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Herricks Summer Music Program Continues to Grow

Herricks Summer Music Program Continues to Grow

For the ninth consecutive year, the Herricks Summer Music Program provided students in the Herricks School District with many opportunities to cultivate their interests, knowledge and talents.

Initiated nine years ago with 23 participants, the program’s enrollment has nearly quadrupled, as this year brought an attendance of 109 with two bands and two orchestras 

Fourth- through ninth-graders received several hours of assorted musical experiences five days a week for four weeks. They began each morning with a mass choir rehearsal, followed by a daily mindfulness exercise led by instructor Maria Diaz to help set up the day for successful music making. This activity was followed by either band or orchestra rehearsals and sectional lessons based on students’ chosen instruments. Later in the morning, electives were offered to broaden the range of musical learning and practice, while small-group lessons enabled students to study with instructors on a more individualized basis.

“It’s wonderful, there are a lot of new staff members and great kids,” said nine-year instructor Samantha Madonna. 

“I am so proud and amazed each year what students are able to accomplish in just four short weeks together,” said Anissa Arnold, Herricks Director of Music and Performing Arts.

Students learned chords, strumming and more in the guitar elective, while the musical theater class prepared to present a show. The Rock Band focused on building improvisation skills and enriching students’ musical awareness while fostering creativity. A new Ukelele course covered the basics and familiarized students with the instrument while they learned to sing and play at the same time.

Each summer’s instructors are professional music educators, while members of the Herricks High School Tri-M Music Honor Society volunteer as counselors. Many of these Tri-M members completed the Summer Music Program themselves in their earlier years and are excited about the opportunity to give back and share their enthusiasm and expertise with their peers at the elementary and middle school levels.

High school senior Raffaella Zanetti, who has participated in the program since third grade, taught cello to younger peers as a counselor this summer. “It gives us an opportunity to teach kids, and students learn different things than they do in school. They learn and improve in the electives and the small group lessons are very important for students learning to play by themselves.”

While each day presented many opportunities to fine-tune vocal, instrumental and music-reading techniques, the program focused on more than just performance. Concert etiquette was among the subjects incorporated and the Mindfulness Mornings directly tie in district goals. Every Friday the camp hosted a special event or concert. A show held on July 13 featured the well-known percussion ensemble “Hip Pickles,” which provided musical entertainment and inspiration and gave the students the opportunity to have hands on experiences with various instruments and free expression. The program culminated with a final concert performance on July 27 featuring all large ensembles.


Herricks Summer Music

Summer Music