ClassNotes works with academic, music and art teachers in all grade levels to create a unique curriculum that directly addresses their students’ needs.  However, as many schools have similar curriculums and academic goals, over the years certain classes have come up repeatedly.  We’ve culled our most popular classes into themed workshops.  Each workshop lasts one week, five consecutive days.  Musicians teach and perform for 30-50 minute lessons in the same classroom, every day, Monday through Friday.  Every lesson features interactive activities designed to engage students to move, listen critically, and create, and concludes with a live performance by the musicians.

Pre-school – 1st Grade

Storytelling Workshop (30 minute lesson recommended, violin and cello only)

Our youngest listeners learn how music expresses emotion and can tell a story.  Students will learn the characteristics of a violin and cello, the definition of a composer, basic musical terms, and will identify how music can describe feelings and everyday sounds.  Musical repertoire includes works by Bartok, Gliere and Roffman, and book readings include Jazz Baby by Carole Boston Weatherford and Stuck With the Blooz by Caron Levis.

Adaptable for 2nd – 8th Grade

Little Composer’s Workshop (String Quartet – 2 violins, Viola and Cello)

Students learn the characteristics of each instrument in the string quartet, basic music vocabulary in Italian, and will be able to identify the choices (volume, tempo, emotion, description, special instrumental effects) composer’s make during their creative process, using music by Haydn, Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Webern.  Students will compose their own works for string quartet, performed by the musicians.

Creative Writing Workshop (String Quartet)

Students explore similes, metaphors, descriptive writing, paragraph structure, and story-line arc, creating original stories and poems using the music of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, Webern and Dvorak.

World Cultures Workshop (String Quartet)

Students explore music from countries around the world, placing each piece of music in its historical, geographical and cultural context.  Previous classes have explored the music of Spain, Japan, Korea, Argentina, Germany, France, Native Americans, Romania, Eastern European Jewish Klezmer, and American Blue Grass.

Social skills workshop (String Quartet)

Students learn the importance of following directions, listening to one another, sharing the spotlight, working together, and expressing emotions, through the music of Haydn, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn and Roffman.

Art Workshop (String Quartet)

In conjunction with the school art teacher, students explore the relationship between music and art, comparing and contrasting each genre’s unique approach to expression.  Students create new works of art, interpreting music visually and composing a piece for the musicians to play using graphic notation.

Science and Math Workshop (String Quartet)

Students will learn the physical properties of sound, sound waves, the anatomy of the ear, what materials instruments are made from, how they are made, and how each instrument uniquely works to create sound.  Students will learn about patterns and where they exist in music, and use rhythm exercises to work out fractions and math word problems.  Using the music of Beethoven, Haydn, Shostakovich, and Steve Reich.

High School

The Role of Music in the Holocaust

Students explore the role of music in the Holocaust, featuring music written in the concentration camps by Gideon Klein and Hans Krasa.

A Celebration of Black History Month

Music inspired by the poets of the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights Movement, featuring the work of George Walker, Margaret Bonds, Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, and more.