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Music Department

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

General music courses are offered to students in grades K-8. All of our third and fourth grade students participate in chorus. More than 1,700 Warwick students in grades 4-12 opt to participate in band, orchestra or chorus.

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.  Music students are not pulled out of their academic classes for music lessons. Instead, lessons are scheduled as a separate class. Learn more about the high school’s music programs.

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. Learn more about private lessons.

Middle School Courses

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 an 8 day cycle. Students in band also have the option of participating in chorus.

Chorus

Students involved in the chorus program will rehearse choral and pop music to perform at the winter and spring concerts. Other activities include sight singing, breathing techniques and a variety of vocal exercises. Seventh and eighth grade chorus is scheduled to meet three days out of the 8 day rotation.  Fifth and sixth grade chorus meets during advisory, two days out of the 8 day rotation. 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 techniques. Orchestra meets during three advisory days out of an 8 day cycle. Students in orchestra also have the option of participating in chorus.

Elementary Courses

The elementary 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 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 are available once in a 4 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 and meet more frequently during the second half of the school year as concerts approach. General music students meet once every six school days, or about 3 times each month throughout the school year. 

Fourth Grade Band

Students interested in playing an instrument will sign up for band at the end of their third grade year. Students will have an opportunity to try the various instruments available and will be assigned an instrument by the band director. The band director will take into account student preference, size, ability, and needs of the musical ensemble. Available instruments will include flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, baritone and percussion. Instruments such as oboe and tuba may or may not be assigned. Students will learn how to play their instrument during a weekly small group lesson period. Topics covered in lessons will include assembly, care and maintenance, proper breath support, note reading, articulation, instrumental technique and tone development. In addition to the small group lesson, students will also perform weekly with the fourth grade band. There will be two concert performances. Advanced students will have the opportunity to participate in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) festival and may also audition for Orange County Music Educators Association (OCMEA) All-County Band. 

Fourth Grade Strings and Orchestra

Students in fourth-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 in fifth-grade orchestra learn a wider variety of rhythm figures, performance styles, and more in-depth note reading. They will also have the opportunity to audition for All-County Orchestra, and participate in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Festival.