PreK-Grade 4

The primary objective of the RCS music program is for each child to develop a love and knowledge of music. By exposing children to music early on, they not only develop a genuine appreciation for the musical arts but it also sparks their imagination, creativity, and intellectual curiosity. At each grade level, students:
  • Receive a comprehensive understanding of musical concepts with emphasis on rhythm, melody, dynamics, tempo, tone color, and notation.
  • Apply concepts and develop musical skills through singing and playing instruments.
  • Refine listening skills to aurally identify music and instruments from various historical periods, composers, and cultures.
  • Strengthen their ability to analyze music and describe the elements and emotions that resonate with each individual using music vocabulary.

Grades 5-9

Fifth graders have the choice of either studying a string instrument (violin, viola, or cello) or the ukulele. String players learn basic technique, posture, and music theory by studying a basic method book. Ukulele students learn a variety of chords and practice following written notation from songs in their method book. Both string and ukulele students will produce audio recordings and music videos throughout the year. 
Sixth graders build upon skills acquired the previous year. Students choose between studying a string instrument (violin, viola, cello) or the baritone ukulele. After a brief review, string students will learn new techniques and skills on their instruments by going through a moderate level method book. Students who choose to learn the baritone ukulele will find it a natural transition from their fifth grade soprano ukulele experience. This larger instrument is tuned like the first four guitar strings and is the perfect primer for young hands developing skills for future guitar playing. Both string and ukulele students will produce audio recordings and music videos throughout the year. 
Seventh and eighth graders are given a choice to study a string instrument (violin, viola, cello), a band instrument (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass guitar, or drums), or participate in the theater class, Actor’s Voice and Technique. The instrumental groups will continue to develop skills working with method books along with concert repertoire. Students will be challenged to extend the range of their instrument, learn to perform more complex rhythms and tonalities, and become increasingly aware of the dynamic balance within their ensemble. 
Ninth graders have opportunities to explore string instruments, band, and vocals.

Instrumental Bands

List of 5 items.

  • Beginner Band

    Beginner Band is for students with little or no experience playing an instrument. Instruments are available on a rental basis. Fifth and sixth-grade students will join this group unless they have previous experience that would place them in a more advanced band.

  • Concert Band

    Concert Band is for musicians with some background and experience in their chosen instrument. Concert Band is made up of primarily sixth-grade students.

  • Jazz Band

    Jazz Band is the only audition-based band in the school. Featuring a “Big Band Sound,” this group includes the most experienced musicians.

  • String Ensemble

    String Ensemble is open to musicians in all grades who have advanced experience.

  • Wind Ensemble

    Wind Ensemble attracts seventh through ninth-graders who want to continue their musical studies. It is also possible for fifth or sixth graders with advanced abilities to play in this band.

Meet the Faculty

Carrie studied violin performance at North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Roanoke College in 1999. Carrie received an Advanced Certificate in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2006. 

Carrie’s teaching experience includes operating her own studio, teaching private lessons at The Cortlandt School of Performing Arts, Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina, Ridenhour Music in Salem, Virginia, and teaching and leading orchestra at a Junior Musician’s Camp in Windhoek, Namibia. Carrie has performed in numerous symphonies, opera, musical theater, ballet, church services, and over 200 weddings and private events.

Bill has been teaching instrumental music at RCS for 23 years. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Manhattanville College in 1992, Bill spent five years managing Bramson’s Music store, teaching private lessons, performing music, and editing audiobooks at Kessler Media Productions. He is the proud father of two RCS alums. Bill is currently working towards earning a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Arielle has been a vocal music teacher and private vocal coach for the past 16 years. She joined us from P.S. 153 Elementary School in West Harlem, where she founded and directed the P.S. 153 Chorus – who were featured in GAP’s National ad campaign. Arielle has a Performance Diploma from The Juilliard School (Oboe), a Master of Arts in Music Education/Music Performance from Columbia University (Voice), and a Bachelor of Music Education and Music Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She has been a featured soloist with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, The Indiana University Singing Hoosiers, and the Juilliard Orchestra.

Lainie started her music career at a young age, attending The Juilliard School’s Preparatory Division from age 5 through high school, majoring in violin and piano. She also attended the Manhattan School of Music’s Preparatory Division as a voice major. Lainie graduated from The Juilliard School in 1977 with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in voice, and in 1978, a Masters in Music. While in college she taught violin, piano, and voice at Scarborough Country Day School – the independent school from which she attended and graduated. Lainie began teaching at Rippowam Cisqua School in 1979.

Discover More

Rippowam Cisqua School
439 Cantitoe Street 
Bedford, NY 10506
phone: (914) 244-1250
Rippowam Cisqua School is a PreK-Grade 9 independent day school in Westchester County, New York. RCS offers challenging academics built on innovation, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, wellness, leadership, service learning, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
Copyright 2023. Rippowam Cisqua School. All rights reserved. We respect your privacy. Read our privacy policy here.