Elementary School Music

Performing Arts in NYC

Posted in NYC Arts Partners by P. Conrad on November 13, 2011

Carnegie HallThe many performing arts organizations in New York City can be a great resource for teachers and students. Some of the links listed here also appear on the Professional Development page. Most of these organizations offer extensive outreach (visiting artist) programs for NYC schools, or offer print and audio curriculum materials for teachers. Some even host websites where children can explore music on their own.

  • Carnegie Hall has a program for 3rd through 5th graders called LinkUp! and one called Music Explorers for grades K through 2. Each program combines learning soprano recorder and trips to attend (or even participate in!) concerts at Carnegie Hall. Their Online Resource Center is a rich collection off videos, lesson plans and other materials (free, but you have to register on-line for access).
  • Metropolitan Opera offers a variety of opera programs for schools, as well as partnerships and professional development through the Metropolitan Opera Guild including the Urban Voices initiative.
  • American Ballet Theatre is listed here because the music is such an integral part of the experience, and they offer free schooltime concerts, as well as free tickets for students to attend regular performances in the Spring.
  • JazzReach usually schedules a few of its outstanding multimedia performances with the Metta Quintet in June at Manhattan’s John Jay College.
  • Young People’s Chorus of New York City, the resident chorus of the 92nd Street Y and WNYC, successfully emphasizes choral work from multicultural sources. Every spring, YPC hosts a big choral directors workshop.
  • Brooklyn Conservatory of Music has a Music Partners program which takes the place of a full-time music teacher in some public schools (P.S. 29 in District 15 is one). In some cases the partnership can be arranged to work along-side of a regular DOE music teacher. The BCM’s Music Partners director is Dorothy Savitch.

The NYCDOE’s Office of Pupil Transportation enables schools to reserve buses on-line. Each school is assigned a UserID and Password, for access.


“Arts Achieve:” New York City’s arts education assessments

Posted in NYC Arts Partners by P. Conrad on November 11, 2011

This past year, the city’s Department of Education joined with a group of local arts organizations and won a multimillion dollar “Investing in Innovation Fund” (i3) grant from the US Department of Education. The project, called Arts Achieve: Impacting Student Success in the Arts, is spearheaded by the longtime DOE arts-partner Studio in a School, and includes Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute; ArtsConnection; 92nd Street Y/Harkness Dance Center, Dance Education Laboratory;  and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, which is a branch of the Smithsonian Institution. An additional partner is Metis Associates, a consulting group that provides research, evaluation, program development and information technology services.

According the Arts Achieve grant application, the project is meant to create “standardized ways of assessing student achievement in visual arts, music, theater, and dance in benchmark years: 5th, 8th, and 12th grades.”  Hopefully, the assessment results will translate into better classroom instruction and higher student achievement. Use of digital technology features broadly in the project and in its eventual wider application, in tools for communication, for assessment feedback, and for accessing arts curriculum.


Could one of your students go to Juilliard?

Posted in For Kids, NYC Arts Partners by P. Conrad on February 27, 2011

The Juilliard School of Music at Lincoln Center has an extraordinary outreach it calls Music Advancement Program (MAP), which offers Saturday lessons for New York City public school students who show exceptional promise.

For the past twenty years, Juilliard’s program of Saturday instrument-instruction and mentoring has targeted students ages 8 to 14, from New York City schools, who may be under-represented in the performing arts, including black or African American, Hispanic of any race, and Native American students.

Tuition for the program of Saturday lessons is $1500 for the first year and $2500 for the second year, but there is substantial financial aid available.

Advanced-beginning students take classes for three to four hours between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., while students in the advanced-intermediate course follow an extended schedule, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (including lunch). Students who do not have access to their own instruments are loaned instruments by The Juilliard School. Obviously, the program requires families to be fully-committed to the Saturday attendance (and 30 minutes of practice per day).

This year, auditions for the program will be held May 14, 2011

Student Performances

Posted in For Kids, NYC Arts Partners by P. Conrad on February 12, 2010

The TimeOut/MakeMusicNY festival of public music performances is held each year on June 21 all across the city, and it offers a great opportunity for young performers to appear before an audience that’s greater than the school community. (June 21st is the summer solstice, and the same day over 300 cities around the world celebrate their own “Make Music” / Fete de la Musique days.)


A participating school can arrange to have a stage set-up outdoors on a shopping strip near the school where a chorus or music ensemble could perform in a regular program. Obviously, it takes careful planning to bring your students and their families together for the specified time-slot on the day of performance, but the pay-off is huge: kids get some real-world experience as performers.

To register or inquire about the Thursday June 21, 2012 Festival visit the MakeMusicNY site.

JazzReach performances in May 2008

Posted in NYC Arts Partners by P. Conrad on April 3, 2008

JazzReach stages multimedia jazz presentations that feature a live quintet and a series of animated figures of famous jazz musicians who “speak” and interact with the audience and with real people on the stage. It’s effective and worth bringing your 3rd through 5th graders to see and hear. This year JazzReach had performances in downtown Brooklyn on May 4-6. You can download a JazzReach flyer with information and a faxable reservation form from the links on this page.

Carnegie Hall and Juilliard’s program for music in city public schools

Posted in NYC Arts Partners, NYC DOE Resources by P. Conrad on December 3, 2006

A few years ago, the New York Times reported on The Academy — an ambitious collaboration by Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School of Music  and the Weill Music Institute, intended to cultivate musicians with a wider view of the world, who will populate professional orchestras and help turn them into cultural forces in their cities.

At the same time, it’s meant to support music education at public schools throughout New York City. According the Times, young musicians are selected to receive high-level musical training, performance opportunities at Carnegie Hall and guidance from city school teachers in how to teach music. The “fellows” are each assigned to a different school and work there one and a half days a week, where they teach their instruments, or music in general, and give their own pointers to school music teachers.

In the article, Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director at Carnegie Hall, and Joseph W. Polisi, Juilliard’s president, describe the Academy program largely in terms of its impact on the classically-trained musicians that will participate. The Department of Education is contributing almost $200,000 to the first phase of the operation, which lasts from January through June. “The Department of Education is effectively buying services,” Mr. Polisi said. The total yearly budget is expected to reach $5 million.

Click here Juilliard Carnegie Hall Program to download a copy of the whole article.