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  Cultural Arts






"STEAMY" art and music camp fun








During the week of June 25, district students in grades 3-5 attended an art camp at RMMS where they worked with presenters from the Long Island Explorium to explore chemistry and color.  They had a marvelous time with teacher Rosemarie Whalen.

Middle School music students also jammed with teachers and students from the Farmingdale "School of Rock" program during the week of June 25.  They presented a rock and roll concert at the end of the week.  Together with Mrs. Pino and Ms. Verderosa, everyone had a "rockin' good time".  



North Babylon High School Marching Band Camp

August 13-15, 2018  8 am to 12 noon

Remmber that due to construction, camp will be held at

Belmont Elementary School this year.

Current home game schedule: 

9/15/18 Newfield at NB,

9/29/18  Lindenhurst at NB 

10/6/18  Northport at NB 

10/13/18 Deer Park at NB  

All games will be held at 2pm and will be played at RMMS.  Note that this schedule does not include any post-season games.  



Summer Art Classes For Teens
Summer Intensive! College Portfolio Prep Class with Robyn Cooper
Monday - Friday 1:30 – 4:30 pm   July 9 – 20 (2 weeks)
$550.00 Members, $650.00 Non-Members

Ages 15 - 17. High School students develop college art portfolios with group and individual instruction. Focus on the elements and principles of art and design through application to individual students’ work, along with conversations about the work on view in our galleries. Participants work from live models* and still life in a variety of traditional art materials, participate in critique sessions and portfolio reviews under the guidance and support of a skilled artist, college educator, and college admissions associate.
* includes model nudity.

Summer Art Classes For Kids
Fri Yay Art Day!  at The Manes Center 
Fridays, 9:30 - 10:30 am through August 10
Free for Members 
$5 per child for Non-Members 
Ages 3 - 5 
Reservations not needed

Young children and their adult companions investigate color, shape, form and more with hands-on activities. They will have the opportunity to experiment and become familiar with art materials and processes as they discover new skills while nurturing creative expression.


Inductions for the North Babylon Chapters of the National Art Honor Society and the Tri M National Music Honor Society were held on Tuesday, June 11, 2018 at 7pm in the High School Auditorium.   Congratulations to our new members!




 North Babylon Memorial Day Parade


Congratulations to the NBHS Marching Band and the RMMS Marching Unit on a wonderful performance at the Parade.


​PASA Announces Scholarship Winners


This year, the Performing Arts Support Association of North Babylon has awarded scholarship awards to the following students:

PASA Scholarship Awards

Carolyn Cosentino

Vincent LaFerrara

Brett Manzo

Irene Seubert Choir Scholarship Award

Noah Rothstein

Helen Badr PASA Service Award

Haley Dennerlein

Brooke Hovanec

Alexander Iacono-Hall

Gabriella Shank

Joseph Kolk

Nicholas Marcis

Lee Tatti Memorial Scholarship Award

James Binder

Nancy Coraggio Memorial Scholarship Award

Christina Cotignola

Nancy Coraggio PASA Service Award

Jewel Brown

Julia-Mary Popovych

Desmond Crosswell Jr.

Matthew Pecoraro

Samantha DeBello

Abigail Guzman


  BACCA Teen Theatre Award Winners!

This year's Teen Theatre Awards Ceremony took place on 
Friday, June 8, 2018 at 7pm at Lindenhurst High School. 

North Babylon High School is proud to announce that the following students were winners this year:

  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role/Musical -CJ Boell
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical - Sophia Bonventure
  • Inaugural All Student Pit Orchestra Award - Mr. Wink and the Pit Orchestra
  • Student choreographers/dance captains from Annie:  Elijah Bailey, Arianna Pentecost, Giovanna Aiello and Joshua Gibson.
  • Best Production Value of a Musical - ANNIE


...and congratulations to our additional nominees:

Outstanding Musical  - Annie

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role/Musical - Kaitlin Meyers

Outstanding Performance by an Featured Role in a Musical - Jordan Bux

Outstanding Male Vocal Performance - CJ Boell 

Outstanding Female Vocal Performance - Sophia Bonventure

Outstanding Production Value of a Musical - Annie

Outstanding Ensemble of a Musical - Annie

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play - Jacob Lesko

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play - Christina Cotignola

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Play - Arianna Pentecost

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play - Josh Gibson

Mia Bacchi’s Art Extravagance 

RMMS student Mia Bacchi visited her alma mater Belmont Avenue to discuss her remarkable artistic accomplishments and the district’s art gallery that she is featured in as a result of earning the 2017 Director’s Award.

Bacchi, an eighth-grade standout artist, has won multiple awards for her work from the Long Island Fair at Bethpage and The Festival of the Arts, including Best in Show for 2017, and most recently was honored with the privilege of designing this year’s yearbook. She has completed murals for the Town of Oyster Bay Cedar Beach marina, J.E. Allen Jr./Sr. High School, and her middle school, and currently works on set design for the middle- and high-school Youth Center Drama Clubs.

