Music Wizards offers New York City public schools students comprehensive music programs taught by professional New York City musicians/educators. Programs focus on a hands-on approach. Students learn to play an instrument or sing in a chorus. Students learn how to read music, sharpen their ear and develop an appreciation for music and the performing arts. They are stimulated by a variety of musical examples taken from different styles, cultures and eras (classical music, traditional music from different countries, jazz, pop etc…). They are encouraged to make connections between music and other disciplines, as well as develop effective practicing strategies that they can transfer to other subjects. Programs are available from grades 2 to 8 and are informed by the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts. Music Wizards has a Listing Application.
- A community-based, dedicated, reliable organization committed to developing long-lasting partnerships
- Customized programs that take into account each school's specific requirements
- Highly experienced educators who are acclaimed professional musicians
- Proven results and competitive prices
Band Practice Description
Students will learn to play band instruments such as saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and flute, depending on availability. They will perform a few simple songs at the end of the year. In the process, they will learn how to read music, sharpen their ears and develop their creativity. They will also develop the discipline necessary to playing an instrument, a skill that will serve them well in all endeavors.
- Grade Level: 3, 4, 5
- Number of Sessions: 32 sessions, including rehearsals and a performance
- Length of a session: 2 or 3 periods, which can be broken down by instruments groups, especially at first.
Students will learn how to play the recorder (principles of tone production, fingerings to 7 notes) in order to prepare for a performance in which they will play a few simple songs. In the process, they will learn how to read music, sharpen their ears, develop their creativity and be exposed to musical concepts such as melody, rhythm and form, thus deepening their understanding and appreciation of music for years to come.
- Grade Level: 2, 3, 4, 5
- Number of Sessions: 32 sessions, divided into 2 groupings of 15 or 3 groupings of 10, plus a rehearsal and a performance.
- Length of a session: 1 period
Students will learn a few songs belonging to different styles (jazz, pop, classical music...) in order to prepare for a performance at the end of the year. In the process, they will learn how to read music, sharpen their ears, develop their creativity and be exposed to musical concepts such as melody, rhythm and form, thus deepening their understanding and appreciation of music for years to come
- Grade Level: 3, 4, 5
- Number of Sessions: 32 sessions, divided into 2 groupings of 15 plus a rehearsal and a performance.
- Length of a session: 1 period per class
Band Practice Overview
Classes 1 and 2:
Students learn about proper breathing technique, get familiar with the instruments and start playing.
- Demonstrate how the instruments work, how to put them together and take good care of them (cleaning, how to put each instrument in its case). Play each instrument.
- Demonstrate how to breathe well for playing an wind instrument, from the stomach. Show breathing exercises: put your right hand on your stomach and feel the stomach expand when you breathe. Try to keep a small piece of paper on the wall for a few seconds by blowing on it.
- Teach warm-ups: make a buzzing sound with the trumpet mouthpiece, flutter the lips like a horse, make a sound with the mouthpiece alone.
- Students choose an instrument and try to get a sound on a given note. Show the appropriate embouchure, posture and finger position.
- Tell students that being in the band is a responsibility and a commitment. Give them a permission slip so that they can take the instruments home and so their parents are aware of what the expectations for the program are. About half an hour a day of practicing is expected. Attendance every week is required.
- Give students the method. Ask them to write their name on it. Assign homework: know everything on pages 2 and 3 and do breathing exercises.
Students learn the principles of tone production on the recorder and apply these principles to get a good sound.
- Introduce the recorder through questions: what is it made of? Is it big or small? How do you think it is meant to be played? Establish it as a wind instrument because the sound is generated by air blown into the fipple.
- Talk about instrument care and cleaning: put it back in the case, don't drop it, never switch recorder with anyone.
- Principles of recorder
- - Left hand is always on top, two hands at all times on the recorder.
- - One hole per finger, fingers never switch.
- - Fingers directly above holes, but not too far from them. Show left and right thumbs positions.
- - Only a little bit of the fipple in the mouth.
- - Blow soft, warm air into the fipple.
