Male student posing with his saxophone alongside his music teacher in the hallway.

Music

The City School District of Albany's music program recognizes music and the arts as an important part of a well-rounded education. It is our belief that a balanced music program consists of varied musical experiences such as singing, playing instruments, listening, reading music and expressive movement.

Further, an effective elementary music program not only contributes to the education and personal enrichment of the whole child, but also adds to the intellectual, multicultural and social environment of the entire school. Therefore, we believe that music is an aesthetic and global experience that every child has a right to learn and enjoy.

General music

Students in prekindergarten through grade 6 participate in the general music program.

General music students will develop life skills such as teamwork, self-discipline, concentration and commitment, as well as coordination of muscle motor groups, positive self-image, listening skills, self-expression and creativity.

Students also will develop an appreciation for music through hands-on experiences and exposure to a wide range of musical styles.

Elective music program: band, chorus and orchestra
Beginning in third grade, students may choose to participate in the strings program, where they would learn how to play either the violin, viola, cello or bass.

Beginning in fourth grade, students may participate in the band program, where they have the choice of learning how to play the flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone or percussion (drums).

Students in the instrumental program receive one lesson per week with a certified music teacher. Once students reach a level of competency, they become members of the elementary band or orchestra. Band and orchestra rehearse at least once a week.

If offered in their school, fourth grade students also may elect to participate in the choral program. Students in chorus rehearse once a week with the general music teacher.

Elementary students who are in chorus, band, and string programs participate in school concerts, All-City concerts and in-house NYSSMA festivals.

Marching band

Band students in grades 5-12 have the opportunity to join the Albany Marching Falcons, the district's award-winning marching band, color guard and winter guard.

General music program
At the middle school level, general music courses are offered to students in grades 6 and 8. A few of the many topics covered include:

  • The development of listening skills
  • Critiquing and responding to music
  • Music theory
  • Music history

American music theater also is explored using classical theater productions, such as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as well as West Side Story, and The Sound of Music. Identification and discovery of songs from a variety of cultures is stressed as students make connections with literature and social studies topics.

Elective music program: band, chorus and orchestra
Students may select courses in chorus, orchestra and band.

As students enter the middle school instrumental programs, they should have a strong foundation from their participation in the instrumental program at the elementary level. Middle school instrumental students should successfully complete lesson book 2 by the end of eighth grade. Many eighth-grade students begin lesson book 3 prior to entering the high school instrumental programs.

Middle school students perform at school concerts, All-City concerts, in-house NYSSMA festivals and special events at the request of the community. They also participate in musical competitions.

Marching band

Band students in grades 5-12 have the opportunity to join the Albany Marching Falcons, the district's award-winning marching band, color guard and winter guard. Click here for more information about this exciting program.

A comprehensive music program is offered to students at the Albany High School regardless of academy placement.

Music classes

Students can elect to take Music In Our Lives, Music Theory, Advanced Placement Music Theory, Piano I, World Drumming, Digital Audio Workstation, and International Baccalaureate Music. 

Band

Students at Albany High School can audition to become a member of one of two bands:

  • Concert/symphonic band: For students who have completed lesson books 2 and 3

  • Wind ensemble: By audition only; membership is open to students who demonstrate a mature attitude and musically advanced skills

Students in these bands receive one weekly lesson and daily band rehearsals. Students are expected to participate in all concerts and select marching engagements.

Chorus

Albany High School has three choral groups:

  • Vocal music: An introduction to the fundamentals of choral singing

  • Select choir: More challenging choral singing

  • Albanettes: By audition only; membership is open to advanced vocal students who want to study within a small female ensemble

Jazz improvisational

A combination of performing and direction through listening, this course is open to students in grades 10-12 that played in either orchestra, symphonic band or wind ensemble. 

Strings

Students can be part of one of two orchestras:

  • Orchestra: For students who completed Essential Elements book 2 or equivalent

  • Advanced orchestra: By audition only; membership is open to more skilled strings students

Marching band

Band students in grades 5-12 have the opportunity to join the Albany Marching Falcons, the district's award-winning marching band, color guard and winter guard.