During her visit, Bacchi shared her experiences, offered tips and encouraged students to continue working diligently toward their dreams. She works mostly in digital programs, clay and alcohol markers, but her preference is a #2 pencil. This summer, she will be teaching “How to Draw Mythological Creatures” at the Youth Center, and in the future plans to pursue a career in concept art.

What a Wonderful Day.....


On Tuesday, May 15, 2018, students from the RMMS Jazz Band travelled to  the Louis Armstrong House and Museum in Corona, Queens.  Together with their music teachers, the students learned all about this legendary musician who revolutionized scat singing, jazz playing and swing music!  Students are pictured here sitting on Mr. Armstrong's front porch.  




Peers Practice Performances for NYSSMA


For the first time in its illustrious history, the music department hosted an event designed to give students who were selected to participate in the NYSSMA Festival an opportunity to perform for their peers prior to the adjudication festival. The event, featuring a range of students in grades 3-12 performing music of varying levels of difficulty, was coordinated by District Director of Arts Dr. Kim Lowenborg-Coyne and music teacher John Lazarek.

The district wishes the students luck as they prepare for the festival on April 20 and 21.


tilles center for the performing arts liu post

Tilles Center presents two one-week summer programs!

secret garden image

August 6 – 11, 2018
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Ages: 6 – 13

 Do you love to sing, dance and act? Now is your chance to shine on the Tilles Center stage! Join us for an exciting week where you will work with professional actors and directors and take classes in voice, movement and acting technique. All students will perform in the final production of The Secret Garden. This production is created by the Missoula Children’s Theatre.

Register Now

broadway bound a summer intensive image

BROADWAY BOUND: A SUMMER INTENSIVE is a pre-professional training program for students who are interested in learning more about a career in musical theater. Spend a week learning Broadway repertoire, work on audition pieces, and learn about the business of theatre from Broadway actors, choreographers and directors. Students will perform in a final showcase for Broadway casting directors and agents. A parent session about the business of Broadway is included.

August 20 – 24, 2018
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Ages: 14 – 18


North Babylon District Art Show 


 Babylon Town Hall   

200 East Sunrise Highway, Lindenhurst  9am - 4pm

April 27 - May 11, 2018


Awards Ceremony (by invitation ONLY) on May 2, 2018 

Town Hall Meeting Room at 5pm


Art Compass: For Teens and Young

Adults with Autism

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

at the Nassau County Museum of Art

Ages 13 - 21 
April 10, 24, May 8, 22, June 5, 12 
4:00 - 5:15 pm 

Teens receive hands-on training in basic artistic processes that can be translated into practical job skills. Based on current exhibitions in the galleries at the Museum, these workshops will encourage participants to explore different methods of art making and design and how a museum can be a resource for creative inspiration. Students with autism will have the opportunity to apply their artistic skills and functional academic learning in a real world setting, while preparing to transition to after school life. Partial funding for our program for autism comes from the North Shore Autism Circle. 

Congratulations to the cast, crew and pit of ANNIE

on a wonderful show!








Congratulations to our High School Marching Unit on their marvelous performance at the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade!






Student-Musicians Excel


The district extends its congratulations to students who have been recognized for their musical excellence by the Long Island String Music Festival Association.

Students Cayla Hunte, Crystal Wu, Colin McDonald, Summer Marshall, Kevin Chicas and Ashley Brown were selected for the LISFA Intermediate Festival, while Carolyn Consentino, Jewel Brown and Esther Duclair were selected for the LISFA Secondary Festival.

In addition, members of the high school Chamber Music Society auditioned and were accepted to the annual LISFA Chamber Music Festival. Participating students were Brian Nelson, Stephanie Reis, Bayinah Agant, Joseph Shepherd, Emily Guerra, Isabella Soto, Jaime Crafa, Kirsten Keane, Giselle Ust, Emily Thiele, Junianna Borgia, Jewel Brown and Carolyn Consentino. These students joined chamber music groups from Suffolk County for a day of instruction and performance with members of the Bryant Park String Ensemble. The North Babylon students worked in three different groups, with each group playing a movement of W.A. Mozart’s String Quartet #4 in C Major.





Deadline for applications is March 26!

Click HERE for your application or ask your music teacher.  

 The PASA Helen Badr Memorial Scholarship is a full tuition scholarship for summer study to the Usdan Summer Camp. Students may use it to study piano, band, orchestra, chorus, or participate in the Discovery Programs (grades K-1) only.   

Applicants MUST be students currently enrolled in the music programs at North Babylon Schools, grades K-8.  




At the Mineola St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 4, 2018, Mrs. Pino and the RMMS Marching Band delighted the crowds with their fantastic performance!  




RMMS Orchestra:  We all wanna be like you!

On Thursday, March 1, Miss Verderosa and  members of the RMMS Orchestra delighted the audience at the annual PTA Founder's Day Celebration.  Playing selections from Vivaldi's Four Seasons and I Wanna Be Like You from Disney's "Jungle Book", the ensemble proved to be one of the evening's highlights.  Congratulations to all and thank you to the PTA for including us in your celebration.






