Here are some articles to kick-off a new year:

  • A five-year study out of the Brain and Creativity Institute (USC) showing accelerated brain processing and signal maturation in a sample of first grade students enrolled in music, compared to other activities.


“The auditory systems of children in the music program were maturing faster… than in the other children. The fine-tuning of their auditory pathway could accelerate their development of language and reading, as well as other abilities – a potential effect which the scientists are continuing to study.”

  • Happy 300th birthday to Handel’s Water Music. Here’s a quick story about the history and impact of the piece.

“Londoners lined the banks of the Thames and squeezed boats into the river to hear the music and catch a glimpse of the royals. It was a spectacle the likes of which they’d never seen. It was also a public relations coup for King George. But would such an obvious diversion work for politicians today?”

“The arts assessment measured students’ knowledge based on their ability to understand and interpret historical pieces of art and music. One question, for example, asked eighth graders to identify the instrument at the beginning of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” (It’s a clarinet.)”

“There is no precise data on the number of performers who have gone under the knife over the years. But several surgeons told me they estimate that vocal cord surgery has been performed on thousands of pop, rock and classical singers, as well as on theatre and stage musical stars. Cancelled shows reverberate across social media and hit a struggling music industry hard. When Adele pulled out of her remaining two Wembley shows this summer, nearly 200,000 tickets had to be refunded. It’s unclear if she will ever tour again.”

Join us on Friday, April 1st for the 2016 Spring All-County concert. The concert is at Hunter-Tannersville Central school, and it begins at 7:30. Please arrive early – we anticipate a shortage of parking space. The concert will feature:

Guest Conductor: Ms. Karen McKenna
Chairman: Ms. Shannon Hoyt

Guest Conductor: Dr. Joseph Eppink
Chairman: Miss Ashley Becker

Guest Conductor: Mr. Michael Benedict
Chairman: Mrs. Leslie Beauregard

We hope to see you there to support our student musicians!
Tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for students, and $10 for the whole family.

One year ago Joanne Lipman wrote a piece for the New York Times, “Is Music the Key to Success?” In this piece she interviewed numerous famous professionals who all attribute their success to musical training. Recently, she authored a follow-up for the WSJ entitled “A Musical Fix for American Schools.” In this article, Ms. Lipman shares the latest qualitative research that finally lays to rest the “chicken or the egg” discussion surrounding the correlation between music training and success. Does music training create successful students, or does music training just naturally appeal to successful students? “A Musical Fix…” shares research proving that music training:

  • Increases I.Q. in 90% of randomly selected first graders
  • Reduces the academic gap between rich and poor districts
  • Improves key academic skills (cognitive skills, grades, conscientiousness and ambition) more than other athletic and artistic activities.
  • Identifies children likely to struggle with literacy
  • Causes brain growth in fine motor skills, hearing, and the corpus callosum – which connects the right and left sides of the brain.

Ms. Lipman was the keynote speaker at the recent NAfME National Convention where she shared the outpouring of support from Fortune 500 CEO’s, politicians, judges, and many successful professionals who, like herself, received a strong music education and are reaping the benefits for their entire lives.  She writes in closing:

“a K-12 school music program in a large suburban district cost $187 per student a year, or just 1.6% of the total education budget. That seems a reasonable price to pay for fixing some of the thorniest and most expensive problems facing American education. Music programs shouldn’t have to sing for their supper.”

An article from The New York Times sheds light on the questions surrounding the correlation between success and musical training. Many musicians are aware of this correlation, but can music training facilitate success? Many believe so:

“I’ve always believed the reason I’ve gotten ahead is by outworking other people,” he says. It’s a skill learned by “playing that solo one more time, working on that one little section one more time,” and it translates into “working on something over and over again, or double-checking or triple-checking.” He adds, “There’s nothing like music to teach you that eventually if you work hard enough, it does get better. You see the results.”


Find out what the author, and many other high-ranking musicians think:



Thanks to a generous grant from the C.A.F.E., Coxsackie-Athens is able to host Ithacapella, Ithaca College’s premiere male acapella group, this Saturday (January 5th) at 7:00 pm in the High School Auditorium.  They are touring the area and will stop by the school to give workshops with the High School choruses and a concert at 7:00.

 There will be no admission charge but donations for the choral department will be accepted. Doors will open at 6:30.


Catskill Jazz Factory Presentation and Free Workshop at the Orpheum Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, June 20th presented by faculty members:

Aaron Diehl, piano, Artistic Director

Dominick Farinacci, trumpet, horns

Charenee Wade, vocals

Quincy Davis, drums

Bass instructor to be announced…


Middle and High School: Grades 7-12
Open to all Greene County schools: Capacity 60 kids

11:00 Arrive by bus
11:30-12:15  Forum & Demo by faculty in Orpheum Theater  
The Evolution of Jazz
The CJF Faculty will take students through a musical timeline of the
development and evolution of jazz, linking an art form to its relationship and
influence on current forms of popular music.

12:30-1:15 Sectionals:
Divide into 5 sectionals. Piano, Vocal, Drums, Horns, Bass.
(School teachers help to pre-select students)
Students will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on workshop with professional jazz artists. Sectionals will be aimed toward students who have at least intermediate level experience with their instrument. The focus will be on the functional role of the horn and rhythm sections, respectively. Vocalists will work on scat singing.

1:30- 2  Lunch with Faculty & bus back to school


Please note: There is absolutely no cost involved for the students but teachers who are interested would just have to help us by recruiting students and organizing bus transportation to and from the theater.

We are aware of the fact that the timing is not great for this due to Regents, but we are really hoping we can round up 60 middle and high school students (10-15 from each instrument- piano, voice, percussion, bass, horns)  to take advantage of this special opportunity. 

Here is a presentation entitled “What NYSSMA Does For You.” It has been revised and edited since it was first shown at the December NYSSMA conference. The author, Sue Weber, says the “this is NOT a stand alone presentation, but a stepping stone for discussion and added information. I hope that you can find it useful.”