Music Education

Music instruction has always been an important component of TNCS’s dedication to educating the whole child. Music is a meaningful part of every TNCS student’s academic journey, and music happens throughout the day, including during cultural study. In addition, formal music classes are available both during and outside the school day to elementary and middle school students.

We encourage our students to find their musical passions and express themselves creatively and with skill.

 

TNCS offers a variety of 2019–2020 Music Programs during and after school.

Learning to Play a Musical Instrument

Playing a musical instrument helps develop both creative and critical thinking, imparts a sense of well-being, and even has proven physical health benefits. TNCS’s string program introduces students to the joy and discipline of playing music while developing their technical skills.

Strings at TNCS are broken down into novice programs for violin and more advanced ensembles (intermediate and advanced) for violin, viola, cello, and bass to accommodate children (including non-TNCS students) at all levels. Please note that students must provide their own instruments and purchase the required method book(s).

Small-group piano lessons are offered in 30-minute slots on Tuesdays or Wednesdays between 3:45 pm and 5:15 pm. Instruments are provided, but students must purchase the required method book(s).

Small-group voice, trumpet, or trombone lessons are offered in 30-minute slots on Mondays or Tuesdays between 3:45 pm and 5:15 pm. Students bring their own instruments and must purchase the required method book(s).

Lessons run for a full semester. In order to learn the skills required to progress, students are strongly encouraged to practice at home for at least 15 minutes each day. A concert for parents is given at the end of each semester.

About Novice Violin Lessons

Sessions: Offered Semester 1 and Semester 2
Eligible Ages: Grades K–8
Cost: $460 per semester

This novice class is an entry point into the TNCS String Program. Students with little or no experience will be taught by an experienced string teacher in a small-group setting, with a maximum of 10 students. Students will develop proper playing technique while practicing scales, études, and repertoire from the Suzuki books and elsewhere. After a semester at the novice level, students will be eligible to enroll in the TNCS String Ensemble.

Instrument rental and purchase of a method book are required for participation.

About String Ensemble

Sessions: Offered Semester 1 and Semester 2
Eligible Ages: Grades K–8
Cost: $285 per semester

In the TNCS Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass After-School Ensemble, students will come together as a group to experience the joy of making beautiful music and deepening friendships. Participation is open to all students (including non-TNCS students) who have been playing for at least one semester, independent of their ability to read music. New students will be given simpler parts, and advanced students will be given more difficult parts and solos. Every student will be challenged and inspired at his or her skill level. Instrument rental and purchase of a method book are required for participation.

About Mr. Yoshiaki Horiguchi

Yoshiaki Horiguchi has been acclaimed by the Baltimore Sun for his ability to put on a “dazzling display of dexterity and panache” and featured by the Examiner in a “Must Watch Video.” Yoshi is an active double bassist, pedagogue, and educator in the D.C.–Baltimore area. His endeavors span a broad spectrum of genres, having performed with the York Symphony, Baltimore Boom Bap Society, Opera Camerata of Washington, Classical Revolution, and more. Most recently, he sat principal bass for a Naxos recording under the direction of Marin Alsop to record works by Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts. Yoshi proudly hails from the studios of Ed Malaga, Jeff Koczela, Laura Ruas, Paul DeNola, and Paul Johnson.

In addition to being an active performer, Yoshi is a highly sought-after pedagogue. Having served as the low-strings department chair and string ensemble director of the Baltimore Symphony’s El Sistema inspired OrchKids program, faculty for Peabody’s Bass Works, and faculty for American Music System, his teaching experience is vast. Yoshi’s International Society of Bassists pedagogy research submission is currently being used as a resource to influence bass teachers across the country. He is also certified in the Mark O’Connor string method and has studied the Suzuki string method, making him an all-around strings pedagogy expert.

Yoshi graduated as a Linehan Artist Scholar from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and is proud to be an Aegon USA scholar at the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University for his graduate studies.

About Small-Group Piano Lessons

Sessions: Offered Semester 1 and Semester 2
Eligible Ages: Grades K–8
Cost: $770 per semester

Lessons take place Tuesdays or Wednesdays in 30-minute slots between 3:45 pm and 5:15 pm (i.e., starting at 3:45 pm, 4:15 pm, or 4:45 pm). Groups comprise no more than three students, and students are grouped by experience. Two books are required, a lesson book and a theory book, both at the student’s level (e.g., Level 1). Homework will be assigned in the theory book, and regular practicing is expected.

About Ms. Taryn Klusewitz

Taryn Klusewitz earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at the University of Hawaii. Her focus is in classical music, and she has experience working across a range of styles. During her time studying, she regularly performed in large and small ensembles as well as in solo performances and concerts.  
 
Ms. Klusewitz has experienced a rich history of training and performing vocally. She began her vocal experience during her childhood as a member of Peabody Children’s Chorus. In addition to regularly performing in public musical theater companies, she joined Woden Valley Youth Choir, Australia’s National Choir, where she began performing in nationally televised concerts and commercials, and in venues such as Canberra’s National Parliament House and The Sydney Opera House. There, she had the privilege of accompanying renowned performers such as Nana Mouskouri and even the children’s entertainment group, The Wiggles. With Woden Valley Youth Choir, Ms. Klusewitz performed during many notable events and ceremonies, including those honoring John Howard and Nelson Mandela. In college, she trained in classical voice as well as participated in the University of Hawaii’s Chamber Singers where she performed with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra alongside talented artists such as Quinn Kelsey and Sumi Jo. 
 