Come and view our beautiful "Spinning Spirals", created in collaboration with the Heckscher Museum of Art.  Every sixth grade student has created a unique artwork that they researched online and measured precisely in our STEAM related art project.  We hope to see you on Thursday, March 1, 2018 between 5 and 7 pm at RMMS.  

 steam invite - PDF



Love is in the Air! 



Art teacher Mrs. Gregorek and her students from Vedder Elementary travelled to the North Babylon Senior Center to design Valentine greetings together.  Great job!




The North Babylon NYSSMA Festival will be held at North Babylon High School on April 20 and 21, 2018. 

Registration is now closed. 

Please check the NYSSMA Section of this webpage for details. 

See your music teacher for festival materials. 


A Beautiful Performance

Under the leadership of Tiina Buehler and as part of a two-month residency with Plaza Theatrical Productions, students at RMMS performed “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” The show starred Isabella LeBlanc as Belle, and was the product of approximately 50 students comprising the cast and crew. The performance was a platform for students to showcase their talents in the performing arts.

District’s Top Musicians Set for All-County Festivals


​RMMS Division 2 students 

The district congratulates 50 students across its schools who have been selected to perform at the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association’s All-County Festival in March. This invitational, highly competitive festival includes the best student musicians in grades 5-10 throughout Western Suffolk County. The North Babylon students will rehearse with students from other school district prior to the concerts.


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With the holiday season in full swing, music students from all buildings celebrated the holiday season with engaging arts activities.  In honor of the holiday season, elementary schools hosted full school holiday sing alongs with older students acting as song leaders.  Staff and students alike joined in the school spirit and transformed our facilities to "homes for the holidays".






Congratulations to the Cast and Crew of "Rehearsal for Murder".  You did a great job!

 Mr. Handler and the Crew 



Rehearsal for Murder CAST


Currently on exhibit in the District Art Gallery located in Room 14 at Belmont Elementary School: 




Artists' Reception at District Gallery

On Thursday, December 7, Ms. Renee Blank, District Director of Art Kim Lowenborg-Coyne and Principal Valerie Jackson welcomed our SUNY student artists and their families to the District Art Gallery for a grand opening reception.  Students, families and friends enjoyed sharing their stories and future plans together over refreshments.  The exhibit remains open until February.  





RMMS Marching Band Honors Veterans

In observance of Veterans Day and as a testament to their respect and appreciation for the nation’s heroes, the marching band at RMMS performed at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Under the direction of Teresa Pino, Tiina Buehler and Theresa Marchionna, the students played remarkable renditions of patriotic songs. The performances were a symphonious way for the students to honor those who have sacrificed so much.



 NBHS Musicians Hit a High Note in All County



Congratulations to the following students in Grades 11-12 who were recently invited to perform at the NYSCAME All County Music Festival: 

Christina Cotignola                            Soprano 2                                Mixed Chorus

Evgenia Kennedy                               Clarinet 2                                Band

Joseph Kolk                                        Trumpet 2                               Band

Jacob Lesko                                        Tenor 1                                   Mixed Chorus

Brett Manzo                                        Trombone 1                            Band

Noah Rothstein                                   Tenor 2                                   Mixed Chorus

Jason Valverde                                   Bass 2                                     Mixed Chorus



Matisse:  The NB Cut-outs 

We congratulate our art students from Parliament Place and Woods Road Elementary Schools for their exhibit currently on display at the Long Island Children's Museum featuring abstract cut outs in the style of Henri Matisse.  Their teachers, Mrs. Rose Whalen and Mrs. Renee Blank planned a trip for November 8 so students could travel to the Museum for an "artist reception", enjoy the other exhibits at the Museum and have lunch out.  The Matisse exhibit runs through November, 2017. 





Tops in Youth Orchestra


Congratulations to the following students who have been selected to perform in the Long Island String Festival concerts this year:  

Cayla Hunte, Crystal Wu, Colin McDonald, Summer Marshall, Kevin Chicas, Ashley Brown, Carolyn Cosentino, Jewel Brown and Esther Duclair.  We also want to recognize their devoted teachers, Miss DiVito, Ms. Verderosa and Mr. DePaola for their nominations and guidance as they prepare for the festival.



Geometric Genius!

Students in Ms. Blank's art class at Parliament Place Elementary School are enjoying studying the work of Piet Mondrian.  They are pictured here using simple geometric elements, measurement and basic color theory to design abstract collage pieces in the abstract style.  





A Pollock Tutorial

Students in Karen Kennely’s Studio in Art class at the high school supplemented their lessons in abstract expressionism by visiting the East Hampton home and studio of American painter Jackson Pollock.

During the trip, the students observed and analyzed Pollock’s furniture, rooms and the types of art he collected. They watched a video of Jackson painting, dripping and splattering a large canvas with cans of house paint. They also studied his original paint splashes in a former barn that served as his studio. In addition, they painted in a similar style outside on the lawn prior to enjoying a picnic on his property.

The visit to Pollock’s home provided students with a unique opportunity to study how one of the major figures in the abstract expressionist movement lived.


 Astounding All-State achievement

Three students at the high school earned All-State distinction for their remarkable musical talents. The district extends its congratulations to junior Jacob Lesko (tenor 1 in the Mixed Chorus), and seniors Noah Rothstein (tenor 2 in the Mixed Chorus) and Brett Manzo (trombone, Symphonic Band) for the tremendous honor.

