Music Department Overview
The first and foremost goal of the Caldwell-West Caldwell Music Department is to provide all students the opportunity to develop an appreciation of music through performance, listening and experiencing quality music literature. As a universal art form, the study of music helps us to understand past and present cultures around the world.
All art forms throughout history have mirrored society and served as expressive outlets for people’s reactions to surroundings and events. Music provides a healthy way to get in touch with feelings and emotions. Studying the arts gives children a sense of hope and community and enables them to experience the beauty of life. Music education should begin as early as possible and continue throughout a student’s educational years. It develops a student’s values through a spiral curriculum that encourages growth in musical understanding, knowledge, attitude and abilities. As educators we strive to create a positive, non-competitive atmosphere while encouraging students to achieve their greatest potential. Through the study of music, children learn to work together in a cooperative atmosphere, developing a sense of commitment and responsibility. As music educators, we are creating appreciators and lovers of music, with a knowledge base that will foster participation in the arts as a part of their adult lives.
Elementary school students have the opportunity to develop their skills in a classroom group setting. All sixth and seventh graders at GCMS interact individually or in mixed ability groupings with MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) stations mastering technology towards accomplishing performance based objectives. JCHS offers an intensive multi-level music arts course for students considering post secondary studies in music. Students may elect to receive additional instruction by studying voice, a string instrument, a woodwind instrument, a brasswind instrument, or a percussion instrument.
Students begin performance in a formal vocal ensemble starting their fifth grade year with many continuing through twelfth grade. To add, there are a variety of select vocal ensembles established at JCHS. Students can begin on violin in our Modified Suzuki program as early as grade one. By the third grade, viola, cello, and the double bass are introduced. We have orchestras in each elementary school, two orchestras in GCMS, and two orchestras at JCHS.
Students can begin studying a woodwind, brasswind, or percussion instrument in grade four. Much like the orchestra and chorus, we have bands in each elementary school, three concert bands at GCMS, and two concert bands at JCHS. In addition, select instrumental ensembles are offered at GCMS and JCHS. To find out more about our select vocal and instrumental groups, visit our Music at GCMS and Music at JCHS sites. Our music students are very active throughout the year performing in all of the schools. To find out when your child's next performance is, as well as, other vital information, click onto the Music Calendar link that is located on this page.
We have an incredible, talented, group of itinerant music teachers in the Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools. As an on going practice in accordance to our philosophy, each teacher is a specialist in the assigned area they teach. This insures that our students receive the best education possible and that our teachers can readily implement instruction to meet The National Standards for Music Education endorsed by Music Educators National Conference. All of our music teachers have been recognized as a Highly Qualified Teacher in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act. You can visit their websites by clicking on the Music Teachers and Instructors link that is located on this page.
The Music & More Booster Club was chartered in 2001. The main objective of the association is to foster, facilitate and effect cooperation between school, home and community toward the highest level of musical endeavors. This organization has made it possible for our students to travel to destinations such as Orlando, Florida where the JCHS music ensembles perform in Disney World. They have also established a scholarship fund earmarked for graduating high school music students and host a senior recognition dinner for the students in the music department. To find out more about the group, please visit their website by clicking on the the link located on this page.