NHS Program of Studies: Music

VIDEO OVERVIEW OF MUSIC DEPARTMENT OFFERINGS

Skip to:

The music program provides students the opportunity to find a richer life by guiding them to a better understanding of music. There are courses for students who are interested and skilled in vocal or instrumental performance and wish to concentrate in these areas. Students who are not performing musicians, however, but wish to learn more about music, will find valuable courses in Music Theory and Music Technology.

Graduation Requirements in the Arts

To fulfill graduation requirements, all students must earn at least one (1) unit in music or art. The choices include one unit in the music courses listed in the Program of Studies, or Studio in Art, or Design and Drawing for Production.

Music as a Sequence of Study

Students planning to major in music must have either a three- or five-unit sequence of music courses. These sequences can consist of Performing Ensembles (Skill Development), Music Theory instruction (Musical Knowledge), and MIDI Technology (Music Technology).

Advanced Regents Diploma

If pursuing the Advanced Regents Diploma, students must choose one of the following sequences:

  • Fine Arts – Studio in Art and four units of music and/or art courses
  • Music – The five-unit music sequence
  • Visual Art – A five-unit sequence beginning with Studio in Art
  • Career Technical Education (CTE)
  • Language Other Than English (LOTE) – A sequence totaling 3 units

(Please note: Successful completion of the language competency exam at the end of the 8th grade meets the one unit of LOTE required for graduation.)

Vocal Majors 3-Unit Sequence 5-Unit Sequence
Ensembles 2 credits 3 credits
Music Theory I 1/2 credit 1/2 credit
Music Theory II 1/2 credit
Music Technology I 1/2 credit 1/2 credit
Music Technology II 1/2 credit
Music Theory II is available to all students who meet the prerequisite, not just students seeking a 5-unit sequence in music.
Instrumental Majors 3-unit sequence 5-unit sequence
Ensembles 2 credits 3 credits
Music Theory I 1/2 credit 1/2 credit
Music Theory II 1/2 credit
Music Technology I 1/2 credit 1/2 credit
Music Technology II 1/2 credit
Music Theory II is available to all students who meet the prerequisite, not just students seeking a 5-unit sequence in music.

SKILL DEVELOPMENT

Students who enroll in ensembles do so because they find musical performance a satisfying experience. As students mature and further develop their musicianship skills, they also develop important leadership qualities. These student members serve as positive role models for less experienced performers. Without them it would be difficult to maintain the high standards of excellence associated with the high school performing ensembles.

Therefore, once enrolled in performing ensembles it is anticipated that students continue to enroll in ensembles in subsequent years.
Music ensembles are available to all students through an “open audition” process. “Open auditions” are held each January for the following school year. Information about auditions is available from music teachers or the music office.

Students enrolled in Studio Singers, Jazz Ensemble, Stage Band, Chamber Strings or Bel Canto Voices must also be members of their respective core ensemble: ­Concert Chorale, Symphonic Band, String Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, A-Choired Taste (formerly Ladies First) or Choir.

Prerequisite for all CORE performing ensembles

Attendance at all performances and weekly small group instrumental lessons during the school day. Small group lessons are part of the ensemble syllabus and quarterly average. Students who study privately may be exempt from the weekly lessons, at the discretion of the director.

Instrument Rental, Concert Wear, Music Purchase

Students renting school instruments will be charged a $125 fee for the period September through June. No student shall be excluded from participation in any music ensemble due to financial hardship. Financial assistance for concert wear, music purchase, instrument rental, other forms of assistance (waiver of fees, concert wear exchange, music share, etc.) is available for those who qualify. For information, please contact the ensemble director or the district director of music.

Music Courses

SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA H
ORCHESTRA WINDS/PERCUSSION H
CHAMBER STRINGS H
STRING ORCHESTRA
SYMPHONIC BAND H
CONCERT BAND
STAGE BAND
JAZZ ENSEMBLE H
CHOIR
A-CHOIRED TASTE
CONCERT CHORALE H
BEL CANTO VOICES H
STUDIO SINGERS H
MUSIC THEORY I
MUSIC THEORY II
Music and MIDI Technology I
Music and MIDI Technology II
APPLIED MUSIC INSTRUCTION

58550 SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA H

1 year, 1 credit – Honors, Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: Admission is by audition and/or invitation by the conductor. Maintaining proper instrumentation is considered in the selection process.

