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Music Department

The Warwick Valley Central School District’s music program has been named one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” for six consecutive years.

The music program in Warwick schools is one of the best in the area, and is a reflection of the community’s dedication to and strong support of the arts.

More than 1,700 Warwick students in grades 4-12 participate in band and orchestra, chorus, Music in Our Lives & Music Production. In grades 3 & 4, all students participate in chorus, and from kindergarten through eighth grade all students take general music.

High School Courses

Warwick Valley High School offers a variety of courses such as music theory and music production, and several musical ensembles in chorus, band and orchestra for students. At WVHS, music students are not pulled out of their academic classes for music lessons. Instead, lessons are scheduled as a separate class.

Students who wish to play more than one instrument or participate in more than one ensemble can earn credit for their participation in private lessons, as permitted by the New York State Education Department. This approach allows students to participate in multiple music and academic programs without missing crucial instructional time. More about earning credit for private lessons.

WVCSD High School music course descriptions

Middle School Courses

Participating in a musical ensemble is more than learning to play an instrument or sing a song. It helps to build self-confidence, self-worth, and pride in one’s accomplishments.

Being a member of the music department helps prepare our students to be productive members of the workforce and society. Studies have shown that students who participate in music score higher on standardized tests. Through regimented practice, students learn good study and working habits. Through rehearsal and concerts, students learn the values of teamwork and the importance of contributing their best to further the accomplishments of the whole group.

Click here to open the Instrumental and Vocal Music Student Handbook, where you will find information on how to sign up, schedules, attendance, lessons, grading and the Contract and signature page. (pdf)

Band

Students involved in band will learn required music to perform at the winter, spring and combined band concerts. Other activities include sight reading, scales, listening, breathing exercises, instrument care, and music theory.

Band meets during three advisory days out of a six day cycle. Students in band also have the option of participating in chorus.

Chorus

Students involved in the chorus program will learn required music to perform at the winter and spring concerts. Other activities include sight singing, breathing techniques, and a variety of vocal exercises.

Chorus meets during three advisory days out of a six day cycle. Students that are in chorus also have the option of participating in either band or orchestra.

Orchestra

Students involved in Orchestra will learn required music to perform at the winter and spring concert as well as the String Fling. Other activities include sight reading, ear training, music theory, scales, and bow and instrument technique.

Orchestra meets during three advisory days out of a six day cycle. Students in orchestra also have the option of participating in chorus.

Elementary Courses

The K-5 music curriculum is designed to provide joyful experiences for the children, while helping them to develop skills and intellectual processes that will not only provide for success in the music classroom, but will also carry over into other academic and nonacademic areas. The K-5 music curriculum provides for creativity and spontaneity as well as structure. The study of the elements of elementary general music – rhythm, melody/pitch, expression, timbre – and the process of learning music skills allow for creative expression in a wide variety of styles.

General Music

students learn basic performance skills. They also learn about musical structure. General Music classes for K-5 students are available once in a 6-day cycle throughout the school year.

Chorus

students continue to improve on performance skills. They also learn the importance of teamwork in preparation for concerts. Chorus students meet in small sections about three times each month. We try to arrange one full group rehearsal before each concert. General Music students meet once every six school days, or about 3 times each month throughout the school year.

4th and 5th Grade Elementary Band

Our program strives to reach each child through musical education through individual, small group and large ensemble instruction. Through our program, your child will be engaged through a variety of learning styles. Our program is designed to offer all children avenues for continued and complimentary academic success. Students receive a group lesson once a week for 35 minutes. Students also meet for a full Band Ensemble rehearsal once a week for 35 minutes.

4th and 5th Grade Elementary Strings

Students in 4th grade Strings classes are beginners and in the first year of their instruction. They learn basic-intermediate knowledge of all 4 strings on their instruments; note reading, notation (composition);various articulations/ performance styles as soloists and in large ensemble (Orchestra). Students who are 5th Grade Orchestra Members enter their second year of learning and expand. They learn a wider variety of rhythm figures, performance styles, and more in-depth note reading. They come into leadership roles in their ensemble rehearsals and have the opportunity to audition for All-County Orchestra, and participate in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Festival.

Students in 4th grade Strings classes are beginners and in the first year of their instruction. They learn basic-intermediate knowledge of all 4 strings on their instruments; note reading, notation (composition);various articulations/ performance styles as soloists and in large ensemble (Orchestra).

Students who are 5th Grade Orchestra Members enter their second year of learning and expand. They learn a wider variety of rhythm figures, performance styles, and more in-depth note reading. They come into leadership roles in their ensemble rehearsals and have the opportunity to audition for All-County Orchestra, and participate in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Festival.