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Next PASA meeting:  Tuesday, November 28 @ 7:30 pm.

Meetings are held in the High School.






Wednesday, November 8 at 7 PM
A musical tribute to Veteran’s concert.

Under the direction of Major Michael Hoerber and 2nd Lieutenant David Neil C. Regner, the 45-member concert band will perform a variety of musical styles that everyone is sure to enjoy!  Come out to celebrate the contributions of America’s veterans and 70 years of Air Force heritage. 
The concert is free and open to the public.  The ONLY way to obtain tickets is to send an email with your name, address, and number of tickets requested (limit of 4 per household) to:
Ticket requests must be received by November 1.
Tickets will be available for pick up at Tilles Center starting at 4 PM on the day of the performance. Tickets not picked up by 6:45 PM on November 8 will be given to standby patrons. 

*General admission. Tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis and are not guaranteed.* 







Continuing their tradition of excellence, the NBHS Marching Band amazed the crowd with their eye-catching drill, dance and music at the Mitchell Field Athletic Center.  Audience members were visually captivated by the unison of the flags and beautiful dance routine of the kickline.  Our drum majors Alex Iacono, Haley Dennerlein and Antonina Covelli took charge as they ascended the podium and led the band through "In the Stone" and other "Earth, Wind and Fire" classic hits.  A theatrical drumline feature thrilled the crowd as the band closed the show with a stunning rendition of "September".

We congratulate the students and new Directors Mr. Chris Wink, Mr. John Lazarek and Mrs. Laura Gmelch on their marvelous performance at thjis year's Festival.  Hundreds of North Babylon fans cheered on the band, made up of parents, family, alumnae, Board of Education members and administrators, especially our biggest fan, Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Glen Eschbach. 

You make us all proud to be from "NB"!!!!!

To view photos of the band at the event, click HERE.

To view a video of the wonderful NBHS Marching Band's performance at this festival, click HERE.



  New Director, Same Tradition

Led by new band teacher and marching band director Christopher Wink, the high school Marching Band will once again be showcasing its remarkable talents at the 55th annual Newsday Marching Band Festival. More than 110 students, including musicians playing percussion and wind instruments and the kickline team, will be performing at the festival, which this year is themed “Earth, Wind and Fire.”

Wink comes to the district with a breadth of band-related experience and knowledge. He has taught in the New York City Department of Education and Copiague Public School District, and has worked with several marching bands across Long Island while appearing in a variety of performing ensembles. Wink holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in jazz and commercial music.

“I’m very excited and honored to be part of the band program here in North Babylon,” Wink said. “The music program has such a rich history, and the staff and students here uphold that history every day.”

The Newsday Marching Band Festival will be held at Mitchel Athletic Complex on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through the band program at the school.





BACCA Success

The high school won Best Ensemble of a Musical for its production of “Godspell” during the 2016-2017 school year — the third consecutive year the Drama Club has earned this distinction. In addition, Jacob Lesko won Best Male Vocal Performance in a Musical and Christina Cotignola won Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Overall, the high school received a total of 13 BACCA nominations.

A World of Music

Under the leadership of music teachers Teresa Pino and Nicole Verderosa, the district hosted a Summer World Music Camp designed to give students the opportunity to continue expanding their musical horizons.

The district welcomed drummer-percussionist, educator and clinician Napoleon Revels-Bey to conduct interactive lessons about the roots of music around the world, including African drumming. Thirty-four students participated in the program, which culminated with a concert at the high school.






Kristina's Big Idea" embarks on THIRD year!

 We are creating a library for all future NYSSMA students and you can help!  If you purchased a 2nd copy of music for your child’s NYSSMA appointment and you do not need it anymore, we ask that you donate it to the Music Department.  The scores will be made available to any student who needs it for next year’s auditions, festival and college auditions.  

Please drop your music off at NBHS Room 105 of the High School anytime over the summer months between 8 and 2pm.  Thanks to Kristina Scheid, a scholarship winning music therapy major at Molloy College and 2017 NBHS Graduate for this project.  Thank you for helping us with “Kristina’s Big Idea” and have a great summer!



Each year, PASA awards the Helen Badr Memorial Scholarship to a music student in Grades K-8 for study at the Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts in Wheatley Heights, NY.  It is a full tuition scholarship.  This year, the Badr Scholarship was presented to Autumn Cullinan, an 8th grade student at RMMS who will participate in the Usdan Orchestra Studies program.  Congratulations, Autumn!


North Babylon's Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

District is one of 4% of school districts in nation to receive distinction


North Babylon, NY - April 6, 2017 - The North Babylon School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for it's outstanding commitment to music education.  This is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.  In a survey completed by Dr. Lowenborg-Coyne, questions were answered  about funding, graduation requiremtns, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music making programs.  Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.  

This marks the 11th time since 2003 that the District has been honored by NAMM.

