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Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot - Schools

A Winter Music Showcase

In a debut performance under the direction of music teacher Meagan Finnerty, the music department at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School decided a break from tradition was in order. In years past, the performance took place over two days and parents were invited to watch the entire school perform. This year, however, the concert was presented as a “Winter Music Showcase” instead, to the delight of parents, who were thrilled not to have to struggle to find parking or a decent seat in the gymnasium.

In this year’s performance, each class performed one number separately, with each grade level performing in 30-minute intervals.

“I really liked that each class got individual attention. It was great to be able to see your child perform,” said Gina Weinberg of Oyster Bay.

The motivation behind the change, according to Supervisor of Performing Arts Peter Rufa, was that, “We wanted to feature the integration portion of our music program.”

 While introducing the showcase, Rufa explained that the integration program that exists at TR Elementary is something very special that you won’t typically find in other schools.

While students in most schools typically receive music once a week, at Roosevelt, the students get supplemental instruction which takes place with their music teacher as well as their classroom teacher. The two work together, engaging students to meet an objective using music as a tool for learning.

“This helps to excite young learners and makes the curriculum more meaningful,” said Rufa.

The songs the students learned were directly linked to the topics they studied with their classroom teacher.

When asked how she felt about the performance, Finnerty responded enthusiastically. “The kids worked so hard and did such an amazing job.”

Rufa echoed her excitement by saying, “We are all very proud of this portion of our music program in the district and are very pleased to have Ms. Finnerty as a member of our music faculty.”