Schalmont Schools is a 2020 NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education (BCME), a signature program of The NAMM Foundation that recognizes and celebrates school districts and schools for their support and commitment to music education and efforts to assure access to music for all students as part of a well-rounded education.
“Where the sounds of learning grow through the music we make!”
The Schalmont Music Department hopes to provide for each student an eclectic look at the world of music. Our goal is to maintain a strong music program for students from kindergarten through the 12th grade. We offer a wide variety of experiences throughout student’s academic years and constantly challenge students to go beyond the written musical note.
The language of music is taught in all music classes as well as in all performing groups. Our curriculum is aligned with New York State learning standards, and students have many opportunities to perform, listen and create music throughout their years at Schalmont. As a faculty, we understand the importance of a K-12 curriculum because we see the value of our youngest musicians developing into many of our top musicians at the high school level.
Studies have proven the importance of music in a child’s life. New research on the brain shows that music is not only fun, but it also improves brain development and enhances skills in other subjects such as reading and writing. Our music staff is committed to offering excellent instructional experiences to enhance our future musicians.
We are very proud of our performing groups at Schalmont, so we invite community members to join us for the many concerts, plays and performances held throughout the school year.
Music in Schalmont
Music education is an integral part of children’s education. It provides an avenue for children to express themselves and their emotions in a way that only music can. Music enforces a higher level of thinking and reasoning that improves children’s capacity to learn and comprehend. Because of having music education, children will lead better-rounded lives.
Grades K-4 Music Program Overview
At Jefferson Elementary School, children in grades 1- 3 have music class for 30 minutes twice a week. At the kindergarten level, they have music once a week. Children learn the language of music through the playing of Orff instruments, recorders (beginning in 3rd grade), active movement, and singing songs using proper vocal techniques. One can walk into any of the music rooms at Jefferson and see children engaged in the wonder of music-making. We, as a Schalmont music staff, believe it is vital at this level that children are actively participating in the art of music.
Throughout the school year, there are various opportunities for the children to perform within their own building and in the community.
Each grade level starting with the kindergartners have at least one performance during the school year.
4th Grade Chorus: This chorus is made up of all of the fourth graders ready to sing their hearts out with the love of music. This group meets once a week during the school day. The members have a lot of fun and enjoy performing for their family and friends.
Middle School Music Program Overview
The middle school program provides many opportunities for the individual growth of each student. It is focused on offering experiences to young people that will result in their finding joy and excitement in the creative art of music. The emphasis of the program is placed on active participation in playing instruments, singing, acting and creating new written music.
All fifth-graders participate in music class and chorus–both meet once a week for 45 minutes each.
General music is given to students in the 6th and 7th grades in a 10-week block, every day. General music is given to all 8th-grade students in a 20-week block, every other day. Within these blocks, emphasis is placed in different areas at the different grade levels.
At the 6th-grade level, students work on using their vocal singing properly, playing recorders, working with the keyboards in the classroom, and developing further the language of music.
At the 7th-grade level, a continuation of this occurs along with writing and creating music.
At the 8th-grade level, students continue their knowledge of music and gain a further understanding of its workings by looking into the history of music, from ancient times all the way through modern rock-n-roll.
Along with general music, there are various performing groups in which over 400 students of the Middle School participate. The instrumental and choral performing groups give the students a chance to perform in a concert at least three times throughout the school year.
The groups in the Middle School are: 5th Grade Chorus, 5th Grade Band, 6th Grade Chorus, 6th Grade Band, 7th Grade Chorus, 7th Grade Band, 8th Grade Chorus, 8th Grade Band, Jazz Band, and a group called Nothing But Treble. There is also a sixth- through eighth-grade Middle School Talent Show held every year as well.
Schalmont High School Music Program Overview
The Schalmont High School Music Department is filled with students who are hard workers and who enjoy working together.
At the high school level, we have four performing groups that meet every day, for one class period:
- HS Chorus
- Concert Choir (acceptance into this group is by audition in the spring)
- HS Concert Band
- Wind Ensemble (acceptance into this group is by audition in the spring)
Each student involved in the instrumental program receives a lesson once a week from the band director. All students in the Concert Choir receive a group vocal lesson once a week, placed in their schedule. Along with these performing groups, we also offer a Music Theory course that is college accredited through the University of Albany.
Our Concert Choir and Wind Ensemble groups take part in the NYSSMA Majors competition in the spring, and many of our HS students participate in the NYSSMA solo competitions in the spring as well. A number of our students also participate in the Area All-State and All-State performances held each year. Each of our performing groups perform in four concerts a year, along with other performances in the community.
We also have a chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society (chapter #3828) at the school. We are very proud of our honor students and always look forward to what they will do next for the school and/or community.
Throughout the year, our students are recognized in various activities in the community, two of them being ESYO (Empire State Youth Orchestra) and singing in the Melodies of Christmas concert at Proctor’s Theater.
Marching Band and Color Guard
The Schalmont Marching Band & Color Guard is made up of students from grade 9 through grade 12.
Their season takes them through the whole year with most of their work happening in the fall and spring. The Band & Color Guard have marched in the Rotterdam Community day parade, the Columbus Day parade, the Veteran’s Day parade, the Schenectady Holiday parade, the Scotia parade & the Rotterdam parade—the last two being in the spring. This band performs at homecoming and can be seen at some football games.
Along with the parades, each year the group usually attends some sort of competition or event which takes them out of the area. In recent years the band has traveled to Walt Disney World in Florida; Norfolk, Virginia; Holyoke, Massachusetts; & Six Flags, New England.
This group appreciates all the support they get from the community and we look forward to hearing them each year. This is an extra-curricular activity which all the students take very seriously and represent Schalmont well in all their performances.