Through a vibrant program from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, students become familiar with music from a wide variety of genres and cultures. There is a place in the music program for the novice and experienced musician alike.
Lower School Music
Music is an active part in the life of the Lower School. Students develop the skills of singing, movement, listening, composing, and playing instruments. Through visual, aural, and kinesthetic modes, students become more acquainted with music from our own culture and all over the world.
Children enjoy music class periods two times in a six-day cycle, and fourth graders have an extra chorus period once in a six-day cycle. Yearly concerts give the students a sense of pride and ownership over their musical skills.
Middle School Music
Grade 5 Music
The fifth-grade music program is structured to provide all students an experience in both band and chorus throughout the year. In chorus, students will explore music of various styles and historic periods in several languages. Solfege and ear training are incorporated alongside the study and performance of a variety of choral repertoire. In band, students are introduced to a band instrument with both small-group lessons and larger band rehearsals. They work from a beginning method book, developing a solid skill base to perform elementary band music on their selected instrument. All students participate in several major concerts during the school year.
In the choral classrooms, students acquire habits that promote discipline, cooperation, and personal responsibility as an integral part of the ensemble. Through a range of vocal and musical exercises, students learn to establish healthy vocal habits, as well as to sight read music, follow a choral score, and conduct. In addition, performance repertoire encompasses a variety of musical styles and cultures sung in several parts and different languages. The choral curriculum includes two formal concerts during the year and several opportunities for informal school and community performances. Students in the seventh- and eighth-grade Concert Chorus may audition for the select group, the CubScats. In addition, the seventh and eighth graders mount a full-scale musical each spring.
The bands provide an opportunity for students to participate in an instrumental ensemble on wind, brass and percussion instruments. Through classroom instruction, band method books/ technique books and appropriate concert repertoire, students develop a solid skill base to interpret and perform ensemble literature. The instrumental music curriculum includes two formal concerts during the year along with other informal opportunities. In addition, students of the Grade 7/8 Concert Band have the opportunity to audition for the select Middle School Jazz Band.
While singing abounds in the Lower School, formal choral singing starts in the Middle School.
There are separate fifth- and sixth-grade choruses, each with their own identities and repertoire. In seventh and eighth grades, students elect to be part of the Concert Chorus and also audition to be a member of the select CubScats. In addition to their choral repertoire, members of the Concert Chorus produce an annual musical. Recent productions include The Lion King, Shrek, Peter Pan, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Seussical, Into the Woods, Once On This Island, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof and Godspell.
The Upper School supports five major choral ensembles.
In addition to a eclectic repertoire, sight reading and ear training are part of the choral curriculum. All singers participate in the large - usually more than 70 students - Concert Choir. From that group, there are four additional auditioned singing groups. There are two smaller sections of Honors Choir: Madrigals (mixed SATB) and Bel Canto (trebles only). The twelve-voice WildScats, our a cappella vocal jazz group, is the only extra-curricular offering of these singing groups; all others carry full academic credit as a demonstration of the school’s commitment to music as an academic discipline.
Many of our students participate in the NYSSMA festivals, and we have sent many students both to NY All-State and Westchester area All-State ensembles.
From Disney World to St. Peter’s, members of the Concert Choir have toured both domestically and internationally over the years, with trips to Japan, Italy, Sweden, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, and most recently Venice, Croatia, and most recently Cuba.
Rye Country Day School has a private lesson program with outstanding teachers, offering lessons in wind, brass, percussion, bass, voice and piano.
All of our teachers are experts in their fields, both as teachers and as active, working performers. By day, they are committed, inspiring teachers, and come evening, they fill the stages of many of New York’s best musical venues. For more information, please call: 914-925-4580.
- RCDS Private Lesson Teachers
- Student Responsibilities
- Costs & Fees
- RCDS Lesson Cancellation and Make-Up Policies
A private lesson is $60.00 per 40-minute lesson and occurs once a week or once a six-day cycle. Lessons are given in the Dunn Performing Arts Center. Parents are billed in advance (to the RCDS student account) in 12 lesson packages. There is a one-time registration and music supply fee of $60.00.
Financial assistance is available to those families on financial aid.
The tuition for private lessons pays not only for the lesson time but also lesson planning, parent consultation and recital organization. Because the teacher clears his or her own schedule of other commitments to provide a regular lesson time, and conflicts can arise for the student, the cancellation policy must be strictly followed out of mutual respect.
- Students may cancel a lesson for school trips or school absence without charge if they provide the teacher more than 24 hours notice. *
- In the case of illness only: the student may cancel by 8am the morning of the lesson w/out charge and be eligible for a make-up lesson at a mutually agreeable time. If the student does not wish to schedule a make-up lesson, the full lesson fee will be charged.
- If the student misses a lesson without proper notice, the entire lesson fee will be charged and the student will not be eligible for a make-up lesson.
- If at any point the student wants to discontinue lessons, the student shall be responsible for payment for two more lessons after notification is received by the teacher.
- The school may suspend lessons if it seems to be compromising a student’s other schoolwork.
*NOTE: The school does not report absences to the private teachers. To cancel a lesson you must call the teacher directly. Phone numbers are in the school directory.
- Private music lessons are offered as enrichment to the student's education.
- Private lessons are offered in voice, piano, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Lessons utilize the characteristic literature of the instrument or voice.
- Private lessons are taught by professional specialists who have been selected for their outstanding ability to teach and relate to young people.
- Private lessons are offered after school and during the day for students who have schedules that will permit them to be excused for private music lessons.
- With the following exceptions, any interested RCDS student in grades 4 -12 is eligible to take private music lessons.
- Students in grades 2-3 who would like to take piano lessons will also be considered, schedule permitting.
- Private voice instruction is primarily encouraged for older students and should be discussed with the choir or lesson teacher prior to study.
Rye Country Day School also offers an extra-curricular Chamber Music Program for instrumentalists interested in playing in small chamber ensembles.
String players and pianists are placed in groups with other musicians appropriately matched to their level. They work with a musical coach on repertoire specifically chosen for their ensemble. If you are an RCDS student interested taking in the Chamber Music Program, please call: 914-925-4580.
Students begin their instrumental exploration with drumming and recorders in the Lower School. In fourth grade, students are introduced to the band instruments and may elect to begin private lessons on a wind instrument or percussion in the following year.
This introduction to a specific instrument prepares students for fifth-grade Beginning Band. There are separate fifth- and sixth-grade bands, each with their own identities and repertoire. In seventh and eighth grades, students elect to be part of the Concert Band and also audition to be a member of the select Middle School Jazz Band.
The Upper School supports both a Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band. In addition to a varied repertoire, the wind ensemble - made up of generally more than fifty students - also work towards individual playing goals through the band hearing curriculum. Students may audition to join the Upper School Jazz Band. The performing ensembles at RCDS carry full academic credit as a demonstration of the School’s commitment to music as an academic discipline. These instrumental ensembles tour on a yearly basis to festivals throughout the East Coast and Canada.
One of the great traditions of the Rye Country Day community is the annual Festival Chorus concert in January.
The Upper School Concert Choir combines with an adult choir of parents, faculty, alumni and friends to form the Festival Chorus. Along with full orchestra, we perform a major works from the choral repertoire.
Anyone interested in joining the Festival Chorus should be in touch with Mary Marcell, Music Department Head at 914-925-4577.