Childhood Lesson: Color Outside the Lines—How being a child artist helped me become a better business leader

Posted by Matt D'Arrigo, Jan 11, 2017  “No one ever discovered anything coloring inside the lines.” —Thomas Vasquez I’ve been an artist since my earliest childhood memories, falling in love with crayons, paint, paper, pastels, pencils—anything I could get my hands on. I would create with reckless abandon. Throwing colors, shapes, and scribbles onto paper feeling pure joy. Slowly, as I got older, I began to learn how to become a better artist. I learned how to control the medium, hone the skills and techniques needed to make my art look like it was supposed to, how to follow the rules. Although important in order to achieve the desired result, it also had its downside. I fell into the trap of focusing too much on the technique and final product rather than the process of creativity. I was not exploring the potential for creative discovery by breaking the rules and coloring outside the lines! Growing up, one of my art teachers had a little cartoon on his desk that read “Why color inside the lines when coloring outside the lines is so much fun?” It clicked with me. The greatest lesson I learned as a childhood artist was the power and importance of coloring outside the lines—that’s where the magic and fun happens. In 2001 I made the transition from artist to non-profit founder & CEO of ARTS | A Reason To Survive, a Creative Youth Development organization based in National City, Calif., that ignites the power of creativity in youth, inspires them to overcome obstacles, and provides them with the skills needed to become compassionate catalysts of positive change in themselves, their community, and the world. I now realize how important this lesson is and how it translates into the business world. Here are my top 5 reasons how coloring outside the lines has helped me in business today: 1) It Takes Courage “Creativity Takes Courage.” —Henri Matisse Anyone can play it safe, follow the rules, and blend in. Taking risks, stepping outside your comfort zone, finding your own unique voice and style that sets you apart from everyone else takes tremendous courage. No one makes his or her mark on the world by being timid or following what others are doing.

People thought I was crazy for starting ARTS during the 2001 recession. They told me it would be too hard, the timing wasn’t right, I didn’t have any experience—maybe I should just work for an arts non-profit. There were many doubters, including myself. Fifteen years later we’ve created this incredible work of art and are going stronger than ever!

2) Mistakes Are Encouraged
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” —Scott Adams

If you’re making mistakes it means you’re trying new things, pushing the envelope, and taking risks. It’s the only way to be innovative. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and grow. “Mistakes” are often the beginning of a totally new direction that could not have been seen or imaged otherwise.

The first mistake I made was trying to immediately open an ARTS Center in 2001. It was my dream and vision, but the funds were not coming in. We explored how else we could provide our services with low overhead. By pivoting and launching outreach programs to hospitals and shelters, it led to success and gained the support we needed to open our first ARTS Center in 2007.

Working through mistakes and roadblocks also builds another key ingredient in success: resilience.

3) It Forces You to Let Go of Control
  “Let it go, let it gooooo…”—Queen Elsa, “Frozen”

As an artist, at some point, you need to let go of control, trust the creative process, and let it take you in directions outside your comfort zone. This can be applied in the business environment; if you try to control too much, you stifle creativity and you become a bottleneck suppressing others’ ideas and input. You need to trust and empower others, embrace new approaches, and be ok if it doesn’t work out. As a founder this can be especially challenging, but the only way to grow is to let it go!

4) It Affirms that Creativity is King
“To be creative, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

Being an artist or leading a business requires a tremendous amount of creativity. You can’t be creative by playing it safe and you must be prepared to be wrong. Everything is not always a home run. Fresh approaches, unique ideas, and creative problem solving can not only set you apart from others, but it can be the difference between sinking or swimming. When IBM surveyed the CEOs of the top Fortune 500 companies, they identified “creativity” as the #1 leadership quality for the 21st century.

5) It’s Fun
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein

Like my teacher’s cartoon said, coloring outside the lines is fun. We need to remember to find the joy in what we do, continually surprise ourselves, and have fun. If you’re having fun, others around you will also. It’s contagious.

Picasso said it best: “All children are artists; the problem is staying an artist once we grow up.”

We all need to reconnect and celebrate the child artist in all of us and remember the importance of coloring outside the lines.








Getting Started in Band and Orchestra

Each year our 4th grade students have the opportunity to select the instrument they will begin playing. The process begins with an introduction to the instrument families in Music Class. This is followed by a demonstration by members of our music staff,who give each student a great deal of personalized information and experience to assist in their choices.

A letter is sent home with each student so you can discuss your choices as a family. When the form is returned, our staff evaluates the choices and selects  the instrument we feel is best suited to the students physical and musical attributes. Please note that this may not be their first choice, but it is what we believe to be their best opportunity for success.

All are welcome to join our band and orchestra program and no prior experience is required.  We hope you join us!





Study: Music Education Aids Cognitive Development

13music_violin_blog.jpgStudying music seems to have helped accelerate the cognitive development, and particularly the auditory- and speech and language-processing abilities, of a group of young children in Los Angeles.

That's an early pair of findings from a five-year longitudinal study being conducted by researchers with the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, in partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the Heart of Los Angeles, a community center. The study, published earlier this spring in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, checks in on a group of students two years into an experiment about the impact of music education on students' cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Previous studies have shown that adult musicians' brains are distinct from those of non-musicians, and that musical training in early childhood is associated with structural changes in the brain. The USC researchers write that this study should increase the field's understanding of how and whether musical training affects the brain.

