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Music Education in the High School

High School Music
“I believe arts education in music, theater, dance and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They [children] have an enthusiasm for life, a spark of creativity and vivid imaginations that need training…training that prepares them to become confident young men and women.”

Richard W. Riley
Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Course Offerings

Performing Ensembles:

Wind Ensemble/Chorus
Symphonic Band
World Percussion

Music Knowledge Courses

Music Theory 1
Music Theory 2
Music Theory 3
Music Theory 4 (AP exam)
Music Technology
Music in Our Lives 1
Music in Our Lives 2
Advanced Music Technology

See the complete course descriptions in the Course Catalog/Program of Studies.


Counterpoint Strings
Flute Choir
Jazz Band
Jazz Ensemble
Marching Band
Pep Band
Shaker Select
Belle Voce/Belle Voix (Women’s Chorus)
Revolving Suspenders (Boys’ Barbershop)

Each music club rehearses after school and is specially selected. The groups provide enrichment opportunities to experience music, and a great deal of enjoyment for the participants. They perform at school concerts and within the community and have won numerous awards.

Tri-M Music Honor Society -Chapter # 4097

Tri-M is a national music honor society sponsored by MENC: The National Association for Music Education. Its purposes are to honor students for outstanding academic achievement overall and in music, and to encourage service and dedication to the arts and community.

The selection process for Tri-M begins in the fall. Eligible music students (based on music participation and GPA criteria) are invited to apply for consideration. The induction ceremony is held in the spring.

The SHS Chapter is proud to have inducted honorary members:
Marcia Bittner
Helen Cha-Pyo
Ned Fleischer
David Griggs-Janowers
David and Sheila Kiehle
David Alan Miller
Richard Murphy
Michael Patrizio
Jane Rose
David Rosenthal
Linda Wagner

Applied Music (private music study)

Students may earn one-half credit for private study outside the school if they:

  • Previously completed one year of private study without credit
  • Receive 30 minutes of instruction each week for 36 weeks and practice for a minimum of five hours per week (averaged over the year.)
  • Satisfactorily complete an examination for the District Music Supervisor or submit an NYSSMA score.
  • File quarterly reports, which must include a grade issued by the private music teacher.

Private study should focus on solos, methods, and technique development at a level beyond which the student would receive in the regular music program.

Applications are available at the beginning of each school year and must be submitted to the District Music Supervisor no later than Sept. 30.

Students may earn a maximum of two credits over a four-year period. Applied Music does not meet the graduation requirements for one credit of art/music study and may not be used as part of a three- or five-credit fine arts sequence.

Shaker Music Letter

SHS music students have the option of applying to earn a Shaker letter in music each of their four years in high school. Students who participate in performance or service-related activities while in HS may be able to earn enough points for the letter. The first award is a small letter; second year a pin; third year a large letter; fourth year a large pin. Students should see their music teachers for an application or information.