Music & Art

Home » Our School Day » Music

Preschool Music Class

During one 30 minute music class per week, students will:

  • Explore the elements of music through singing, movement, listening, playing pitched and unpitched percussion instruments and games
  • Explore their vocal range and have many experiences singing familiar and new songs
  • Introduce the concept of steady beat which is practiced using body percussion and instruments
  • Respond respond creatively to music
  • Perform musical accompaniments to rhymes and stories

Preschool students participate in two staged performances a year.

Kindergarten – 4th Grade Music Class

During one 30 minute (kindergarten through third grade) or 45 minute (fourth grade) class per week, students will:

  • Continue sequential learning based on knowledge from previous grade levels incorporating concepts such as steady beat, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, pitch, melody, harmony, form, timbre, texture, and expression into activities
  • Gain a wide variety of experiences involving these concepts through singing, listening, moving, playing instruments and playing games
  • Develop appropriate vocal and instrumental practices
  • Practice steady beat and simple rhythmic skills
  • Listen to and respond creatively to music
  • Provide accompaniment to poems, rhymes and stories using instrumental sounds, movement and dramatization

There are several performances throughout the year

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade Chorus

During one 30 minute class per week, students will:

  • Practice proper vocal technique – posture, breath support and diction
  • Respond to conductor cues

The 1st – 2nd grade chorus performs for various school events and concerts.

3rd – 4th Grade Recorder

Students in 3rd and 4th grade learn recorder technique and how to simultaneously perform pitches and rhythm.

3rd – 5th Grade Chorus

During one 45 minute class per week, students will:

  • Practice proper vocal technique – posture, breath support and diction
  • Respond to conductor cues
  • Explore harmony in the form of ostinatos, rounds and partner songs
  • Learn music in other languages

The 3rd-5th grade chorus performs for various school and community events.

4th Grade Guitar Studies

During one 45 minute class per week, students will:

  • Learn to read notes on the Treble staff and the first 3 strings of the guitar
  • Practice on chord shapes and strumming
  • Learn to perform as a group

Guitars and method books are provided by Brown School.

4th and 5th Grade Band

Students who choose to play a band instrument meet once a week for a small group lesson where they:

  • Develop playing technique and music reading skills
  • Acquire beginning ensemble playing experience

The fourth grade students gain proficiency in group lessons before meeting as a band part way through the year. The fifth grade band meets regularly and performs a varied repertoire of music for school concerts and other school events.

5th Grade Guitar Studies

During one 45 minute class per week, students will:

  • Continue learning chord shapes
  • Practice as a group
  • Learn notes on strings 4, 5 and 6
  • Receive instruction on dulcimer
  • Learn music history

Guitars and method books are provided by Brown School.

6th – 8th Grade Band

During one 45 minute grade level rehearsal and one 45 minute full rehearsal (6th-8th combined) per week, students will:

  • Continue to develop playing technique specific to their instrument
  • Expand their knowledge of musical notation and instructions
  • Further enhance their ensemble playing skills as the rhythmic, melodic and textural complexity of band music increases

The 6th-8th Grade Band performs a varied repertoire of music for school concerts and events.

6th – 8th Grade Guitar Studies

6th – 8th grade students taking only guitar have both a 45 minute class and a 45 minute 6th – 8th group class per week, while students taking guitar and band will meet for the 45 minute class only.

During this time students will learn:

  • To read music notation on the treble staff
  • To read tablature
  • Various chord shapes and strumming patterns
  • Various styles of guitar technique (classical, blues, modern)
  • Music History
  • Performance skills (classroom talent shows) and students may also perform for our younger students

High School Music

All high school music instruction is based on individual student interest, whether for guitar or band instruments.

Performing Arts

The goal of the Brown School Performing Arts Program is to foster the musical development of each child and provide a vehicle for self-expression, creativity, and musical enjoyment in order to enhance their lives now and in the future. Every student at Brown School is given several opportunities to engage in musical and theatrical performances during the year.

Lower School Musical – Students in preschool through fourth grade perform skits and musical selections that are linked to the school’s curriculum as part of the Lower School Musical.

Musical – Students in fifth through ninth grades are welcome to participate in a full-scale musical theater production each December. Students can participate by acting and singing on stage, or by being part of the lighting, sound or stage crews.

Music Cafe – Students in fourth grade through high school have the choice to participate in Open Mic Nights in our Music Cafe. This allows them the opportunity to share their vocal or instrumental skills in a solo or group setting.

Concerts and Events – Students in all grades have the opportunity to participate in concerts and events throughout the year. Our Veteran’s Day assembly, Winter Concert, Ringing Singers, and Fine Arts and Music Fair are just a few of the annual events where students can showcase their musical and performing talents.

Visual Arts

The Brown School visual art curriculum has many core similarities between grade levels. Each year students are able to build on the techniques, processes, concepts, and material presented in the previous years. Projects and concepts presented in the art curriculum often reflect on and make connections to the grade level classroom curriculum. Students are also introduced to in-process critiques that help to mature not only the students’ artwork, but also their critical thinking skills, oral communication skills, and personal aesthetic. Looking at art through a critical lens is extremely important when creating work that is complex in both execution and concept.

After school, students in sixth grade and up have the opportunity to compete in the Olympics of the Visual Arts, a regional competition sponsored by the New York State Teachers Association approaching it’s 40th year.