shortcut
picture of elementary students at choral festival 2013

Elementary music program

Beginning in Kindergarten, all children have the opportunity to experience music through classroom instruction and concert performances. The music curriculum is aligned with the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts as well as the National Music Standards.

Acting Director of Music Education: Eric Hughes, ehughes@niskyschools.org, (518) 382-2511, Ext. 21711

 

Elementary Music Program Guide

Access this comprehensive guide to the K-5 music program [PDF]

 

Elementary Parent Music Handbook

Access this important document [PDF]

 

Elementary General Music

All students in Kindergarten attend one 30 minute class. Students in grades 1-3 attend two 30-minute periods of music instruction each week. Students in grades 4 and 5 attend two weekly instructional periods; one 30 minutes and the other 45 minutes. Embedded within the 45 minute instructional period is a larger choral experience. Ultimately, all students in grades 4 and 5 are also members of the Elementary Chorus! Our goal is to provide the skills for each student to become both an active participant and an educated consumer of music.

Students engage in a variety of musical activities, including singing, dancing, musical games, listening activities and playing classroom instruments (xylophones, metalophones, recorders and/or percussion instruments).

 

Elementary Chorus

  • Fourth and fifth grade students meet weekly for rehearsals.
  • Students perform music that is more complex and includes mostly two-part harmony.
  • Students are expected to attend required rehearsals and concerts.
  • Chorus students perform at least two concerts in a school year.

 

Fourth Grade Instrumental Music - Orchestra

All students are offered the opportunity to play violin, viola, cello or bass. Students choosing to study a string instrument are provided one 30 minute group lesson per week during the school day. Repertoire is chosen from a wide variety of musical styles with a strong emphasis on the classics and American music. To provide performance opportunities, grade four string students are combined with the fifth grade string players for the in-school Winter and Spring concerts.

Students are expected to develop a regular practice routine of a minimum of 20 minutes per day, five days per week at home. Establishing good practice habits early in instrumental music reinforces technique learned in the weekly lesson and establishes a foundation upon which new techniques can be more easily learned. The lack of a consistent practice regimen can result in lack of progress and could cause the student to feel unsuccessful.

 

Fifth Grade Instrumental Music - Orchestra

The fifth grade string program is the logical extension of fourth grade study of violin, viola, cello or bass. It is anticipated that students who played a string instrument in fourth grade will continue in the fifth grade. Students are provided one 30 minute group lesson per week during the school day. Repertoire is chosen from a wide variety of musical styles with a strong emphasis on the classics and American music. Fifth grade string students are the leaders of the combined fourth and fifth grade orchestra. Winter and Spring concerts provide performance opportunities for the orchestras at the elementary level in each school.

Students are expected to continue their development of a regular practice routine of a minimum of 20 minutes per day, five days per week at home. Establishing good practice habits early reinforces technique learned in the weekly lesson and establishes a foundation upon which new techniques can be more easily learned. The lack of a consistent practice regimen can result in lack of progress and could cause the student to feel unsuccessful.

In addition to the winter concert, fifth grade students will be featured in the Fifth Grade All-District Orchestra in a special evening concert at the high school in May. Students will participate in six after school rehearsals at the high school with string students from all five elementary schools, culminating in a concert in the high school auditorium.

 

Fifth Grade Instrumental Music - Band

All grade five students are offered the opportunity to study a band instrument. Students choosing to play a band instrument are offered small group instruction once per week for thirty minutes during the school day. Instruments offered at this level include flute, clarinet, trumpet, French horn, trombone, and baritone. Saxophone and percussion are also offered, but are limited to ensure a quality ensemble experience for all students.

Percussion is limited to 2 students per building. Considerations when selecting students for percussion include rhythmic aptitude, hand coordination when echoing patterns with drumsticks, attitude, and work habits as described by the classroom and general music teacher.

All students interested in being considered for saxophone must start with clarinet school lessons. 1-2 students per building may be chosen in February- March on the basis of aptitude, attitude, and work habits demonstrated in weekly lessons.

Students are expected to develop a regular practice routine of a minimum of 20 minutes per day, five days per week at home. Establishing good practice habits early reinforces technique learned in the weekly lesson and establishes a foundation upon which new techniques can be more easily learned. The lack of a consistent practice regimen can result in lack of progress and could cause the student to feel unsuccessful. Therefore, every student keeps a practice record that is signed by a parent each week.

Fifth grade band students have the opportunity to combine their new skills in a large group setting at each building by rehearsing for and performing winter and/or spring concerts. In addition to this, District-Wide Fifth Grade Bands meet for rehearsals after school in the spring to rehearse for an evening concert that is presented in the HS auditorium.