The ECMS offers over 100 classes and ensembles for students aged four months to those well into their nineties.
PRE-SCHOOL AND ELEMENTARY
The Community School is the home of the nationally acclaimed Early Childhood Program started by Eastman Eisenhart Professor of Music Education, Donna Brink Fox, who is a leading authority on early childhood music education. This four-level program is designed for students ranging in age 4 months to 6-years old. The Early Childhood program has grown to approximately 250 students and has a waiting list for those wanting to participate.
Theory in Motion was started by Adam Foley for elementary students (grades 1 – 6) and is a five level program that focuses on aural skills, training, music literacy and musicianship. Theory in Motion is cross connected to many other ECMS elementary programs and is recommended for all of our elementary aged students.
The Eastman Community Music School is also the home of an extensive choir program directed by Karie Schroer Templeton, which includes the Eastman Young Children’s Chorus for children in grades 2 – 4 (Jason Holmes, director ) and the Eastman Children’s Chorus for students in grades 5 – 8 (Karie Templeton, director).
The Eastman Beginning Strings Program is a blend of Suzuki, traditional and contemporary teaching methods for young children beginning violin, viola, or cello. Students, ages four and up, learn the fundamentals of string playing in a relaxed and nurturing atmosphere.
HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE PREP
The ECMS offers a wealth of opportunities for high school students to study, perform, and plan for a bright future. Study at ECMS comes with the benefit of University of Rochester transcripts and the opportunity to complete an ECMS Diploma, representing a full and robust musical education.
Given that the Community School is located on a college campus, ECMS students “go to college” every time they come to Eastman! The ECMS is the single most important feeder program for the Eastman School of Music. On average, 20 – 35 ECMS students are accepted to Eastman each year. Many others go on to other wonderful music schools all across the country. The faculty is equally proud of their ECMS graduates who go on to major in fields of study other than music. We know they will carry and apply lessons learned from their time at Eastman to whatever fields they choose in their lives.
The Eastman Community School is the home of the first New Horizons Music Program, which began in 1991 under the guidance of Dr. Roy Ernst, now Professor Emeritus at the Eastman School of Music. It was Dr. Ernst’s firm belief that anyone could learn to play an instrument or sing at any age, and those who had postponed their participation due to career or family responsibilities could easily renew their music skills. So popular was this idea, that the Rochester, New York, program has over 250 members, and over 150 New Horizons organizations exist worldwide. The atmosphere is non-competitive and the emphasis is on the enjoyment of making music together.
Now, after almost twenty five years at Eastman, the New Horizons Music program has grown to include: Green Band (beginner), Concert Band (intermediate), Symphonic Band (advanced), Big Band, Full Orchestra, String Orchestra, Green Strings (beginner). Chorus, Sine Nomine (flute choir), Clarinet Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble, Trombone Ensemble and Brasso Profundo (tuba/euphonium ensemble)!
The Community School offers many other opportunities to adult students beyond those found in New Horizons. Most of our classes and many of our ensembles are open to adult students and many adults choose to study an instrument/voice on a private basis as well. The Community School also teaches many students from area colleges and universities.
COURSES FOR MUSIC EDUCATORS
Each year the community school offers an array of professional development opportunities designed for music educators from the extended area, both at Eastman and within local schools. These free courses are provided for teacher development and enrichment, frequently satisfying the requirements that school districts have for their music faculty. In recent years, the Community School has offered courses such as: Low Brass Review, Classical Guitar for General Music Classes, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Instrumental Techniques, AP Theory, Vocal Pedagogy, Improvisation and many others.
The school also has several ensembles designed specifically for music educators: The Music Educators Jazz Ensemble, The Music Educators Wind Ensemble, The Eastman Chamber Singers and the Summer Reading Orchestra.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUMMER STUDY
Each summer, for a 6-week period (late June to Early August), the Eastman Community Music School offers approximately a variety of programs for students of all ages on the Eastman Campus. Most of our programs are non-residential but a few are residential programs attracting students from all over the country and all over the world. The community school also runs a residential program for students in grades 6 – 9 at Keuka College on beautiful Keuka Lake in a program called Eastman@Keuka.