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Clinton Performing Arts & Design Course Catalog

Clinton Instrumental:

Year 1: Meant for 9th grade instrumental majors or non majors who need to fulfil their arts requirement

Starting in 2018-19, Clinton Instrumental Majors will take two periods a day of courses that will consist of an ensemble course and a keyboard/ digital music course.  This will continue for 4 years to ensure students experience their area of interest fully.  

Students can take 1 of 2 formats in their 9th and 10th grade= Modern Vs. Traditional Band Formats.  These are differentiated by the instruments they will utilize.  Students will explore both types in their 9th grade year in order to determine best fit.  


9th Grade Introduction to Instrumental- Modern Band Format   

Course Description: This course is a fantastic introduction into learning instrumental music through performance. Performance will be the means by which students will learn theory and musical notation in a way that is fun and refreshing for the aspiring musician. These are the instruments that are available:

1. Guitar

2. Electric Bass

3. Drum Set

4. Keyboard

5. Brass Instruments (for ex. trumpet, trombone, etc.)

6. Woodwind Instruments(for ex. saxophone, clarinet, flute)

In this course you will have the opportunity to learn music from many genres of music such as classical, band, rock, pop, reggae, hip hop, R & B and other modern styles.



9th Grade Introduction to Instrumental Music – Traditional Band Format

Semester 1 - 2

Course Description: In this course we will first introduce you to the different band instruments, and then you will choose one to play from among the following:

Woodwind instruments: Flute, Clarinets or Saxophones

Brass instruments: Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone Horn, Tuba

String instruments: Electric Bass or String Bass

Percussion: Snare Drum, Bass Drum, hand percussion, Drum set, etc.

Mallet Percussion: Bells, Xylophone


As part of the process of learning to play your instrument, you will learn about music theory, how to read music, and how to play in a group.

We will start with basics, but within this first year progress to playing many different styles of music - including doing songs chosen by the students - and performing.

Keyboard for Producers 1- This course is taken with either of the intro instrumental courses 

Course Description: In this course you will learn to play piano through playing songs which start simple and become progressively more challenging. You will learn to read music, develop your piano technique, and learn about music theory. You will also learn the basics of computer-based recording, and record yourself and classmates playing, in projects that will encourage your creativity. We will perform both our live playing and our recordings.


Year 2: Meant for 10th grade instrumental majors.  Macy Honors students who took previous intro course are welcome.  

Intermediate Instrumental (Modern Band Format) and Keyboard for Producers 2

Course Description: This course is the next level course to deepen your understanding and performance of instrumental music through performance. What makes this course different is not only a deeper examination of more complex theories in music, but more importantly the performance of these theories in real world performance applications. In this level expect to explore using your instrument as a medium to compose your own musical compositions. You will also begin to use your knowledge of harmony and rhythm to begin improvising solos on your respective instrument. Using your knowledge to express the inner musician in you is the focus of this course.

Intermediate Instrumental (Traditional Band Format) and Keyboard for Producers 2

Semester 3 – 4 

Prerequisites: Must have completed Semester 1 – 2 Instrumental with a grade of 80 or above, or have equivalent experience playing an instrument listed above. Must be proficient in the following:

Understand how to find all notes in your clef, reading accidentals and key signatures, able to play notes of at least a one octave range, with a full sound and proper playing position. Able to read and play rhythms up to 8th notes (including dotted quarter/eighth), percussion up to 16th note combinations. Understanding of articulations and dynamics.

Course Description: In this course, we will build our musical skills mainly through learning pieces to perform. Our studies and exercises will be designed to prepare us for each piece we will play. The pieces will be at a higher level, of greater complexity than before. We will explore more styles of music, including jazz – and improvisation. And we will also work on solo and small group pieces. This group performs more often throughout the year.

Keyboard for Producers 2- 

Prerequisites: Must have completed Introduction to Keyboard with a grade of 80 or above or have equivalent experience. Able to read and play notes, rhythms, articulations, dynamics, etc, with solid piano technique.

Course Description: In this course, while we continue to work on more challenging written piano pieces in classical, pop, jazz, etc, and record our playing, we will also work on improvising and composing our own pieces, as well as beginning to explore more advanced production techniques. We will seek out collaborations with singers and other instrumentalists, and perform solo, and in various groups, both live and via our recordings. We also assist in DWC concerts as stage, sound and recording crew.

Year 3 & 4: Meant for 11th grade instrumental majors. Macy Honors students who took previous intro course are welcome.  

