National Hug A Musician Day!

Posted on November 13th, 2020 by acsrochester

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.

It’s amazing to watch our students adapt to these new changes. As part of our adjustment to safely continue music education at AC, all of our musicians wear masks, do not sharing music, sit 12 feet apart, and all of the chairs wiped down after they leave. We have also made our classes even smaller, which highlights the individual more. This means students who, in previous years, may have been shy and played or sang quietly alongside their neighbors are now learning to be more confident. Similarly, without that immediate feedback from other musicians right next to them, students are becoming aware of how much they’ve relied on that in the past and have already noticed a difference in how they’re learning. Everyone is becoming more of a leader in the group, and as a result, our sound is improving by leaps and bounds. Yes, it was an adjustment and it was challenging, but we’ve kept our core value of “fostering resilience” in mind and worked our way through it to come out stronger.
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
This year, technology also plays a more important role in music education as a medium to both learn and perform. Because we will not be able to host live audiences this year, we are working on recording our groups in order to present our body of work to the community. We are only in the beginning stages of this process, but we are excited by the new dimension this adds to the musical experience for most of our students, who have never formally produced a sound recording. We hope this new process will benefit students by opening their minds to new possibilities in terms of ways they can apply their musical skills.
In Lower School music, in addition to developing music-specific skills, we are also focusing on social emotional learning (SEL) goals: taking turns, opportunities for leadership, creativity, and collaboration through musical activities. For our youngest students, we’ve focused on creative movement in response to music, taking risks to share rhythm patterns or creative ways to keep the beat. For older elementary students, we are working on rhythm stick activities to develop rhythmic skills, as well as coordination, timing, and collaboration. In a time when we can’t physically touch, this work has been really meaningful and engaging for our students.

 

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Posted in: Art, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School

“That Band Was Sick!” Jazz Clinic Hones Student Musicianship

Posted on April 12th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia 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…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Side-by-Side Concert Builds Connections Through Music

Posted on March 21st, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

With the importance of connections being central to the mission of Allendale Columbia School, we treasure opportunities for collaboration across members of our community. On Friday, March 1st, students, teachers, staff, administrators, and family members came together in a special after-school event to build connections through music-making as a band. This side-by-side concert was coordinated by instrumental music teachers Lynn Grossman and Gabe Costanzo.

What is a side-by-side concert?

Side-by-side concerts are opportunities for musicians of various ages and ability levels to get together to perform together as a group and learn from each other while celebrating learning and growth in a fun, low-stress environment. In this event, parents, older siblings, grandparents, extended family, and family friends were all invited. School faculty, staff, and administrators were also welcome to join in the fun. (more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Eighth Grade, Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade

Register for Spring 2019 Vocal and Instrumental Solo Festivals

Posted on February 15th, 2019 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 NYSSMA solo festivals. The dates and locations are as follows:

(more…)

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

We Need YOU! March 1st Side-by-side Concert

Posted on February 8th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Dust off those instruments and join our Beginner Band for
AC’s first-ever 
Side-by-Side Concert!

Friday, March 1st
Allendale Columbia School

Side-by-side concerts are opportunities for musicians of various ages and ability levels to get together and learn from each other, build strong connections through music, and celebrate learning and growth in a fun, low-stress environment. Parents, older siblings, grandparents, extended family and family friends are all invited. School faculty, staff, and administrators are also welcome to join in the fun.

(more…)

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

Ukuleles Build Connection, Creativity, and Resilience

Posted on February 1st, 2019 by Allendale Columbia 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…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School

Young Soloists Turn Butterflies Into Bravado

Posted on January 24th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Yes, there were a few butterflies in the stomachs of Lower School students who had signed up for the annual Solo Performance Night held January 18th. But once they got started, the young students turned those butterflies into brave and beautiful notes that floated to the receptive ears of a welcoming audience.  (more…)

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

Lower School Solo Performance Night on Jan. 18th

Posted on January 11th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Lower School families, don’t forget! Solo Performance Night for students in grades K through 5 is Friday, January 18th, starting at 7:00 p.m. With 28 performers and musical selections ranging from Johnny Cash to Antonio Vivaldi, you don’t want to miss it! Whether you are performing or in the audience to support your friends, all are invited to an ice cream social at the conclusion of the event. Performances will take place in the CPC, with ice cream in the Dining Commons.

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Posted in: LS Birches, The Birches