Frequently Asked Questions
What kinds of activities take place in the general music class?
The 2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards for the Performing Arts provides a guideline for what students need to know and be able to do. The East Brunswick music curriculum is aligned to these standards, and corresponding activities to support these standards are reflected in each lesson. In a typical class, students will engage in singing, playing, moving, listening, creating, questioning, responding, critiquing, problem-solving, developing musical creativity through improvisation and composition. Music literacy is reinforced daily and derived from a variety of musical genres. Students are encouraged to make connections between music they listen to outside of school to the music and concepts they learn in their music classes. The use of technology is an integral part of daily lessons. Our elementary music department will be using MusicFirst Jr., which is a comprehensive K-5 online curriculum for teaching elementary music which will enable students to access lessons both in school and at home. Students will be able to access all of my class assignments through my Google Classroom.
In a traditional setting, students will experience learning through whole class participation, cooperative learning groups, partnering, and working individually; all of these strategies play an integral role in strengthening the students' musicianship, both as individuals and within the community of musicians/learners. Due to the circumstances related to Covid-19, modifications will be made according to state and district guidelines.
What is Chorus and when can my child participate?
Chorus is an extra-curricular singing ensemble that meets before school on Tuesday mornings open to 3rd and 4th Grade students. Rehearsals will begin promptly at 8:10 for attendance and vocal warmups. Students who are safeties are dismissed at 8:50 to go to his/her assigned post. In the event that there is a delayed opening, chorus will be cancelled and a make-up rehearsal will be announced if needed. There will be some occational rehearsals with Faculty Choir on Friday mornings closer to the concert with advanced notice.
Chorus provides an excellent opportunity for your child to develop his/her singing potential and reinforces concepts taught in general music class. As your child learns the basics of singing posture, breath control, diction, phrasing, tone color,dynamics, and part-singing, they expand their skills and general musicianship as well.
The choral program is child-centered. Singing for the sake of music or performance is not the goal of this group, as it has little lasting value for the student. Rather, the program is envisioned to provide an experience for the children to become active learners in the music-making process. Together with the primary purpose stated above, the broad goals of the choral program include:
- Helping children develop a means of aesthetic expression
- Helping children develop a varied repertoire of vocal
literature including folk songs, art songs, sacred songs, songs
of other cultures, and songs of the current genre;
- Helping children understand the importance of corporate
as well as personal experience and identity;
- Helping children experience the joy and satisfaction of
performing well for themselves and others;
- Helping children develop skills and attitudes that will
encourage them to use their singing voices as lifelong musical
Children who demonstrate leadership in general music class who are members of the Irwin Chorus and are in good standing with punctual attendance are invited to participate in the Elementary All-District Chorus. Students do not have to pay an additional registration fee to participate.
When does the Chorus perform in concert?
The Irwin School Chorus performs 2 concerts each school year - a Winter Concert in January and a Spring Concert in May. There may be additional in-school or community performances, and parents will be notified in advance shoul these opportunities arise.
How do I register for Irwin School Chorus?
In order to participate in extra-curricular clubs, a parent/guardian is required to register their child/ren through our district website. You may do this by going to our district website: https://www.ebnet.org
Follow the prompts below:
- Click "Our Schools" tab
- Select "Irwin Elementary School" (drop down)
- Select "Clubs and Activities" from the green tool bar
- Select "Online Registration and Pay" (drop down)
- Log in with your child's user name and password
- If you need assistance, call (732) 613-6674 or you may also register in person at the Jon R. Kopko Administration Building (located at 760 Route 18 East Brunswick, NJ 08816)
Students who receive free or reduced lunch are not required to pay the club registration fee, however, parents are required to submit the registration form to the Administration Building as stated above.
Will my child need to choose between joining Chorus and playing an instrument?
No, there are no conflicts with Band and Chorus or Orchestra and Chorus. In fact, we ENCOURAGE your child to participate in both ensembles as each individual ensemble will strengthen their musicality for the other.
Will my child be able to join Chorus mid-year?
Yes! Students who are interested in joining Chorus for the Spring Concert may join us on our first rehearsal after the
Winter Concert in complete. Students who wish to participate in the Spring Concert will need to be registered online for Chorus Club (see above for club registration) before they can participate.
What is the Elementary All-District Chorus?
The All-District Elementary Chorus is an extra-curricular ensemble that meets after school (November through February) and
provides students who participate in their home elementary school's chorus ensembles (in good standing) an opportunity to
perform new and challenging choral repertoire with children from our other in-district elementary schools as part of a larger
ensemble at no additional cost. The ADC members rehearse 1 hour after school on Wednesdays at EBHS from 3:45 - 4:45.
Each year, the elementary ensemble performs two concerts. Our District Chorus Festival, involves all of the district choral groups (all eight elementary schools, Hammarskjold, Churchill, and EBHS), and the ensembles perform for one another, with a combined finale for all participants. This is a great experience for the children, as it allows them the opportunity to meet new students with whom they will be going to Hammarskjold. In addition, it enables the children to see and experience firsthand what they might expect as they continue singing in choral ensembles each year. Each year, the students look forward to taking advantage of this unique choral opportunity. The evening performance will take place the evening of the All-District Chorus Festival and is open for parents/relatives to attend.
When/where does the Elementary All-District Chorus meet for rehearsals?
Rehearsals will take place at East Brunswick High School from 3:45-4:45 PM in the Band Room, unless notified of a change.
You will need to provide transportation (parent/guardian or pre-arranged carpool) to take your child from their home school to the High School for the rehearsal. Please provide a note to the Main Office (and your child's teacher) notifying them of your any change in transporation or carpool arrangement as a "car rider" that is not their regular form of transportation. If your child has a sbiling/s you may also include a note to their teacher as well, as clear communication will help us track students during dismissal. If your child is in the ASK program, please notify the ASK director/advisors the dates your child will NOT be attending ASK due to rehearsals.
If you are picking up your child for rehearsals, they will go home as a "car rider" and you will meet them in the drive up area at the back entrance from the Mall access road to Irwin Place. Please display the All-District Chorus placard on your car windshield (or see that the parent/carpool person who is doing the pick up has one displayed in their car window) to ease the traffic flow in the rear parking lot area where car riders meet parents.
Drop off: Please park your car in the front parking lot and walk your child to the EBHS front entrance lobby where the High School interns/teachers will meet and walk your child/ren to the Band Room.
Pickup: Please park your car and meet your child/carpool in the front lobby at 4:45 at the conclusion of the rehearsal.
What will my child need to bring to the All-District Chorus rehearsal?
Students may bring a coat to rehearsal. Students should NOT bring their school book bag, instrument, or any food/snacks with them to the rehearsal. Each child will receive a folder of music and a pencil to use for marking music.
Where can my child take private music lessons?
505 State Road Route 18 East Brunswick, NJ 08816
16 Bartman Road East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Westminster Conservatory of Music
Westminster Princeton Academy
Westminster South Brunswick Campus