New Rochelle Music Program Expands to Elementary Schools

Jeffrey D. Klein

March 12, 2010

Senator Klein presents 100K grant to New Rochelle School District for expansion of SmartMusic Program


NEW YORK- On Friday, March 12th, Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) joined by New Rochelle Superintendent Richard Organisciak, school officials and students, presented a $100,000 grant to the New Rochelle School District.


The money will be used to fund the expansion of the district’s SmartMusic program, giving elementary students new opportunities to learn how to play a musical instrument and improve their vocal performances.


“Programs like SmartMusic not only enrich children’s lives but enhance their arts education with lessons and skills that bring joy to their day and for some, the building blocks of a future career," said Klein.


New Rochelle High School launched the SmartMusic program in December 2008. Through performance learning software, students at all skill levels play instruments or sing with professional accompaniments. The program offers a variety of styles for band or string orchestra, brass, percussion, strings or vocal. Teachers assign students different exercises electronically and students complete them either in school or at home.


Currently, the New Rochelle School District offers SmartMusic at its high school and two middle schools. In total, 285 students ranging from ages 11 to 18 participate in the program.

Klein’s grant will expand the program into six elementary schools including Columbus, George M. Davis Jr., Jefferson, Trinity, William B. Ward and Daniel Webster Elementary Schools.


The district will also seek licenses for the music writing software program, Finale. The software is used in conjunction with SmartMusic.


"SmartMusic and Finale provide innovative ways to reinforce a student's musical learning. The features of the program foster individualization--a music student is able to learn at their own pace in their own way. The program has proven to help students learn their music efficiently and accurately. Recent performances at New Rochelle High School clearly indicated that students who had used the program performed their music with confidence and greater consistency. Their improvement can be attributed to more frequent practicing through the use of SmartMusic," said New Rochelle School District’s Supervisor of Music Marc Schneider.




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