The music program at the Alice E Grady Elementary School includes a comprehensive curriculum of general, choral and instrumental education. The instrumental music program offers each student one forty-minute lesson, once a week. These lessons are broken up into homogeneous groups with students grouped together based on level of ability and instrument being studied. Extra lessons/ makeup lessons are offered at recess.
The performing instrumental music groups at the Alice E Grady Elementary School include the Advanced and the Beginner Bands. The Beginner Band includes all students who have passed all materials up to page 12, in Book #1 of the Standard of Excellence series by Bruce Pearson. Students learn to “warm up” as a group by playing five notes of a B flat concert scale. Students practice 3-5 exercises from subsequent pages of Book #1 as a group during each rehearsal. Examples of this practice are reflected during the Recorder & Beginner Band Concert. Longer selections of music are chosen based upon rhythmic durations and range of notes. Concepts are pulled from page 5 through 26 of Book #1. These are usually fourth grade students.
Students qualify for Advanced Band when they have: completed Book #1 and performed the solo selection at the end of the book. These students qualify to perform at the numerous events that occur during the school year. These include: Awards Assemblies, 3 Concerts, 3 Parades, All County auditions/ festival, NYSSMA solo festival, and the Village of Elmsford’s annual tree lighting ceremony. These include fifth and sixth grade students.
The recorder program begins in third grade. Students meet once a week for 40 minutes. These classes focus on the fundamentals of music reading, decoding symbols and motor coordination. Simple folk songs are studied throughout the school year with an emphasis on expanding the range of the song and level of difficulty. Music learning is reflected upon during our Recorder Concert at the end of the school year. Students are then given an opportunity to select an instrument for fourth grade instrumental instruction.