MUSIC AT NEW BRIDGES
Music at New Bridges cultivates the individual and collaborative voice of children.
As a school community, we value our student’s growth in academic and artistic settings. Our goal is to empower and develop each child’s Voice as they learn to express their creative self through academically rigorous and arts-integrated instruction. Each day, our students participate in at least 50 minutes of either Visual Arts, Music, or Dance. These classes occur on a rotation, so that students spend an equal amount of time in each. In addition to learning Music as a “special class”, it is offered in enrichment settings before and after school and during lunch and recess, and is integrated throughout the school day.
Our Music program was founded by a certified Music Educator currently pursuing her doctorate in Music Education. Ms. Alice Tsui coordinates the Arts program; the Music curriculum for all grades; performances; and the professional development of the other Arts teachers. She teaches the upper elementary students, Keyboard Class, and the Orchestra. Ms. LaToya Smith, our second Music Teacher, teaches Pre-K and our primary elementary students, and facilitates a Modern Band class with the Little Kids Rock curriculum.
MUSIC FOR ALL STUDENTS
The Music program at New Bridges is both rigorous and inclusive. All students, including the 25% of our students with IEPs and the 9% of our students who are English Language Learners, are exposed to the same instructional opportunities and provided individualized coaching, feedback, and practice to achieve the high standards of the program.
Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grades work on basic instrument technique for percussion instruments, rhythm, and singing.
Second and Third Grades sing and are exposed to various instruments. Second Graders learn the recorder, and Third Graders will start studying the violin.
Fourth and Fifth Graders in Ensemble Majors sing and learn the violin, viola or cello. Fourth and Fifth Graders in Combo Majors sing and play the ukulele, guitar, or drums. Both groups of Majors students prepare music for middle school music programs.
MUSIC AS ENRICHMENT
We are constantly seeking to schedule and provide additional, high-level Music learning opportunities. Through an audition-based process, upper grade students participate in a strings Orchestra, featuring cello, violin, and viola. The New Bridges Orchestra has performed on stage at Carnegie Hall. In a new program with a focus on English as New Language learners, there is a lunch time “Keyboard Class”. Through a professional development and curriculum partnership with Little Kids Rock, an additional group of students have a daily Modern Band class during their classmates’ lunch and recess.
MUSIC: A STANDARDS-DRIVEN CURRICULUM
Using NYC Department of Education’s Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts as well as the NYS Common Core Standards for Pre-K-12 as our planning guide, our aim is to provide our students with authentic arts experiences from rehearsals through performances. Students address the Blueprint strands of music making, music literacy, making connections, using cultural and community resources, careers and lifelong learning in their daily musical learning.
MUSIC AS A TOOL FOR COMMUNITY BUILDING
Everyone starts the morning together at “Bright Start” a musical, affirmational community meeting. In ten minutes, students and teachers set one another up for a successful day: musically greeting one another, singing a “Song of the Day”, reciting DRIVE promises; and closing with a mindful breathing exercise. Songs and chants are a part of transitions and instruction in classrooms.
Biannual Arts Festivals feature performances and displays of visual arts projects by all members of the school community. At the center of these festivals is a showcase of students’ musical development. Each year, these performance grow in scope and size. These performances feature all students from Pre-K through Fifth Grade and consistently bring together standing room only audiences of families and community members.
Students participate in community events to share their music with the world beyond the walls of New Bridges. Annual events students perform at include the Kingston Avenue Festival, Sing for Hope Pianos performances, Make Music Day. Students also participate in ensemble and solo New York State Schools Music Association (NYSSMA) festivals to receive additional feedback on their musical growth.