Ms. Klusewitz has taught a combination of piano and voice for the past 13 years. Before joining TNCS, she worked as a piano and voice teacher for a large body of students whose practice culminated in semi-annual performances. Her teaching style is varied and dynamic. Based on the philosophy that each person learns differently, and individual students require unique methods of communication (visual, aural, descriptive), she caters her teaching style to meet the needs of each student. Music theory and technique are essential in building a musical foundation, and, as such, they play a large part in each of her lessons. She believes it is equally important to love the music that you play. Given this, it is Ms. Klusewitz’s ultimate goal to produce musicians who are capable, well rounded, and passionate.

About Small-Group Voice, Trumpet, or Trombone Lessons

Sessions: Offered Semester 1 and Semester 2
Eligible Ages: Grades K–8
Cost: $770 per semester

Lessons take place Mondays or Tuesdays in 30-minute slots between 3:45 pm and 5:15 pm (i.e., starting at 3:45 pm, 4:15 pm, or 4:45 pm). Groups comprise no more than three students, and students are grouped by experience. Instrument rental and purchase of a method book are required for participation. Regular practicing at home is expected.

About Mr. Javan Bowden

Mr. Javan Bowden’s foundation of music education started when he began playing the trumpet in his 4th-grade year of elementary school. From there, he went to the Alabama School of Fine Arts where he majored in Classical Trumpet performance and began formal vocal instruction. This lead him to audition and be accepted into Howard University’s music department, where he double minored in Classical Trumpet and Classical Voice studies. Mr. Bowden has had the opportunity to perform at such places as the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts, the White House, Sibiu Romania, and four televised music award shows (BET Honors, Youtube Honors, The Dove Music Awards, Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards).

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.”

—Plato

Music Education During the School Day

Formal music classes take place twice weekly during the school day for elementary and middle school students. Band at TNCS is broken down into Instrument Exploratory Classes (e.g., Woodwind, Brass) and a Band Ensemble as students gain experience with the instruments. TNCS takes orders and rents the instruments for those who need them. Students take the instruments home for practice and also require a music stand at home. We recommend that students spend at least 15 minutes a day practicing.

Students who do not opt in to Instrument Exploratory or Band Ensemble receive instruction in voice and on the recorder.

Vocal Classes

On Tuesdays during music time, all elementary and middle school students receive voice instruction. The focus of this class is on honing vocal technique as well as on music appreciation. Students explore composers, types of instruments, and musical styles all while building skill using the solfège system of learning notes and pitch.

Another important part of this class is building confidence. Most TNCS students are accustomed to singing in groups and in class. Under TNCS music teacher/director Mr. Warren’s guidance, they now learn to be comfortable harmonizing on stage and even singing solo parts. Parents are treated to school-wide vocal performances twice yearly.

Instrument Exploratory Class

TNCS is pleased to offer one semester-long class per year exploring various instrument groups for students in grades 2–8. Woodwind exploratory covers flute for 5 weeks, followed by clarinet for 5 weeks. Brass exploratory covers trumpet for 5 weeks, followed by trombone for 5 weeks. The instrument groups covered alternate by year. TNCS music teacher/director Mr. Warren teaches the class on Thursdays during music time in the fall and winter quarters.

This introductory class allows students to develop technical skill and explore more than one instrument. A concert for parents is given at the end of the semester.

Band Ensemble

By the fourth quarter of the school year, students in grades 2–8 have experienced flute and clarinet from the Woodwind Exploratory class and/or trumpet and trombone from the Brass Exploratory class. They are now in a position to pick their favorite among these instruments and enjoy playing in a band ensemble.

This class, taught by TNCS music teacher/director Mr. Warren during music time on Thursdays, allows students to deepen their abilities in technique while playing fun repertoire. A concert for parents is given at the end of the semester.

TNCS’s Arts Philosophy

At TNCS, we deeply value the arts and have integrated the arts throughout our academic divisions as well as throughout areas of study.

Not only is technical skill development an objective of our arts programs, but even more so is awakening appreciation of artistic expression, from the visual to the performing arts. By connecting art to other subjects and incorporating art-making across curricula, students at TNCS are engaged with art in multiple forms every day.

Why Children Should Learn Music

We recognize that children who play music in a formal education setting come to understand the rewards of working hard, of regular practice, and of discipline.

Learning to play a musical instrument also helps to instill what might become a lifelong passion for music, and it confers many other advantages as well, from social to academic. For example, being a part of a musical community builds confidence and makes for meaningful experiences in a secure environment.

In asking children to decode sound, making music also enhances their language development and their ability to be active listeners, effects that also facilitate social interaction. Moreover, abundant research shows that learning music accelerates learning in a range of other subjects, including math and science, and enhances skills like concentration and memory recall that children use in other areas.

Learning music requires tapping into and integrating multiple abilities, such as vision, hearing, and fine and gross motor skills. Neuroscience shows that the brains of music-makers work harder and are consequently more fit.

Meet TNCS Music Director Javan Bowden

Mr. Javan Bowden’s foundation of music education started when he began playing the trumpet in his 4th-grade year of elementary school. From there, he went to the Alabama School of Fine Arts where he majored in Classical Trumpet performance and began formal vocal instruction. This lead him to audition and be accepted into Howard University’s music department, where he double minored in Classical Trumpet and Classical Voice studies. Mr. Bowden has had the opportunity to perform at such places as the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts, the White House, Sibiu Romania, and four televised music award shows (BET Honors, Youtube Honors, The Dove Music Awards, and the annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards).