Studio: Music

Music Studio

Bernice Fleischer, Assistant Principal
 
The Music Department prepares students to continue their studies in music conservatories, to major in music at a university, or to perform professionally. All music majors receive preparation in sight singing, music theory, and music history. Master classes feature guest artists such as members of the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera and The Juilliard School.
Any student who has had previous training in sight-singing, ear-training and/or theory is advised to take a diagnostic exam in order to be placed into an appropriate level.

Performance Groups

Performance Groups
Band: Elementary, Intermediate & Advanced Girls Chorus
Chamber Music Gospel Choir
Jazz Band, Junior Mixed Chorus
Jazz Band, Senior New Music Ensemble
Orchestra: Elementary Opera Workshop
Orchestra: Intermediate Show Choir
Orchestra: Junior Women’s Choir
Orchestra: Senior  
Orchestra: Musical Theatre Pit  
Orchestra: Opera Pit

Course Offerings

Band 5 – Elementary Band – Band 5 is a year-long course of study that is open to first and second-year woodwind, brass and percussion students who are selected by the music faculty. Repertoire is chosen from the standard literature according to level of ability. Band 5 participates in Winter and Spring Musicales.

Band 6 – Intermediate Band – Band 6 is a year-long course of study that is open to second, third and fourth-year woodwind, brass and percussion students who are selected by the music faculty. Repertoire is chosen from the standard literature according to level of ability. Band 6 participates in Winter and Spring Musicales.

Band 8 – Senior Band – Band 8 is a year-long course of study that is open to woodwind, brass and percussion students who are selected by the music faculty. It is the Senior Symphonic Band. Advanced repertoire is chosen from the standard literature. There are opportunities to work with guest artists. Band 8 is featured in two major concerts annually.

Brass 1 and 2 – Brass 1/2 is a year-long course of study that is open to first and second-year brass majors and to first and second year piano and guitar majors who are studying brass as their secondary instrument. Students are selected for this course by the music faculty. Technique, breathing and tone development are emphasized, including all major and minor scales and arpeggios, and selected etudes and solo pieces.

Brass 3 and 4 – Brass 3/4 is a year-long course of study that is open to third and fourth-year brass majors who are selected by the music faculty. Students have a strong intermediate level of ability on a brass instrument. This course prepares students for their solo jury examinations. Students also prepare brass ensemble music for coaching sessions and master classes.

Chamber Music, Strings – This course is for advanced string players and advanced pianists. It is a year-long course, which involves serious study and performance of the standard chamber music literature for string quartet, piano/string trio, and selected ensemble combinations. This class prepares students for participation in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s annual Young Musicians’ Competition.

Chamber Music, Winds – This course is for advanced winds players and advanced pianists. It is a year-long course, which involves serious study and performance of the standard chamber music literature for woodwind, brass instruments, piano/string trio, and selected ensemble combinations. This class prepares students for participation in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s annual Young Musicians’ Competition.

Conducting – This course teaches the elements of leading an instrumental ensemble. Students will learn how to interpret musical scores by leading student groups in musical performance. Course work includes: score analysis, meter beat patterns, baton technique, visual score study-baton placement, left hand symbols, dynamics, pitch registration, and pattern cubes. Members of the conducting class make up the laboratory ensemble for the conductors. Repertoire is from the standard Classical repertoire.

Elementary Chorus – A required introductory course for all Freshmen. Students will study basic reading skills and methodologies that will prepare them for more advanced choral study. Standard repertoire will be studied and performed.

Girls Chorus – Instruction and training in choral singing techniques, including: blend, proper vowel formation, diction and articulation, and independence of part are taught in a professional choral rehearsal and performance setting. Students learn a repertoire from a wide variety of musical styles and eras while improving their sight singing skills through ongoing reading of choral repertoire.

Gospel Choir – The study and performance of “gospel music” from both a historical and cultural perspective, including the study of spirituals, anthems, hymns — in traditional and contemporary genre — both á cappella and accompanied.

Guitar, Beginning – This year long course is open to third and fourth-year instrumental and vocal students. Students learn the basic principles of beginning guitar technique, including tuning, melodic fingering and bar chords.

Jazz Improvisation – Study of the basic approach to improvisation through the study and playing of compositions, chords, and scales. The study and understanding of jazz forms in the bomco setting and a strong emphasis on time, meter, jazz swing feel, and the ability to work together.

Jazz Studies – This year-long course is taken in place of Music History and culminates with a three-hour comprehensive examination in June. This history course is a detailed study of the history of American Jazz from its inception to the modern era.

Jazz Band, Junior – Junior Jazz Band is a year-long course of study that is open to second, third and fourth- year woodwind, brass, percussion, guitar, bass, and piano students who are selected by the music faculty. Repertoire is chosen from standard jazz band literature according to level of ability. Junior Jazz Band participates in Winter and Spring Musicales.

Jazz Band, Senior – Senior Jazz Band is a year-long course of study that is open to third and fourth-year woodwind, brass, percussion, guitar, bass, and piano students who are selected by the music faculty. Advanced repertoire is chosen from standard jazz literature. There are opportunities to work with guest artists. Senior Jazz Band is featured in two major concerts annually.

Mixed Chorus – This course is for the intermediate to advanced study of choral repertoire for mixed voices. Outcomes include the ability to read music and acquire the rehearsal techniques in preparation for the Senior Chorus. Students learn vocalizing techniques including a focus on breath control, posture, and vowel functions. Scales, triads, intervallic recognition, and four-part harmonic progressions are essential parts of the curriculum.

Music History – Music History is a full-year survery of Western music from ancient times to the present. It is offered to Juniors who have completed their theory sequence and aims to familiarize students with the sounds, structures, trends, forms, and composers of European art music. Completion of the Music Theory sequence is the pre-requisite for this course. It culminated in the Music Comprehensive Examination.

Music Technology – Hands-on studio experience in using synthesizers, computers, and recording technology.

Music Theory 1, Instrumental & Vocal – Music Theory 1 introduces students to music fundamentals such as musical notation, modes, and scales. Students learn the different qualities of triad chord construction and the beginning of four-part harmonic writing. Melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic dictations, as well as ear training exercises, are an integral component of this course of study.

Music Theory 2, Instrumental & Vocal – Music Theory 2 begins with the basic concepts of triad chord inversions and figured bass line and soprano line harmonization using inversions. Students are introduced to the 7th Chords and the complete and incomplete versions of the Dominant 7th Chord. Topics covered include the second inversion chord progressions and the secondary triads of the scale. Basic concepts of cadences and cadence chord progressions are begun. Non-harmonic tones ae also covered. Ear training, sight singing, and dictation continue to be integral component.

Music Theory 3, Instrumental – Music Theory 3 covers the concepts of modulation as well as the modulations to the key of the dominant, to the key of the sub-dominant, to the key of the relative major/minor, and to the key of the parallel major/minor. In addition to the secondary dominant 7th Chords and the cycle of Dominant 7th Chords, the augmented 6th Chords, Italian, German, and French Metropolitan chord major and minor modes are taught. Ear training, sight singing, and dictation continue to be integral component.

Music Theory, Advanced Placement – This is a college- level course; upon completion, students are expected to sit for the AP examination. This course emphasizes aural and visual identification of procedures based in common-practice tonality: functional triadic harmony in traditional four-voice texture (with vocabulary including nonharmonic tones, seventh chords, and secondary dominants). Topics include cadences, melodic and harmonic compositional processes (e.g., sequence, motivic development), standard rhythms and meters, phrase structure (e.g., contrasting period, phrase group), small forms (e.g., rounded binary, simple ternary, theme and variation, strophic), and modulation to closely related keys. A brief introduction to twentieth-century scales, choral structures, and compositional procedures is included. Ear training, sight singing, and dictation continue to be integral component.

New Music Ensemble – New Music Ensemble is a showcase performance group for the contemporary writer and arranger. Students learn to write, arrange, and produce their own music while developing creative independence and confidence. Course requirements include: organizing and formalizing showcase material and arrangements, written scores, rehearsal tapes, rehearsal time, staging, and performance partners. Culminating project includes the ability of the student-songwriter to “sell” his/her product to class members and outside contacts, and to participate in local and national songwriting contests.

Opera Workshop, Junior & Senior – The development of skills in preparation of operatic roles, with emphasis on character development and the care and training of the young operatic voice. Instructional units include: the listening analysis of legendary operatic performances; the discussion of standard operatic literature; performance practice throughout the Baroque, Classic, Romantic, and Twentieth Century historic periods; and the preparation of operatic scenes and arias for performance in both master-class and public settings. This course culminates in a full-scale operatic production.

Orchestra, Elementary – Orchestra 3/4 is a year-long course of study that is open to first and second-year string players. This is the first-level string ensemble comprised of both string majors and piano and guitar majors on instruments not ordinarily included in a band or orchestra who have chosen orchestral strings as their secondary instrument. Repertoire is chosen according to level of ability. Orchestra 3/4 participates in Winter and Spring Musicales.

Orchestra, Intermediate – Orchestra 5/6 is a year-long course of study that is open to second, third and fourth-year string players who are selected by the music faculty. This is the intermediate level string ensemble comprised of both string majors and piano and string majors on instruments not ordinarily included in a band or orchestra who have chosen orchestral strings as their secondary instrument. Repertoire is chosen according to level of ability. Orchestra 5/6 participates in Winter and Spring Musicales.

Orchestra, Junior – The LaGuardia Philharmonia – The LaGuardia Philharmonia (Orchestra 7/8) is the school’s strong intermediate to advanced symphony orchestra. It is a year-long course of study that is open to second, third and fourth-year woodwind, brass, percussion and string students who are selected by the music faculty. Intermediate to advanced repertoire is chosen from the standard orchestral literature. There are opportunities to work with guest artists. Orchestra 7/8 participates in Winter and Spring Musicales.

Orchestra, Senior – The LaGuardia Symphony Orchestra – Orchestra 9/10 is the school’s premiere classical instrumental ensemble. The Orchestra performs in four major concerts annually: a Concerto Concert featuring instrumental soloists; two traditional Semi-Annual Concerts; shared performances with the Senior Chorus; and the Commencement Ceremony held at Lincoln Center. Repertoire is chosen from advanced works from the standard orchestral and concerto literature. There are opportunities to work with guest artists.

Orchestration – Students learn how to arrange musical compositions for orchestra. Each instrument is examined for its range, transposition, clef, and technical capabilities. The historical development of each category of instrument is also covered. Students orchestrate a musical piece for a woodwind quartet, brass quintet, percussion ensemble, and string quintet. The course’s culminating project is the arranging of a musical composition for a full orchestra. The ability to read an orchestral score and understand the terminology used in a variety of languages is stressed.

Percussion 1 and 2 – Percussion 1/2 is a year-long course of study that is open to first-year percussion majors and second, third and fourth-year students who are chosen by the music faculty. Technical development on all orchestral percussion instruments is emphasized, including timpani, snare drum, xylophone, cymbals, and all other auxiliary instruments. There are opportunities to work with guest artists in master classes.

Piano, Beginning – This course will develop skill in learning to play the piano. Beginning concepts such as basic music theory, chord construction, rhythmic and harmonic knowledge will be applied throughout this course.

Piano, Intermediate – This course will help to further develop reading and playing skills at the keyboard. Instruction focuses on expanding a student’s repertoire, developing accompanying skills, and performing piano duets and keyboard harmonies.

Piano, Advanced – Skill building in reading, theory, and performance practices needed for the advanced piano literature will be studied. Students will develop fluency in reading and comprehension skills in the deconstruction of melodic, harmonic, and technical concepts with the learning of pianistic work and performance skills. Instructional units include transposition, scales, score reading, and solo and four-hand piano performances.

Pit Orchestra: Musical Theater – This course is devoted to the learning of accompanying skills used in the Musical Theater literature. Culminating project is performing in the run of the annual school-wide musical production.

Pit Orchestra: Opera – This course is devoted to the learning of accompanying skills used in the Operatic literature. Culminating project is performing in the run of the annual opera.

Recording Studio – This year-long course is an intensive study of the history of sound recording and hands-on experience with studio equipment and its applications to mastering and mixing recorded material.

Show Choir – Show Choir is year-long course of study open to third and fourth-year vocal music majors who are selected by the music faculty. Repertoire is selected from the Broadway, jazz, and pop genres. Show Choir performs regularly at special events throughout New York City. Show Choir participates in the Winter Musicale and is featured in an annual Spring Concert.

Sight-Singing – Students learn the basics of reading and writing music and standard musical notation. The Sol-fa system is used for students to be able to sing melodies, and the ability to write melodies and rhythms through melodic and rhythmic dictation is emphasized.

Solo Voice/Audition Prep – Solo Voice/Audition Prep is for the enhancement and clarification of expectations for a soloist in a professional choral rehearsal/performance setting. The development of overall tonal concepts, with emphasis on solo singing and proper vocal production, is stressed. Students improve sight singing skills through continued reading of vocal repertoire. Admission to solo voice is by audition.

Strings, Fundamental – Strings 1/2 is a year-long course of study open to first-year piano, guitar, or harp majors on instruments not ordinarily in a band or orchestra who have selected one of the orchestral strings as their secondary instrument. This is a beginning strings class. Development of basic first position technique, good playing posture, and tone production is emphasized.

Strings, Elementary – Strings 3/4 is a year-long course of study that is open to second-year orchestral string minors and first-year string majors selected by the music faculty. Students are introduced to shifting to the higher positions and vibrato. This technique class supports Elementary Orchestra and the students are in both classes concurrently. Students begin to learn to play in the higher positions.

Strings, Intermediate – Strings 5/6 is a year-long course of study open to second, third, and fourth-year string majors and minors. The students are concurrently in the intermediate orchestra. Etudes and solo works are assigned to develop technique, and all major and minor scales and arpeggios are studied, three octaves for violin, viola, and cello, two octaves for double bass. Students study études and solo works and learn scales and arpeggios over the full range of their instruments, 3 octaves for violin, viola and cello, 2 octaves for bass.

Strings, Junior – Strings 7/8 is the string section of Orchestra 7/8. It can be used for sectional rehearsals of orchestra 7/8 repertoire and/or it can function as a separate string ensemble. Students must have achieved an intermediate to advanced level of technical proficiency and have strong sight reading skills.

Strings, Senior – Strings 9/10 is the string section of Orchestra 9/10. It can function as a separate string ensemble or be used for sectional rehearsals for Orchestra 9/10. Students must have achieved an advanced level of technical proficiency, have strong sight reading skills, and previous orchestral experience.

Voice 1 thru 6 – Vocal majors must take a minimum of 6 semesters of Voice Class. Voice classes are devoted to building technique, repertoire and musicianship. In addition to vocal technique and repertoire, students develop interpretation skills, familiarity with the International Phonetic Alphabet, and audition preparation skills.

    • Voice 1: Italian Art SongVoice 4: English Art Song

 

    • Voice 2: German Art SongVoice 5: Opera/Oratorio

 

  • Voice 3: French Art SongVoice 6: Musical Theater

Winds, Beginning Saxophone, Oboe & Bassoon – Winds 1/2 is a year-long course of study open to saxophone majors and pianists and guitarists who have chosen oboe or bassoon as their secondary instrument. Technique and tone development is emphasized, including drills on all major and minor scales and arpeggios, etudes and solo pieces.

Winds, Beginning Flute – Winds 1/2 is a year-long course of study open to flute majors. Technique and tone development is emphasized, including drills on all major and minor scales and arpeggios, etudes and solo pieces.

Winds, Beginning Clarinet – Winds 1/2 is a year-long course of study open to clarinet majors. Technique and tone development is emphasized, including drills on all major and minor scales and arpeggios, etudes, and solo pieces.

Winds, Intermediate – Winds 3/4 is for students who have an intermediate level of ability on a woodwind instrument. Development of tone, breathing, and technique is stressed, including mastering drills on all major and minor scales and arpeggios. Students learn solo repertoire and are assigned a concerto, sonata or suite from the standard repertoire for their instruments. Students are also assigned to chamber music groups for coaching and master classes.

Winds, Advanced – Students in Winds 5/6 have intermediate to advanced level of ability on a woodwind instrument. This course prepares students for their solo jury examinations. Development of tone, breathing and technique is stressed, including mastering drills on all major and minor scales and arpeggios. Students learn advanced solo repertoire and are assigned a concerto, sonata, or suite from the standard repertoire for their instruments. Students are also assigned to chamber music groups for coaching and master classes.

Women’s Choir – This course is for the intermediate to advanced study of choral repertoire for treble voices. Outcomes include the ability to read music and acquire rehearsal techniques in preparation for the Senior Chorus.zing techniques including a focus on breath control, posture, and vowel functions. Scales, triads, intervallic recognition, and three or four-part harmonic progressions are essential parts of the curriculum.

Sample Instrumental Music Sequencing

Grade 9

Term 1 Term 2
Sight Singing Theory 1
Instrument Class Instrument Class

Grade 10

Term 1 Term 2
Theory 2 Theory 3
Performance Group (#1) Performance Group (#1)
Instrument Class Instrument Class
 

Grade 11

Term 1 Term 2
Music History 1 (Jazz Studies 1) Elective Music History 2 or (Jazz Studies 2) Elective
Performance Group (#1) Performance Group (#1)
Instrument Class Instrument Class
 

Grade 12

Term 1 Term 2
Instrument Class Instrument Class
Performance Group (#1) Performance Group (#1)
Performance Group (#2) or Elective Performance Group (#2) or Elective
 

Instrument Classes

Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Levels in:

  • Brass
  • Percussion
  • Piano
  • Strings
  • Winds

Sample Vocal Music Sequencing

Grade 9

Term 1 Term 2
Sight-Singing orElementary Chorus Elementary Chorus orSight-Singing
Voice 1 Voice 2

Grade 10

Term 1 Term 2
Theory 1 (V) Theory 2 (V)
Voice 3 Voice 4
Chorus Chorus

Grade 11

Term 1 Term 2
Voice 5 Voice 6
Music History 1 orJazz Studies 1 Music History 1 orJazz Studies 1
Chorus Chorus

Grade 12

Term 1 Term 2
Mixed Chorus or Senior Chorus Mixed Chorus or Senior Chorus
Elective Elective
Elective Elective