Music Curriculum – High School

Concert Choir

This select mixed choir performs a variety of musical selections in many styles including master works from the standard choral repertoire as well as joint performances with orchestra, band and jazz ensemble. Auditions for this ensemble take place in January but may be arranged by appointment if a stu-dent is new to the choral program. Each student is required to take small group lessons and students are encouraged to develop their solo singing and participate in NYSSMA. Students may take choir and band/orchestra in the same block and are encouraged to do so. Students participating in Concert Choir also get a chance to sing in a Women’s Choir/Men’s Choir, respectively, as part of the curriculum. This course meets theArt/Music requirement for graduation.

Mixed Choir

This is a mixed voice choir where students are introduced to four-part SATB harmony. Students develop their skills as independent singers and work on vocal skills in lessons. Students also perform jointly with the Concert Choir. Each student is required to take small group lessons. Students may take choir and band/orchestra in the same block. Students participating in Concert Choir also get a chance to sing in a Women’s Choir/Men’s Choir, respectively, as part of the curriculum. This course meets the Art/Music requirement for graduation.

Symphony Orchestra

This organization plays musical selections from all time periods and styles. The orchestra performs at the Winter and Spring School concerts, the Pops Concert, the District Orchestra Festival and the Graduation Ceremony on a rotating basis with band and choir. All string players are members of this group and wind and percussion players are selected from the

Wind Ensemble by the orchestra conductor. Each student is required to take lessons either in school or privately. Students may take orchestra and choir in the same block. This course meets the Art/Music requirement for graduation.

Concert Orchestra

Open to all students who have experience on an orchestral string instrument. Emphasis is on continuing technical development, aural and ensemble skills. There are approximately four performances per year, with music chosen from a variety of sources, including classics, folk, modern and original works. Wind and percussion students are chosen from the Concert Band and join the orchestra on a rotating basis. All orchestra students must be enrolled in the lesson program, either privately or through the school. Students may take orchestra and choir in the same block. This course meets the Art/Music requirement for graduation.

Symphonic Band

This ensemble is composed of students who have previous band experience and are capable of performing at NYSSMA Level III as a soloist. Students’ suggested practice time for this group should be 3 hours per week. This groaup will perform selections chosen from the Pop, Jazz, Classical, Folk and 20th Century repertoire. Emphasis is placed on a continuance of technical development, aural and ensemble skills. Students are required to take a weekly group lesson within the school day or choose the option of taking a private lesson outside of school hours. This course can be used to meet the Fine Arts requirement for graduation.

Wind Ensemble

This organization is composed of students who are musically proficient and capable of performing at NYSSMA Level V – VI as a soloist. Students’ suggested practice time for this group should be five hours per week. Every effort is made to maintain a well – balanced instrumental ensemble and might be limited to one player per part. Each student auditioning for this group must understand the responsibility he/she must have when committing to this group. Students’ attendance at all performances are strongly encouraged to ensure a balanced and successful performance. The ensemble will perform exemplary and demanding literature from the repertoire for Wind Ensemble. Students are required to take a weekly group lesson within the school day or choose the option of taking a private lesson outside of school hours. This course can be used to meet the Fine Arts requirement for graduation.

Music Theory and Composition 1

Music Theory is open to all students of all musical backgrounds, although a prior knowledge of music notation and proficiency on an instrument or voice is recommended. The course covers all aspects of music including ear training, notation, keys, scales, chords, composition and analysis. Emphasis is on a theoretical understanding through aural comprehension. Theory is recommended to any student considering entering the field of music or desiring a deeper understanding of musical concepts.

AP Music Theory

AP Music Theory is an advanced curriculum leading to the AP examination in May. (Fee is approximately $92.) The course covers more challenging aspects of music including advanced ear training, dictation, scales/modes, altered chords, composition, analysis and music history. Emphasis is on a theoretical understanding through aural comprehension. AP Music Theory is recommended to any student considering entering the field of music.

Music Technology

This hands-on, project-centered course is designed to give students who are interested in music related careers the opportunity to acquire functional knowledge about music technology. Students will learn the basics of audio hardware, recording, MIDI sound production, notation, sequencing and editing with projects demonstrating both the creative process and the possibilities of music technology. This course meets the Art/Music requirement for graduation.

Music in our Lives

Music in Our Lives is an elective course designed for students to study many different aspects of the musical arts. Curriculum units include keyboard and guitar instruction, composition, music technology, and other topics. The course focus is on gaining life-long musical knowledge through hands-on activities while exploring social instruments on a recreational (non-performance) level. The course culminates in an independent project focused on a specific area of student interest. Students in this course receive one credit which

Music Technology 2

Music Technology 2 is designed for students who have completed Music Technology 1 and have acquired a functional knowledge about sound manipulation. The class will focus on advanced aspects of Midi sound production, sequencing, editing and composition/film scoring. This course will be of an interest to students who are pursuing a career path in a music technology related field.

Applied Music (Independent Study)

In this program, students may receive credit for taking private lessons outside of school from qualified teachers. Applied music should not be confused with school private lesson forms. This course does not fulfill the Regents Fine Arts requirement for graduation. Credit requires 5 hours of weekly practice and quarterly reports as well as a year end evaluation.

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