Music

Studying music prepares children for lifetime involvement with music not only as audience members, but also as active participants in performing and creating, thereby enabling them to contribute to the richness and beauty of their own culture.

UNIS has developed a standards-based music program, in which students are actively engaged in performing, creating and responding to music. The UNIS Music program values and promotes the qualities outlined in the school’s guiding principles. Through the study of music, students are encouraged to be more comfortable with the scope of their own feelings and more considerate of the feelings of others. They learn how their own culture and the cultures of their classmates deal with real-life issues such as family, conflict, celebration and adversity. They are guided to be literate, expressive, risk-taking and informed about the music they encounter.

Curriculum Overview

Junior School

Students in the Junior School develop musical skills and literacy through singing, movement and instrumental playing. A Kodály-centered approach from Pre-kindergarten through Junior Four engages children in active music making, with their voices as the first and main instrument. Singing games and dances help to internalize music concepts and teach music in real-life situations. Song repertoire is drawn from a wide variety of cultures and contexts within each culture; students explore songs for work, play, ceremony and reflection. A series of Junior School assemblies feature group singing in a communal setting. Students in Junior Four begin to learn the recorder, an experience that supports the bridge connecting class singing and instrumental playing.

Middle School

Students in the Middle School continue to explore and develop the essential skills that are necessary to be part of a musical ensemble. These skills include increased technical proficiency and expressiveness on an instrument or voice, self-discipline, personal organization and individual effort. Solo and small-group opportunities for performance also exist. The emphasis is on performing, but class activities also include regular ear training, listening, theoretical exercises and activities involving composition and improvisation.

The middle school program is based on the belief that middle school students should continue to be involved in active music making as they have since Junior A, with the shift in focus to more specific instrumental and group performance skills.

M1 INSTRUMENTAL/VOCAL INSTRUCTION

In M1 students choose an ensemble instrument (voice, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and euphonium) to study as part of the larger ensemble program. The students meet once per week in specific instrumental group classes taught by highly skilled professional performer/teachers. The remaining two classes per week are divided into woodwinds, brass, string or vocal ensemble. These classes focus on developing group playing skills, learning to follow a conductor, elementary level repertoire, as well as ear training and general music theory. The rental of an instrument is a required additional expense. We have working relationships with two excellent rental companies: Music And Arts for wind and brass instruments, and Johnson Strings for violin, violas and cellos.

M2-M4 MUSIC OPTIONS

Students in M2 have the choice to continue with their instrumental ensemble, or participate in the chorus/general music program. In choosing to continue in band or string ensemble M2 students and their families are also making a commitment to private lesson instruction (at additional cost), as well as to the regularly scheduled ensemble class. Private lessons serve as an important co-requisite to the program in that the individual lessons target specific instrumental techniques necessary for the progress of each student. These lessons may be taken here at UNIS with our excellent adjunct faculty (if the student’s schedule permits), or with a private teacher elsewhere. In addition, UNIS band and string ensemble students participate in the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music benchmark exams at least once in their middle school career, usually M2 (strings) or M4 (winds). More information about this program can be found at www.abrsm.org. There are opportunities after school to participate in extra-curricular ensembles including the MS Jazz Band, and the M3-M4 Honors Band. Both are offered by audition or permission of the instructors.

If your child decides not to move forward with an instrument, he/she will be placed in a chorus /general music class. This class will include a variety of activities centered on vocal skills, musicianship (ear training, notation, sigh-singing/rhythm reading and music appreciation through guided listening. No private lessons are required for the general music/vocal course of study, although many students elect to take guitar, piano, or voice. The course activities vary slightly depending on the nature and interests of the students as well as the number of students enrolled. In past years, the chorus class has included modules of African dance, Jazz dance, and drumming.

Your child’s middle school musical experience should be positive, rewarding and appropriate to his/her interests as much as possible. We urge you to consider these options carefully before making a decision. Please feel free to contact the music office with any questions or concerns by email (klerner@unis.org), or via telephone at (212) 584-3066. We look forward to getting to know you and your children through their participation in our program.

Tutorial House

Students in the Tutorial House are offered the chance to specialize in one particular strand of music, having spent their Middle School years engaged in more broad-based activities. They may choose to focus on performing, music theory or music history/appreciation. In the case of the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program, offered in Tutorial Three and Tutorial Four, students are required to pursue all three strands, with additional studies in music composition. Success in the IB program is a recognized and significant mark of achievement for UNIS students. The Music curriculum from Junior A to tutorial Two has been designed to give students the skills necessary to become capable and enthusiastic IB candidates.

UNIS Ensembles

Vocal Chamber

The Vocal Chamber Ensemble studies and performs music of various cultures and styles from the Renaissance Madrigal through 20th Century vocal jazz. The course is open to students grade nine through twelve who are enrolled in Senior Chorus. The ability to read music is preferred and the study of private voice lessons is encouraged. Participation is by invitation or audition and rehearsals take place every Monday from 4:30 – 6:00 PM and occasional extra rehearsals before an upcoming performance.

New York City engagements have included performances at the Harvard Club, the Shandelee Music Festival Showcase Series, La Guardia High School Center For The Performing Arts, the United Nations General Assembly Hall and St. Cecilia’s Church among many others.

