William O. Schaefer Elementary School

This morning, the South Orangetown Central School District Music Department hosted a special introduction to musical instruments for William O. Schaefer Elementary School second-graders. “Every third-grader in our school district has the opportunity to take instrumental music instruction,” Music Teacher Charles Yassky explained to students. “You get to choose.”

Information was sent home this week about the third-grade instrumental music program. Students interested in taking lessons at Cottage Lane Elementary School next year are encouraged to return the form, noting their instrument(s) of choice, by Monday, June 11. (Click here to view the forms in PDF format: English | Español.) Nearly all current third-graders are enrolled in instrumental music lessons.

Mr. Yassky, along with Music Department teachers Jonathan Rossi, Matthew Rotjan, Bill Hughes, alumni Stefano Malinverno (‘17) and Jordan Rinchiera (‘13), and parent Tanya Witek, took turns playing individual woodwind, brass and string instruments and spoke about the special characteristics of each. A string quartet of Cottage Lane students performed, as well.

“When you play music, you get to create something really beautiful that other people can enjoy,” noted Mr. Hughes. “And you get to play with your friends.”

Providing young students with an opportunity to experience and appreciate the sound and character of each instrument can have a lasting benefit. “Without something like this, kids might not have the direction on what to do,” said Jordan, who graduated from the Berklee College of Music last year with a degree in music education and performance. Stefano is studying the saxophone at Manhattan College of Music.

“The bottom line is that all the instruments can play the same songs,” Dr. Rotjan advised, after playing a snippet of The Avengers theme on a string bass. “You just have to follow your heart to figure out what sound you want to make.”

Parents of second-graders: Please ask your children about today’s presentation and be sure to return the instrumental music selection form to their teachers by Monday, June 11.

View more photos on the district’s Facebook page.

Mr. Yassky and Mr. Hughes perform for WOS second-graders

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