The researchers began following 45 children, all from economically disadvantaged, bilingual households (most are Latino, one is Korean) in Southern California, starting when the children were 6 and 7. The initial group was split into three: One set of 13 students is receiving music instruction through the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, one group is playing soccer, and another is involved in no particular after-school activity. Eight students have since dropped out of the study or moved, so this paper focuses on the 37 remaining students.

The students in the music program are being taught using an approach based on El Sistema, developed in Venezuela. They receive free instruments and intensive, regular training from adult musicians. The students are occasionally monitored via MRIs, EEGs, and other activities to gauge their brain development.

Two years in, the students in the music group were more able to identify differences in musical pitch on a piano than other students. The brain scans also showed that these students had more-developed auditory pathways than their peers.

The authors write that this development in auditory processing also affects students' ability to process speech and language—which means it could have an impact on students' academic progress as well as their musical abilities.

This study is one of a number tackling the impact of music on young people's brains. Education Week spoke with one of the researchers involved in this study, neuroscientist Antonio R. Damasio, as it was beginning in 2013.

At the time, Damasio said he and his colleagues were interested in how music training and creation affect the entire brain:


"We say that when people are inspired, they create, that it all comes in a rush," said Antonio R. Damasio, a neuroscience professor at the University of Southern California, "but, of course, it comes in a rush if you've trained your hands and your mind for an entire lifetime. That moment of inspiration generally comes on the back of a whole process of imagination and knowledge and criticism of what has come before."

"We want to know what circuitries are involved, but this is something about the whole brain, not left or right brain or some particular cortex," he said...


Many schools have experienced cuts in arts and music programs in recent decades. In Los Angeles and other school districts, advocates have been highlighting the inequitable distribution of arts programs in schools. (Many schools serving the most disadvantaged students don't have robust arts programs.) Studies like this one may bolster claims that access to music education in schools, especially where many students are living in poverty, could benefit children's cognitive development.


e are ten reasons to be grateful for your music teacher:1. They taught you that it’s ok to make mistakes, and making them is how we learn and grow as a person. That’s something useful for life in general, not just music.

2. They taught you to believe in your abilities and stay calm under pressure. Again, not bad qualities to have regardless of what you’re doing.

3. They encouraged you to do your best and push your limits.

4. They destroyed the “practice makes perfect” cliche. In reality, a copious amount of practice is not enough to become a great musician. You always need to find a way to make yourself inspired.

5. They show tremendous dedication, including by taking after school lessons, running school orchestras and clubs, and planning activities. A lot of this additional commitment is never recognized in a teacher’s working hours or salary.

6. They made mathematics easier to understand. After all, its simpler to grasp the concept of two quarter notes fitting in to a half than trying to stare at a badly drawn diagram on a blackboard.

7. They pushed you to take responsibility for your actions, by practicing for your weekly piano lessons or remembering to bring your violin to school.

8. They opened the doors to something which has been shown to stimulate the entire brain. As we noted in arecent article, a vast quantity of scientific research has proven the positive effects of music in many areas.

9. They stressed the importance of always looking for ways to improve. Whether or not you’re still playing piano today, a healthy dose of self-criticism can only be a good thing.

10. They showed you that music is a lot more than just something you listen to or have on in the background. It’s there to be experienced.

(from the National Association for Music Education)


Method Books for K-8 Orchestra and Band 


Elementary Orchestra: Mr. Schultheis, Ms. DiVito
String Explorer, Book 1 or 2 (ask your teacher for details)

Middle School Orchestra:  Ms. Verderosa
Essential Elements for Strings, Book 2 
OR Essential Technique for Strings, Book 3

Elementary Band:  Mr. Orig, Mrs. Gembinski or Mr. Lazarek
Accent on Achievement

Middle School Band:  Mrs. Pino
Standard of Excellence, Book 2




Do Pull Out Music Lessons Harm Students Academically?

Those of you who worry about the effects of pull-out band lessons on the academic achievement of students can breathe a sigh of relief today!  A new study (Hash 2011) has confirmed previous findings that students who are pulled from traditional classes to participate in band lessons perform just as well--if not better--than non-band students in state testing Similar findings have been found for orchestra students. (Kinney, 2008).

This does not imply that participation in band makes one smarter; however, it does help to alleviate fears that pull-out lessons may harm students academically. According to this latest study, even the lowest-performing band students still out-perform the majority of the highest performing non-band students, even after several years of pull-out lessons. This may be good news for parents who worry about their children’s progress and for classroom teachers who may eventually be evaluated by their students’ performance on standardized testing.


How music training alters the teenage brain

Music training initiated during high school might hone brain development Date:July 20, 2015  Source:Northwestern University  Summary:Music training, begun as late as high school, may help improve the teenage brain's responses to sound and sharpen hearing and language skills, suggests a new study. The authors say that these results highlight music's place in the high school curriculum.     According to the authors, high school music training -- increasingly disfavored due to funding shortfalls -- might hone brain development and improve language skills. Music training, begun as late as high school, may help improve the teenage brain's responses to sound and sharpen hearing and language skills, suggests a new Northwestern University study. The research, to be published the week of July 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), indicates that music instruction helps enhance skills that are critical for academic success. The gains were seen during group music classes included in the schools' curriculum, suggesting in-school training accelerates neurodevelopment. "While music programs are often the first to be cut when the school budget is tight, these results highlight music's place in the high school curriculum," said Nina Kraus, senior study author and director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at the School of Communication. "Although learning to play music does not teach skills that seem directly relevant to most careers, the results suggest that music may engender what educators refer to as 'learning to learn,'" Kraus added. Kraus and colleagues recruited 40 Chicago-area high school freshmen in a study that began shortly before school started. They followed these children longitudinally until their senior year.
Nearly half the students had enrolled in band classes, which involved two to three hours a week of instrumental group music instruction in school. The rest had enrolled in junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), which emphasized fitness exercises during a comparable period. Both groups attended the same schools in low-income neighborhoods.

Electrode recordings at the start of the study and three years later revealed that the music group showed more rapid maturation in the brain's response to sound. Moreover, they demonstrated prolonged heightened brain sensitivity to sound details.

All participants improved in language skills tied to sound-structure awareness, but the improvement was greater for those in music classes, compared with the ROTC group.

According to the authors, high school music training -- increasingly disfavored due to funding shortfalls -- might hone brain development and improve language skills.

The stable processing of sound details, important for language skills, is known to be diminished in children raised in poverty, raising the possibility that music education may offset this negative influence on sound processing.

"Our results support the notion that the adolescent brain remains receptive to training, underscoring the importance of enrichment during the teenage years," the authors wrote.

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Northwestern University. The original item was written by Julie Deardorff. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.  Journal Reference:  1.Adam T. Tierney, Jennifer Krizman, and Nina Kraus. Music training alters the course of adolescent auditory development. PNAS, July 2015 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1505114112 



PASA of North Babylon Schools

(Performing Arts Support Association of NB)


The purpose of PASA is to encourage interest in an attendance at the many varied activities of the performing arts groups of the North Babylon Schools.  PASA supports North Babylon students by advocating, promoting and lobbying, community wide, the virtues of the performing arts.  Performing Arts includes music and dramatic performance, as well as art, dance, visual arts and technical theatre. (By Laws, 2007)

For just $5, you can be a member of PASA and show your support for the fantastic programs here in North Babylon. F
ill out your form and send it in to your child’s music or art teacher, or to the PASA mailbox located in the High School.  Click HEREto download a copy of the current PASA membership form.

Monthly meetings are held in NBHS at 7:30 pm and dates are listed on the District Calendar.

 For additional information, email President Kathy Scheid at  Membership forms are available in the Music and Art Office, Room 105 at the HS.  



America's best teachers get creative

Date:May 5, 2015 
Source:Michigan State University 

Summary:America's best teachers rap their algebra lessons, use music to teach Kafka and find other ways to use their own creative interests to teach their students, finds a new study. Examining the classroom practices of National Teacher of the Year winners and finalists, the study suggests successful educators aren't afraid to push the boundaries by incorporating real world, cross-disciplinary themes into their lessons. 

While U.S. educational policy emphasizes high-stakes testing and scripted lessons, the best teachers in the business are taking creative risks -- often drawing from their own interests and hobbies -- to help students learn, new research finds.

Examining the classroom practices of National Teacher of the Year winners and finalists, the study, by Michigan State University scholars, suggests successful educators aren't afraid to push the boundaries by incorporating real world, cross-disciplinary themes into their lessons.

Consider the San Diego teacher who raps his algebra lessons. Or the Oregon science teacher whose students create advertisements to learn photosynthesis. Or the Iowa language arts teacher who uses musical concepts to teach Franz Kafka's complex novella "The Metamorphosis."

The study, published online in the journal Teachers College Record, is one of the first in-depth investigations of how exceptional teachers use creativity in the classroom.

"The best teachers are taking their own creative interests -- from rap music to cooking to kickboxing -- and are finding ways to incorporate these into the curriculum," said Danah Henriksen, assistant professor of educational psychology and educational technology and lead author of the study. "They're bringing together different subject matters and finding areas of connections so students can learn both in interesting ways."

America's test-driven educational policy, Henriksen argues, has "impeded creativity in teaching and learning." Many teachers today struggle to balance high-stakes testing and accountability with the ability to act flexibly, independently and creatively in their classrooms.  

For more information, go to



NBHS Choir performs at Carnegie Hall


Brain Imaging Shows Enhanced Executive Brain Function in People with Musical Training
Date: June 17, 2014
Source:Boston Children's Hospital

A controlled study using functional MRI brain imaging reveals a possible biological link between early musical training and improved executive functioning in both children and adults, report researchers at Boston Children's Hospital.
The study, appearing online June 17 in the journal PLOS ONE, uses functional MRI of brain areas associated with executive function, adjusting for socioeconomic factors.

Executive functions are the high-level cognitive processes that enable people to quickly process and retain information, regulate their behaviors, make good choices, solve problems, plan and adjust to changing mental demands.
"Since executive functioning is a strong predictor of academic achievement, even more than IQ, we think our findings have strong educational implications,"
says study senior investigator Nadine Gaab, PhD, of the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children's.


"While many schools are cutting music programs and spending more and more time on test preparation, our findings suggest that musical training may actually help to set up children for a better academic future."

Boston Children's Hospital. "Brain imaging shows enhanced executive brain function in people with musical training." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2014. <>.


In a longitudinal study of 25,000 secondary school students, those with higher involvement in the arts scored better on measures of persistence than their peers with lower arts involvement."


Catterall, J. S. (1998). Involvement in the arts and success in secondary school. American for the Arts Monographs, 1(9).


"Arts education helps students become better readers and writers. This instruction increases reading readiness and word fluency in early grades and continues to improve reading comprehension and writing skills throughout middle and high school."


Podlozny, A. (2000). Strengthening verbal skills through the use of classroom drama: A clear link. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34, 239-276. 2 Walker, E., Tabone, C., & Weltsek, G. (2011). When achievement data meet drama and arts integration. Language Arts, 88, 365-372.

Students who study the arts, especially music, outperform their non-arts peers on mathematics assessments.Arts integrated math instruction also facilitates mastery of computation and estimation skills, and challenging concepts like fractions.  


Harris, M. A. (2007). Differences in mathematics scores between students who receive traditional Montessori instruction and students who receive music enriched Montessori instruction. Journal for Learning through the Arts, 3. 5 Kinney, D. W., & Forsythe, J. L. (2005). The effects of the arts IMPACT curriculum upon student performance on the Ohio fourth-grade proficiency test. Bulletin of the Council for
Research in Music Education, 164, 35-48.


Why are the ARTS important?

  1. They are languages that all people speak that cut across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers and enhance cultural appreciation and awareness.
  2. They provide opportunities for self-expression, bringing the inner world into the outer world of concrete reality.
  3. They develop both independence and collaboration.
  4. They make it possible to use personal strengths in meaningful ways and to bridge into understanding sometimes difficult abstractions through these strengths.
  5. They improve academic achievement -- enhancing test scores, attitudes, social skills, critical and creative thinking.
  6. They exercise and develop higher order thinking skills including analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and "problem-finding."
  7. They provide the means for every student to learn.

Adapted from "Why the arts are important?" by Dee Dickenson


Letter: Arts are important for sciences

Congratulations to the 53 students from Nassau and Suffolk counties who were recently named national Intel Science Talent Search semifinalists ["Intel contest," News, Jan. 10]. What is so impressive is the number of them who are involved in their school arts programs -- 26 in total.

Among the winners this year are student musicians -- several of whom were selected for countywide and statewide ensembles -- as well as visual artists, and those studying computer graphics and architectural design.

This should come as no surprise. Research shows that students involved in the arts score higher on standardized tests and show greater achievement in science and math. Students of the arts go on to careers not only in the arts, but into science, medicine, law and education.

While Long Island school arts programs are strongly supported by our communities, it is alarming that the arts are being pushed out of school curricula all over the state. The inordinate amount of test-taking is taking more time away from the ability to cultivate students' creativity. Because of funding pressures, districts have been forced to make the difficult decision to reduce unmandated classes, including the arts.

The arts provide students with self-confidence, creative problem-solving, the ability to critique work, and teamwork and time management skills. According to business leaders, these skills are all needed for 21st century employment.

John J. Gallagher, Middle Island

Editor's note: The writer is the Longwood school district's director of fine and applied arts.

Will my child's grades suffer when he's "pulled out for lessons? NO!

In this study, data indicate that “students did not suffer negative academic effects when compared to students of similar academic capability who remained in the classroom. We can also conclude that the overall Ohio Proficiency Test performance of the students who participated in string pull-out lessons was better than the performance of the students of similar ability who did not participate in the string program.

When string students are excused from their classrooms for string class, they are not leaving instruction. They are moving to another classroom in a different area of the building.  The concepts taught in string [lessons] go far beyond pitch and rhythm.
(1995 results of the Ohio Proficiency Test (OPT) given to fourth-grade students in Hamilton, Ohio)

“'Pull-Outs', the label attached to these elementary instrumental classes, have been the object of criticism from non-music school personnel for years. In a recent study, interpretation of the data shows that the elementary instrumental program is not harmful to students' academic growth, even if these students are "pull out" of classes considered basic.

This conclusion from the statement from our statistician was: "Students in the instrumental music program appear to have as good or better academic growth (development) in Reading and Math as the District as a whole. A strong case can be made that it is, in fact, superior growth!” (David Circle, Shawnee Mission, Kansas)

 Organized music lessons appear to benefit children's IQ and academic performance--and the longer the instruction continues, the larger the effect, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Educational Psychology (Vol. 98, No. 2).

  "Study in the arts can help students to pay better attention in school due to structural brain changes created when the students were engaged in practicing their art form.  When students pick up an instrument and practice a tricky passage, they are not merely improving their solo. They are also developing a high level of concentration that will aid them when they are working on their next algebra problem."

M. Posner, University of Oregon, 2008.

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