This year has brought about a unique set of challenges for educators, including how to safely continue our music education program. We know singing and playing instruments is incredibly important for students at AC, and instead of saying “no” to music education, as many other schools have done this year, we’ve worked hard to ensure we can continue to make music, while keeping all of our students safe.
In the midst of this pandemic, there is nothing quite like hearing voices singing. I’ll never forget hearing the 4th graders, who are in chorus for the first time, singing during their first rehearsal in the CPC. It was magical. They overcame all of the obstacles we threw at them and continued to make music. That is what it’s all about. — Rachael Sanguinetti, Music Teacher
Posted in: Art, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School
By Gabe Costanzo, Music Teacher
Blake Pattengale contacted me around the beginning of March to see if we had any interest in a jazz clinic at AC. I am always looking for ways to bring exceptional performers to school to show students the kinds of experiences they could be having if they continue to develop their musicianship, so this sounded like a great opportunity.
Blake and his band, the Gray Quartet, did not disappoint. They taught our students about jazz by playing a plethora of tunes, starting with today’s pop hits and working back in time to make connections with the jazz tunes that influenced pop music. (more…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
By Rachael Sanguinetti
Happy National Ukulele Day!
If you’ve visited the AC chorus room in the last two years, you probably noticed a huge addition to the decor of the room: 22 concert-size ukuleles on the back walls. They are a point of conversation on many tours of the music building and have become an important part of the AC Middle School music offerings.
We use these instruments in 6th Grade Foundational Music and in Ukulele Electives offered each semester. They are also used in Lower School General Music classes and for Upper School clubs. Over the past few years they have been used by many students across divisions for composition, performance, and group music making. (more…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School
Lower School students in Grades 3-5 delighted the audience on December 18th. The 4th and 5th Grade New Instrumentalists started things off, followed by the Beginner Band, Demonstrations of Music Classroom Learning in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, with the Lower School Chorus wrapping things up.
Posted in: Lower School, Middle School, Pre-Primary School, Upper 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.
I 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…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade
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:
- Vocal Solo Festival (Grades 6-12): January 4th and 5th at Brighton High School
- Senior High (Grades 9-12) Instrumental Festival: January 11th and 12th at Fairport Minerva-Deland School
- Turn in Registration Form and fees to Mr. Constanzo by Tuesday, November 13th.
- Junior High (Grades 7-8) Instrumental Festival: January 18th and 19th at Brighton Twelve Corners Middle School
- Elementary (Grades 4-6) Instrumental Festival: January 25th-26th at Pittsford Barker Road Middle School.
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.
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
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@
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.
Rachael SanguinettiRachael 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.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade
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.
Gabriel CostanzoAs 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.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School