Amityville schools continue to be good places for young musicians to cultivate their talents. For the sixth time in the past seven years, the district has been named one of the Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation.
The program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum. Designations are made to districts and schools across the nation that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.
“It’s rewarding because the teachers and the students in our district work very hard at what they do and it’s nice to be acknowledged for that dedication,” said Dr. Frances Fernandez, the district’s director of fine arts, who oversees a staff of 10 music teachers.
The district offers general music instruction beginning in kindergarten and students learn to play the recorder in third grade. A comprehensive instrumental program is offered in fourth grade and up. Upon entering Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, children can select an instrument to play in the band or orchestra, and also join the chorus. Park Avenue, Edmund W. Miles Middle School and Amityville Memorial High School hold winter and spring concerts.
Jazz ensembles are available at the middle school and high school, and elective courses include piano and music theory. Every year, several students are selected to participate in music festivals hosted by the Suffolk County Music Educators Association and Long Island String Festival Association.
“The districts which have been recognized as Best Communities for Music Education were chosen based on their accessibility to music education for students,” added Dr. Fernandez. “We have many opportunities for children to explore their creative side through music starting at an early age and continuing on through middle school and high school.”