In the 3rd year of instrumental, students have a chance to become part of a performance group in one of three areas: Modern Band, Marching Band, or Digital Production.  Students will make a choice based on their experience from previous instrumental course work.  By this point they should have been exposed to either modern or traditional band instruments, in addition to have taken keyboard and digital music mixing.  By this point it is the program's intention to allow students to develop a repertoire of work to perform in a band that will be part of an annual spring concert and perform for incoming student open houses in the fall.   Those who select digital Production will engage in developing music for everything from commercials, movie soundtracks, or supporting vocal students with musical creation and song writing.   

Modern Band Introduction to Group Performance

Course Description: This course takes the knowledge that you have accrued and utilizes it in a group setting. In this course you will learn how you can communicate musically within a group of fellow musicians to present music as an ensemble. You will also learn how provide musical support, while also presenting yourself as a soloist within an ensemble. To accomplish this you will apply the improvisational skills you learned previously. Students in this course are required to participate in several formal and informal performances throughout the school year.

Course Description: Modern Band is a performance based ensemble that focuses on the commercially relevant music of the past fifty years and uses guitar, electric bass, drum set, keyboard, voice and computers to do so. Students learn to perform, improvise and compose using the popular styles that they know and love including rock, pop, reggae, hip hop, R & B and other modern styles. Students will participate in several formal and informal performances throughout the school year. In the past we have performed pieces such as:

1. Million Reasons performed by Lady Gaga

2. Believer by Imagine Dragons

3. Locked out of Heaven by Bruno Mars

4. Tattooed Heart performed by Ariana Grande

5. Shape of You by Ed. Sheeran


Marching Band Introduction to Group Performance

Prerequisites: Must have completed Semester 3 – 4 Instrumental with a grade of 80 or above or have equivalent experience. Must have solid intermediate reading and playing skills:

Reading all notes in your clef, can read and play rhythms up to 16th note combinations (and triplets) in various time signatures, woodwinds and strings play over a 2 octave range, brass 1 ½ octave, able to improvise on simple chord changes.

Course Description: DWC’s premier instrumental group, the Marching Band is actually a concert band, jazz band and marching band in one. Primarily juniors and seniors, the band performs in multiple school and community events throughout the year, as well as performing in music festivals in the spring. We will continue to hone our individual playing skills and our ensemble playing to the highest level, and will continue and extend our work on improvising and solo playing. Our members participate in the recital programs and collorate with music production projects and with the Chorus and Modern Band. This is a rich and rewarding musical experience.


If by 11th grade you want to expand your options, you can can focus on Digital Production

Clinton Vocal:


Introduction to Vocal Year 1 

Course Description: This course provides students with the opportunity to develop one’s voice as an instrument. Fundamentals on how to sing are introduced. Designed especially for the beginner, students will gain an understanding of basic vocal techniques, such as tone production, breath control, and expression. Students will explore singing music of various popular artists to include current singers such as Rhianna, Alicia Keys, Adele and John Legend. Discovering how to express yourself through music that you enjoy will launch your studies of the voice into greatness beyond your imagination.

Introduction to Vocal Performance Year 2 

Course Description: In this class designed to improve a student’s singing voice and develop their ability to successfully sing in front of others, fundamentals of healthy vocal production, (including posture, breathing, tone production, diction and expression), are taught. Students will gain confidence in stage presence and learn proper microphone technique. Several opportunities to perform as a soloist or in a small group for school showcases will occur during the course of the school year.


Vocal Ensemble Year 3 

Course Description: Vocal ensemble is designed to enhance vocal production in groups with three or more vocal parts. Designed for a mixed ensemble of male and female singers, students will develop vocal strength, breath support, tonality and a clear concept of singing in different styles of music. The group will begin to develop music reading, theory and sight singing at a beginning level. Performers will sing songs of various musical styles including Classical, Broadway, Gospel, Popular and Music of several other cultures. Several performances during the school year will feature this Vocal Ensemble.



Concert Choir Year 4 

Course Description: This course is designed to explore choral music from a wide variety of cultures and time periods through study and performance (offered to vocal students during their junior and senior years). Students are taught to interpret music through the use of dynamics, phrasing, and appropriate diction. As the ensemble strives for excellence in performance, teamwork and pride are developed throughout the year. Activities include participation in school showcases, community concerts, borough-wide music festivals, and a NYSMMA adjudicated performance.

Clinton Fine Arts:

Clinton Theater:

Clinton Dance:

Clinton Sports Journalism:

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