Musicianship and Ensembles (Recommended Electives)

Music Classes

Music and Movement

In addition to its role as a standard part of the Suzuki programs, Music and Movement is offered as a stand-alone class. Designed as the first structured music class for children three to six years old, it is based on the principles of Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, whose educational approach is now taught to music students of all ages at conservatories and music schools in many countries. The Dalcroze approach incorporates rhythmic movement and aural training as well as physical, vocal, and instrumental improvisation. Children begin to learn the basics of music through what they love most: walking, running, skipping, singing, and playing instruments. The class also provides an opportunity for children to interact with other children in their age group (45 minutes weekly).

Musicianship Classes for Students Taking Private Lessons

The musicianship curriculum is designed as a sequential course of study in the elements of music, including melody, harmony, rhythm, and form. Sightsinging and dictation are included as an essential part of musical training. Understanding the building blocks of music promotes better learning and performing of pieces. Beginning classes include games and other fun activities (30 or 45 minutes weekly, depending on level).


Performance opportunities during the school year.

Young Children’s Chorus

Introduction to group singing for children ages four to eight. Music reading not required (30 minutes weekly).

Flute Ensemble

Designed to accommodate children with varying skill levels, the Flute Ensemble class explores music from various styles in one, two, or three parts. Musicianship skills include scales, arpeggios, playing in tune with others, and using varied articulations and dynamics in a group setting (45 minutes weekly).

Violin Ensemble

This class explores violin concerto and ensemble repertoire in a group setting. Designed for intermediate to advanced violin students with permission from the director of String and Suzuki programs (60 minutes weekly).

Vocal Ensemble

Designed for children ages eight and up who have basic music reading skills, this class offers the opportunity to work on both classical and popular repertoire. Unison and part-singing (45 minutes weekly).

String Beans

String Beans is a beginning string ensemble for violin, viola, and cello. Students with basic playing and reading skills who are ready to discover group music-making are encouraged to enroll. Repertoire typically samples classical and popular styles. Audition required (45 minutes weekly).

Advanced String Orchestra

The Advanced String Orchestra explores music in a variety of musical styles. Special emphasis is placed on the development of sight-reading skills, ensemble playing, and musical interpretation. Performances throughout the school year. Audition required (60 minutes weekly).

Exploring Improvisation and Jazz

Exploring Improvisation begins with Soundpainting, a method developed by New York composer Walter Thompson using hand gestures to indicate specific instructions. Soundpainting is an excellent way for students to begin improvising. The class continues with an introduction to jazz improvisation, focusing on chamber music arrangements of traditional jazz pieces. Jazz theory and history are also explored. Designed for students ages seven and up, with at least two years’ experience on an instrument (45 minutes weekly; one semester).

Music Technology

Middle and high school students interested in creating hip hop, rock, EDM, classical, or experimental music will learn the foundational skills to create their favorite sounds in the studio. Focus includes listening to music and analyzing it from a technology and production standpoint. Students will learn how to use a microphone, make recordings, edit sounds, and produce mixes of their music (90 minutes weekly).

Chamber Music

Playing in chamber groups is an essential, enjoyable, and highly satisfying experience for young musicians. Students may be assigned to groups or may form their own ensembles: duets, trios, quartets, and piano duets in classical or jazz styles. Each group will receive coaching from a faculty member. Coaching focuses on solving technical challenges and bringing out artistic content (45 minutes weekly; one semester).

Brooklyn. All in.