- Introduce the note G (three first fingers of the left hand + left thumb)
- Ask the whole class to play it, then ask students to play table by table, then ask for volunteers.
- Let students know what is expected of them in terms of practicing: 10 minutes a day, every day. Assign homework: be able to play G, know the principles of recorder playing.
Students start singing and learn about reading notes.
- Singing/Ear Training: sing a note and ask students to repeat it, using the syllable "la", in various groups. Focus on accuracy.
- Sing two different notes and ask students which one is higher. Introduce the concepts of pitch and volume, using the image of a stereo.
- Introduce the staff, the treble clef by drawing them on the board, then give "reading notes" handout. Ask how many spaces, how many lines there are on the staff? Ask students to fill in the blanks on the handout.
- Demonstrate how to find the names of notes on the staff: is the note on a line or in a space? If on a line, remember "Every Good Boy Does Fine" and take the first letter of the word that sits on the line the note is on. If in a space, remember "FACE" and take the appropriate letter. Remember to spell everything from the bottom to the top of the staff. Look at the handout.
- Make the connection between the pitch of a note and its position on the staff: high sounding notes are higher on the staff than low notes.
- Lead the students through a few examples.
- Ask the class to do a few examples by themselves, answer their questions.
- Assign homework: write the names of the notes, in capital letters, under all the notes of lines 1 and 2 of the "reading notes" handout.
About Music Wizards
Music Wizards was founded in 2002 by jazz saxophonist and composer Jerome Sabbagh. Music Wizards offers effective, flexible, community-based music programs to New York City schools. As a small operation, we can offer competitive prices and are committed to developing a meaningful partnership with the schools we work in. Music Wizards has various programs that we can tailor to a school's specific needs.
Our visiting artists are both highly regarded professional musicians and experienced educators. This dual expertise is a particular asset to help explain musical concepts to children in ways that they relate to. Our visiting artists are adaptable, committed and caring and they have had good results with children of all ages and of all backgrounds, most of them without prior musical experience.
Music Wizards has been running music programs with great success in different schools throughout New York City. References are available upon request. Please feel free to . We would be happy to meet with you to further discuss the programs we offer.
About Jerome Sabbagh
Jerome Sabbagh is a graduate from Berklee College of Music and a professional jazz musician and educator. As a saxophone player, he can be heard on many critically acclaimed recordings, including his albums as a leader, North (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2004) and Pogo (Sunnyside, 2007).
As a visiting artist, Jerome Sabbagh has been teaching band, chorus and recorder for over five years. Having discovered his vocation thanks to his high school music teacher, he is enthusiastic about educating younger generations. He also believes that the process of teaching children enriches his playing, and vice versa.
For more information, please visit Jerome's website at jeromesabbagh.com.
“The willfully lyrical tenor saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh is the rarest of rare birds: a young tenor saxophonist with a distinctive concept, dependent not so much on his elders for inspiration as his own imagination.” —JazzTimes
About Our Visiting Artists
Hailed as an
accomplished jazz pianist rising to prominence by All About Jazz, Heather Bennett is also a gifted singer. She has released five CDs as a leader and has worked as a music director and accompanist, as well as directed theater productions. She teaches chorus, recorder and keyboards.
A graduate from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Rigdzin Collins has been teaching from a very young age. In addition to being a great violinist, she has had experiences in music production. She is an accomplished educator for strings in general and teaches beginning piano.
Singer Jocelyn Medina has had a wealth of experiences as a performer and visiting artist. Among other things, she was successful in working in challenging environments in the Boston school system and taught abroad in Spanish. She is a graduate from Manhattan School of Music and specializes in teaching chorus.
Pete Rende is a graduate from Berklee College of Music and one of the most creative young piano players in jazz today. His unique insights as a composer and arranger are a valuable asset in the classroom. He has been teaching piano and chorus for over five years in different schools, as well as privately.
Joshua Shneider holds a Masters from Manhattan School of Music and is a NEA grant recipient. He is a leading jazz composer, saxophonist and educator. He has extensive experience as an educator at all levels, from preschool to college, and teaches all band instruments.