International tours have included performances in Stockholm, Sweden at the Chapel of the Royal Palace and Klara Church as well as performances in Germany with concerts at St. Michelis Church and St. Nikolai Church in Hamburg, Kaiser-Wilh.-Gedachtnis Church in Berlin and at the Berliner Dom. Please contact Mr. Daniel Stroup at dstroup@unis.org.

Wind

The top wind ensemble at UNIS has traditionally been called the Senior Wind Ensemble, but is more commonly known as the TH Band. Comprised of all four high school (Tutorial House) grades, the TH Band is represented by the finest wood-wind, brass and percussion students within the UNIS band program.

As a musical ensemble, concert programs are created by the director, often with input from students. Repertoire is pulled from the vast collection of band music within our library amassed over many years, or recruited from various outlets where music for bands can be purchased. The ensemble generally performs a balance of musical works including, classic high level band repertoire, themes from Broadway and Hollywood, expanded pop songs, arrangements with jazz and/or Latin influence, world music, traditional band repertoire such as marches and festive overtures, and much more.

The TH Band has also tackled original compositions written expressly for the ensemble by students and adult composers. In 2014 for example, the TH Band performed the World Premiere of Mike Fahie's "The Odyssey" at the famous Carnegie Hall in conjunction with the Independent School Festival of Orchestras.

Wind Ensemble Concert April 19, 2015

Camerata

Camerata is the premiere performing String Ensemble of UNIS. Under the direction of Maestro Patricio Diaz, the Camerata performs some of the great master works of the Classical music repertoire.

Performing Arts Progam

The UNIS Performing Arts Program is designed for students taking private voice, guitar, and piano lessons who are not enrolled in one of the UNIS Performing Ensembles. It offers the opportunity for students to receive formal music credit for taking private lessons. Students who are taking private lessons outside of UNIS are also welcome to participate in the program.

At the end of the first semester, students will have the opportunity to meet directly with the Performing Arts Coordinator. In that session, students will perform a piece of their choice, as well as scales and/or a technique exercise that the student and private teacher feel best represents his/her musical growth. The session should be an enjoyable experience for the student; a chance for him/her to demonstrate an enjoyment of music and progress on the instrument.

At the end of the spring semester, participating students are expected to perform in their Private Lesson teacher’s end of year Studio Recital. The Performing Arts Coordinator will attend these recitals give academic credit and valuable feedback based on the performance.

Please complete the attached form prior to the first semester final exams, and return it to the Music Office. This will facilitate your first meeting with the Performing Arts Coordinator. Performing Arts Form.

ABRSM

Registration Form

Letter to Parents about ABRSM

UNIS MUSIC DEPARTMENT Monday, December 12, 2016


Dear UNIS Music Families:

Each year, the UNIS Music Department is proud to offer students the opportunity to participate in the graded practical examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). Associated Board practical exams provide a progressive system of assessments, beginning with a Prep Test and moving up through 8 grades to the awarding of diplomas. The exams are designed to motivate students at all levels by providing clear, attainable goals. The grades are recognized as international benchmarks, and are valued by teachers and institutions all over the world. The exams take place here at UNIS in the last few weeks of April and first week of May. We highly encourage any interested student to participate in this valuable learning and performing experience! The fees for the ABRSM Exams are listed below.


If you are interested in having your child participate in the exam, you must contact the private teacher to determine the appropriate level. If your child takes lessons outside of UNIS, please make sure that the contact information for the private teacher is included on the registration form so we help them with access to material. To register, please complete the online exam application form found by clicking this link: ABRSM Registration 2017. The deadline for submitting applications for Spring 2017 Exams is Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

More detailed information about the philosophy of the ABRSM Exams and the specific requirements can be found at www.abrsm.org. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.


Warm regards,

ABRSM

EXAM FEES

Prep Test

59 USD

Grade 1

66 USD

Grade 2

73 USD

Grade 3

80 USD

Grade 4

91 USD

Grade 5

99 USD

Grade 6

120 USD

Grade 7

132 USD

Grade 8

176 USD

Allegra Levy

Private Lesson Coordinator

ABRSM for M2 and M4 Strings


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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Dear M2 and M4 Parents of String Ensemble students:

Each year, the UNIS music department is proud to offer students the opportunity to participate in the graded practical examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). The Associated Board practical exams provide a progressive system of assessments, beginning with a Prep Test and moving up through 8 grades to the awarding of diplomas. The exams are designed to motivate students at all levels by providing clear, attainable goals. The grades are recognized as international benchmarks, and are valued by teachers and institutions all over the world.

Participation in the ABRSM exams is required for M2 and M4 string ensemble students. The fees for these exams are partially subsidized by the music department for these students, and an accompanist is provided for one rehearsal and the exam at a cost of $20.00. You are also welcome to us your own accompanist.

Private teachers in conjunction with ensemble teachers will determine the appropriate level for each student. If your child takes lessons outside of UNIS, please make sure that the contact information for the private teacher is included on the registration form so we help them with access to material as well as guidance for preparation. The deadline for submitting applications for the spring 2017 exams is Tuesday, January 3rd. Please click here to register: ABRSM Registration 2017.

More information about the exams generally may be found on their website at www.abrsm.org. Please go to the link here for the schedule of fees.

Warm regards,


Patricio Diaz, UNIS String Ensembles


UNIS Music Channel on YouTube!

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UPCOMING CONCERTS



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