Windermere Boulevard Elementary
The Amherst Central Schools Department of Music Education serves as a resource for the development of musical knowledge, musical skills, aesthetic exploration, attitude development, and provides for the personal growth of each individual. The music curriculum is aligned with the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts as well as the National Music Standards.
The curriculum comprises a balanced and sequential course of singing, playing instruments, listening to music, improvising or composing music and moving to music. Also included are learning experiences designed to develop the ability to read music, use the notation and terminology of music, analyze and describe music, make informed evaluations concerning music and understand music and music practices in relation to history, culture and to other disciplines in the curriculum. Students learn by actively participating in making music and in understanding the basic principles of music such as Rhythm (Beat , Meter, Duration, Rhythmic Pattern), Melody (Pitch, Melodic Contour, Melodic Patterns, Melodic Phrases, Scales/Tonality), Harmony (Texture, Chords, Linear Harmony), Timbre/Tone Color (Vocal, Instrumental, Classroom Instruments), Expression (Style, Dynamics, Tempo), Form, Vocal Skills, Instrumental Skills, Innovation (Composition and Improvisation), Historical and Cultural Context, and Critical Response. Students receive one 35 minute music class per week. Intermediate students also participate in chorus. Patricia Hills and Ada Wolfanger teach general music and team-teach chorus.
Windermere Boulevard Elementary offers Instrumental Music beginning in Grade 4. Students are offered the opportunity to select the band or string instrument of their choice near the end of Grade 3.
Although students are generally encouraged to study an instrument of their own choosing, they may be directed towards a particular instrument because of his or her physical characteristics, the need for ensemble balance or other factors relating to the varying demands of a particular instrument.
Band instruments which are offered are flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, and percussion. Students playing these instruments will be placed in the 4th Grade or 5th Grade Band. The Band director is Michael Murphy.
Stringed instruments offered are violin, viola, and cello. The orchestra director will determine the correct size of the particular instrument before the student orders the instrument. Students playing a string instrument will be placed in the 4th Grade or 5th Grade Orchestra. The Orchestra director is Mr. Derek Chazen.
Students receive one group lesson per week and Band/Orchestra rehearsals outside of the school day. Ensembles will participate in annual Spring Concerts at Windermere Boulevard Elementary. Each student will rent their instrument from any number of local music dealers. The district will distribute rental forms from various dealers, but parents may rent from anywhere.