  • Glenn Makos

    Middle and High School Music Teacher
    (212) 423-5217
    West Chester University, PA - B.S.
    Manhattan School of Music - M.M.
  • David Morgan

    Middle and High School Music Teacher
    (212) 423-5428
    Manhattan School of Music - B.M.