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Fourth Graders Experience Music and Art During Field Trip

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All Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District fourth graders had a meaningful experience learning new ways to observe the world around them during a recent field trip to the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, New York. Thanks to a generous grant from the Friends of Caramoor Center for Music, the students were treated to an enriching arts program, which focused on seeing, hearing, and feeling and allied with New York State Arts Standards.  

Led by Caramoor teaching artists and music teachers, the students explored a variety of locations at Caramoor Center, including an open field, a pergola, a forest and outdoor music installations. At each area, the students learned to focus on what they saw, heard, and felt. In addition, they learned how to construct movement sentences that were invented by the dance pedagogue extraordinaire Rudolf von Laban. The fourth graders enjoyed learning to communicate their observations nonverbally by positioning their bodies in shapes based on their observations and creating movement sentences to communicate what they saw, heard, and felt. 

“It was a joy to see my students observe the world in new and unique ways,” Thomas Edison Elementary School music teacher Abigail Young said. “They were quick to point out the sound of birds chirping and masterfully matched their bodies to the sounds. Their eyes filled with glee as they found a chipmunk in the forest.”

As the students departed the estate, they received a small journal to continue recording what they see, hear and feel.

The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is an estate founded by Lucie and Walter Rosen, who began hosting concerts on the estate after their son was killed in World War II. The concerts have grown to encompass music of all varieties, including classical, jazz, pop and folk. Musical installations on site include “in C,” a large structure with 24 tuned tubular bells; “Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (Your Place is Green),” a rocking chair where listeners can enjoy sounds from Caramoor and Tanzania; and “Stone Song,” a stone sculpture that emits a drone sound affected by the humidity, temperature and the weight of listeners who sit on it.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.


Date Added: 5/16/2024

Port Chester Schools Receive National Recognition as a Leader in Music Education

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Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District has been honored with the prestigious 2024 Best Communities for Music Education Award by the NAMM Foundation. The district is one of 975 school districts nationally to be recognized.

According to NAMM, the schools and communities recognized with the award demonstrate a commitment to ensuring music learning opportunities are available for every student and provide an example for other communities to follow.

“We are honored and beyond excited about being selected to receive the NAMM 2024 Best Communities for Music Education Award,” Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts Dr. Katherine Sinsabaugh said. “This award highlights all the amazing work our music teachers do in our schools with our students. It acknowledges how our teachers spread the love of music in our community, and it’s also reflective of our whole community’s support of our fine and performing arts programing.”

Now in its 25th year, the designation is awarded to school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in providing music access and education to all students. According to the organization, the award program recognizes the collective efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders who have been instrumental in making music part of a well-rounded education for every child.

Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education. To qualify for the designation, the district submitted an application that included information about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the music program and community music-making programs. The program applauded the district for its unwavering commitment to creating an environment where each child can participate in quality, robust music making.

Date Added: 4/5/2024