Symphony Orchestra focuses on performing advanced string and symphonic works. A wide variety of music will be explored, with the opportunity to perform classical masterworks, chamber music, film scores, and a concerto movement. The ensemble incorporates winds and percussion for rehearsals and concerts. Students accepted into the ensemble are expected to maintain a high standard of playing and leadership throughout the year.

58830 ORCHESTRA WINDS/PERCUSSION H

1 year, 1/4 credit – Honors, Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: Admission is by audition and/or invitation by the conductor.

Wind and percussion students are an integral part of the Symphony Orchestra. Instrumentation is specific to symphony orchestra literature. Students enrolled in this class have the unique opportunity to rehearse separately in addition to the full Symphony rehearsals. Enrollment in this ensemble is automatic for the selected winds and percussion players.

58500 CHAMBER STRINGS H

1 year, 1/2 credit – Honors, Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: Advanced string students may audition. Current Membership in String Orchestra or Symphonic Orchestra is also required..

The Chamber Strings study music from string and chamber orchestra literature. Opportunities for performance outside of school are available throughout the year. Chamber Strings members are required to be members of the Symphony Orchestra.

58530 STRING ORCHESTRA

1 year, 1 credit, Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: Previous members and ninth grade students who as eighth graders played in the middle school orchestra are eligible for automatic enrollment. All other interested students must demonstrate proficiency on their instrument before enrolling in the course.

This ensemble performs medium to medium-advanced string literature, emphasizing the refinement of basic musicianship skills. Performance opportunities include evening concerts and assembly programs.

58600 SYMPHONIC BAND H

1 year, 1 credit – Honors, Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: Admission is by audition and/or invitation by the conductor. Maintaining proper instrumentation is considered in the selection process.

The music studied and performed is from the finest band literature, both contemporary and traditional. Performance opportunities include evening concerts and assembly programs both on and off campus. Principal players serve as the Orchestra Winds/Percussion for our Symphony Orchestra (see course 58830).

58650 CONCERT BAND

1 year, 1 credit, Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: Previous members and ninth grade students who as eighth graders played in the middle school band are eligible for automatic enrollment. All other interested students must demonstrate proficiency on their instrument before enrolling in the course.

Concert band is an open enrollment ensemble that focuses on medium to medium-advanced literature. This ensemble is an opportunity for students to work on developing instrumental technique, strong rehearsal habits, and an increased experience of the world of wind band music. Performance opportunities include evening concerts and assembly programs.

58685 STAGE BAND

1 year, 1/2 credit, Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: Admission is by audition and/or invitation by the conductor. Current membership in Concert Band or Symphonic Band is also required except for piano and guitar students.

This ensemble performs medium to medium-advanced jazz ensemble music Performance opportunities include evening concerts and occasional additional out-of-school events.

58700 JAZZ ENSEMBLE H

1 year, 1/2 credit – Honors, Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: Advanced band students and piano and guitar players may audition. Current membership in Symphonic Band is also required.

Study and performance will include music of jazz, Latin, and fusion idioms. Performance opportunities include evening concerts and occasional additional out-of-school events. It is required that Jazz Ensemble members also be members of the Symphonic Band or Concert Ban with the exception of piano and guitar players.

58850 CHOIR

1 year, 1 credit, Grades 9-12

Choir is a comprehensive foundational ensemble for all secondary school choral experiences and a prerequisite to any Honors choral ensemble (Bel Canto Voices, Concert Chorale, Studio Singers). Choir is a large mixed-voice choral ensemble that is open to all high school students. The music studied and performed is from the finest choral literature of both sacred and secular styles. Choir members will have the opportunity to audition for Concert Chorale, Studio Singers, and/or Bel Canto Voices. A one-time fee of $15 will be assessed for concert wear.

5890 A-Choired Taste

1 year, 1 credit, Grades 9-12

A-Choired Taste is a comprehensive foundational ensemble for all secondary school choral experiences and a prerequisite to any honors choral ensemble (Bel Canto Voices, Concert Chorale, Studio Singers). A-Choired Taste is a treble choir open to all students who sing in the treble range. The music studied and performed is from the finest choral literature for treble voices in both sacred and secular styles. Members will have a chance to audition for Concert Chorale, Studio Singers, and/or Bel Canto Voices. A one-time fee of $75 will be assessed for concert wear. (A one-time fee of $75 will be assessed for concert wear. )

58890 CONCERT CHORALE H

1 year, 1 credit – Honors, Grades 10-12

Prerequisite: Choir or A-Choired Taste (formerly Ladies First). Admission is by audition and/or invitation by the conductor. Maintaining a balanced ensemble is considered in the selection process.

