Improvisation Leads to Learning in Elementary Music (and Life)

Posted on December 7th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

By Lynn Grossman

Many folks associate the word improvisation with one thing: jazz music.

But creativity and improvisation are crucial aspects of comprehensive music learning. Improvisation is recognized as one of the four components of the National Core Arts Anchor Standards in music (Creating, Performing, Responding, and Connecting). What’s more, improvisation is a learned skill, and perfect for learners of all ages.

Improvisation in Elementary Music EducationI have made creativity and improvisation a central part of my curriculum within Allendale Columbia’s elementary general and instrumental music classes. As a result, I was invited to present two sessions relating to my work at the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Conference in Dallas, TX (Nov. 11th-14th). (more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade

Register for Vocal and Instrumental Solo Festivals

Posted on October 18th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Students who sing or play a woodwind, brass, percussion, or string instrument will have an opportunity to perform in one of the upcoming MCSMA solo festivals. Students were informed of these opportunities in September. The dates and locations are as follows:

Checks should be made out to Allendale Columbia School, with the memo “Solo Fest”.

About Solo Festivals

As a member school in the Monroe County School Music Association (MCSMA) and the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), Allendale Columbia School supports student participation in all of the county and state level solo and performance festivals each year. These festivals offer valuable performance opportunities for vocal students as well as students of orchestral string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments.

Students have the opportunity to prepare a solo piece with the help of their teachers, perform for a trained adjudicator, and receive feedback. It’s a great opportunity for students who show a strong interest in music, and we encourage any vocal or instrumental student to participate. Music selections are chosen from the NYSSMA manual, with the advice of a teacher and input from the student.

Any questions about solo festivals can be directed to any of the music teachers at AC.

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Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

Donate Your Rock Band Instruments

Posted on October 5th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Rachael Sanguinetti

Are you past the rock star stage of your life, or upgrading your instruments? Allendale Columbia School seeks donations of the following instruments, in good working condition, for use by the new Middle School elective, “Rock Band”:

  • Electric guitars
  • Acoustic guitars
  • Bass guitars
  • Drum set
  • Keyboards

This new course allows students of all levels and abilities to learn modern band instruments and play in small ensembles. Any donations can be left at the Welcome Desk or brought to the music building. Please contact Rachael Sanguinetti at rsanguinetti@allendalecolumbia.org with questions. To receive a letter for tax deductibility for the donation, donors should also fill out this In-Kind Donation Form to accompany the donation or send it to the Development Office.

The Intro to Rock Band elective is for any Middle School students who has ever wanted to be a real-life rock star and explore playing popular music. The class begins with learning skills on guitar (both acoustic and electric), bass, drum set, vocals, and piano before forming small groups in class. Song selections for bands are chosen by the band members, and public performance is not required. Along the way, students explore many styles and decades of music including classics from long before you were born all the way through the bands that are popular today. Students will also be invited to compose and arrange their own songs with the help of band mates. Takeaways from this course include a basic understanding of multiple popular instruments, an understanding of the voice and how it’s used in popular music, a basic understanding of the recent history of popular music and how it has contributed to the music we hear today, and resources for further exploration and learning of popular music.

Kristin Cocquyt

Rachael Sanguinetti

Rachael is in her third year teaching music at AC. A recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music with majors in Music Education and Musical Arts with a minor in Psychology and an Arts Leadership Certificate, she's working toward a masters degree at Ithaca College. She brings experience teaching kindergarten-8th grade music in Rochester, 6th-8th grade general music and choir at Burger Middle School, and 2-3 year olds as part of the Eastman Community School Early Childhood Music Program.
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Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade

AC Facilities’ Miller Helps Studio Music Production Class Study Mic Techniques

Posted on March 23rd, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Gabe Costanzo 

Studio Music Production students tested various microphone arrangements in a study of stereo mic techniques Thursday morning. In order to do so, they needed a test subject. That’s where AC Facilities Manager Mark Miller came in. Mark has a long history of playing string instruments and singing in country, bluegrass, and folk outfits.

For the Studio Music Production class, he picked and sang while the class adjusted microphone positions and recorded him using “spaced pair,” “X/Y coincident,” and “ORTF” mic arrangements. Later, the class evaluated the sounds of each recording to better understand the techniques they are learning to use. Mr. Miller was a great subject, and the class enjoyed hearing him perform and capturing his sound on recordings.

Studio Music Production is a class offered to students in grades 9 through 12, developed for students to form a foundational base of knowledge and skills in music production, recording techniques, sound engineering, and the recording industry. These foundational tools will be put to good use as students learn to use them to express themselves creatively in sound. Now in its first semester, ten students are enrolled, with at least one from each grade in upper school.
Kristin Cocquyt

Gabriel Costanzo

As an instrumental music teacher at Allendale Columbia School, Gabe teaches 4th Grade Band, 5th Grade Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and Music Theory. He held the David M. Pynchon Chair in the Visual and Performing Arts from 2008 - 2013 and is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He earned bachelor's degrees in Music Education and Music Composition from SUNY College at Fredonia and a master's degree in Music Composition from Bowling Green State University. You can also find him on horn and vocals for the local band The Buddhahood.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

The Permanence of Practice

Posted on April 23rd, 2013 by Tony Tepedino

Musician Paul Gaspar has Allendale Columbia School 7th grader, Brandon, demonstrate the importance and permanence of practice. Mr. Gaspar was a guest speaker at career day for our middle school students.

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Posted in: Middle School