About the Music Department Program
South Orangetown students begin receiving general music instruction in Kindergarten, where they learn the vocabulary of music in keeping with the New York State Standards for the Arts. By the time the students finish the fifth grade, they have been instructed in reading music, recognizing rhythms, singing on pitch, playing the recorder (which begins in third grade) and performance on the Orff mallet instruments, an internationally recognized forum of music education.
Our instrumental program begins in the third grade, where students can receive instruction on a woodwind, brass, percussion or string instrument. We’re very happy to say that on an average, 60% of all third graders elected to take music lessons and overall, approximately 60% of the students at Cottage Lane are taking weekly music instruction.
In the middle school, the music program continues and begins to expand its’ horizons and areas of expertise. Students can partake in Sixth Grade chorus, 7th & 8th Chorale. We have a Chamber Orchestra, 6th Grade String Orchestra and a 7th &8th grade Concert Orchestra; a Symphonic Band, 7th/8th grade Concert Band and Jazz Band. All students at SOMS receive group lessons in addition to ensemble rehearsals. Students may sing in chorus and play instruments, and music ensembles rehearse daily. Our classroom music classes (Music Explore) are given in grades 6 and 7 at the middle school. This class consists of learning piano skills, music fundamentals, and composition in the digital music lab.
Over the years, our students and ensembles have been recognized by membership in All-State and other NYSSMA (New York State Music Association) Ensembles. At TZHS students may partake in the Mixed Chorus, Select Vocal Ensemble, Concert Choir, Acafella and Handbell Ensemble. They may also enroll in The Singing Actor. There are three orchestras—Chamber Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, and Symphonic Orchestra—and three bands—Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and Jazz Band. Other opportunities include chamber music (small ensembles) and Pep Band. Most ensembles meet daily and lessons are scheduled for all instrumentalists on a weekly basis.
Graduates of TZHS routinely consider their experiences in the music program to be a hallmark of their studies. Though many pursue careers in music—performance, education, therapy, and other areas—most enter college/university programs and the workforce in other fields with a deep love for music and fondness for their experience. Many return to visit and perform in community performances, attend concerts, and as guest speakers.