Concert Chorale is a large mixed-voice choral ensemble. Students will be admitted to this advanced choral group after passing an audition that includes Level 4 sight-reading and teacher recommendation. The music studied and performed is from the finest advanced choral literature of both sacred and secular styles. A one-time fee of $110 will be assessed for concert wear. Students in grade 8 may be invited to audition based upon current teacher recommendation and ensemble need for participation in grade 9.

58800 BEL CANTO VOICES H

1 year, 1/2 credit – Honors, Grades 10-12

Prerequisite: Choir or A-Choired Taste (formerly Ladies First). Admission is by audition and/or invitation by the conductor. Maintaining a balanced ensemble is considered in the selection process. Current membership in Choir, Concert Chorale, or A-Choired Taste (formerly Ladies First) is also required.

Bel Canto Voices is an auditioned a cappella vocal ensemble. Study and performance will include Renaissance music from England, Italy, France, and Germany. Bel Canto Voices is highly active in the community and often performs during the year at outside venues. A one-time fee of $75 will be assessed for concert wear. Students in grade 8 may be invited to audition based upon current teacher recommendation and ensemble need for participation in grade 9.

58750 STUDIO SINGERS H

1 year, 1/2 credit – Honors, Grades 10-12

Prerequisite: Choir or A-Choired Taste (formerly Ladies First). Admission is by audition and/or invitation by the conductor. Maintaining a balanced ensemble is considered in the selection process. Current membership in Choir, Concert Chorale, or A-Choired Taste (formerly Ladies First) is also required.

Studio Singers is an auditioned “commercial” style vocal jazz ensemble. Study will include popular, folk, jazz, rock and standard styles. Studio Singers is highly active in the community and often performs during the year at outside venues including Niska-Day in May. A one-time fee of $110 will be assessed for concert wear. Students in grade 8 may be invited to audition based upon current teacher recommendation and ensemble need for participation in grade 9.

*Transfer students will be evaluated and placed on an individual basis after communicating with the director of each ensemble.

Musical Knowledge

58950 MUSIC THEORY I

1 year, 1/2 credit, Grades 9-12

This course is open to all students in the high school. This course establishes a foundation in the materials and structures of music including pitch, rhythm, scales, intervals and chords. Aural skills will also be learned through sight-singing and dictation. Prior music reading experience is recommended.

58970 MUSIC THEORY II

1 year, 1/2 credit – Honors, Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Music Theory I or demonstrate proficiency by passing an exam for Music Theory I equivalency.

This course offers students the opportunity to study music theory at an advanced level. Topics include the principles of voice leading, part-writing and the analysis of chord structure from the 1600s through the twentieth century. Sight-singing and dictation will also be emphasized. Students are provided the opportunity to earn college credit for qualifying work on the Advanced Placement Music Theory Examination. It is recommended that Theory II be taken in the senior year.

Attitude Development

59010 Music and MIDI Technology I

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grades 9-12

It is recommended (although not required) that students enrolling in this course possess a basic proficiency in music, as evidenced by one of the following: the completion of Theory I, enrollment in an ensemble, teacher recommendation or informal interview. Students will learn how to use MIDI sequencing software for arranging and composition.

59030 Music and MIDI Technology II

1 semester, 1/2 credit, Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: Music and MIDI Technology I or teacher recommendation.

This is a course primarily for students who have completed Music and MIDI Technology I or those who can demonstrate a knowledge and proficiency of MIDI technology extending beyond that of the first course. Students will develop extended projects in the areas of electronic composition, arranging and film scoring.

To fulfill Regents art requirements, students must successfully complete both Music and MIDI Technology I & II courses.

59990 APPLIED MUSIC INSTRUCTION

1 year, 1/2 credit, Grades 9-12

According to state Education Department guidelines, the credit earned through Course #59100 CAN NOT be used to fulfill the music/art graduation requirement.

Students may seek private instruction on those instruments not offered as part of the school music program. These typically include, but are not limited to, guitar and piano. One-half credit is available for students who study music privately, provided the course of study is approved by the Director of Music Education, and High School Principal. Students may receive Applied Music credit provided State regulations and governing procedures and standards are satisfied. Registration must be submitted to the Director of Music by October 1st.

Please Note: Credit for Private Applied Music Instruction is not applicable towards a diploma. Applied Music Instruction can only be used for elective credit. Applied Music Credit does not fulfill the music credit needed for graduation. Students can earn a maximum of (.5) credit per year.