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Music is an integral part of CSW's performing arts curriculum. Students become well versed in many musical styles, and gain a thorough knowledge of the historical and theoretical context of music. The music program balances classical music study with opportunities to pursue more contemporary experiences. In addition to the concert choir and chamber orchestra, the school offers jazz and rock/pop ensembles, as well as high tech courses, such as computer notation and digital recording and editing.

A strong emphasis of the program is to encourage students to refine their vocal and instrumental proficiency, and to pursue opportunities for live performance. Fundamental skills are stressed, and students are encouraged to form good practice habits through private lessons, ensemble work, solo rehearsals and performances.

Sample Courses

List of 9 items.

  • All That Jazz

    All That Jazz is a jazz dance class, taught to live music provided by CSW’s jazz ensemble. Students will expand their knowledge of jazz, America’s first art form, through the integrated study of movement and music composition. Dancers will focus on the rhythmic patterns that are created through the influence of such jazz genres of swing, blues, bebop, and jazz‑fusion, among others. Such terms as syncopated rhythms, body isolations, improvisation, high level of energy, and low center of gravity will be practiced as movement qualities that are direct derivatives of jazz music. Jazz ensemble will learn to perform jazz standards in a group setting. Emphasis will be on establishing a repertoire, building skills in improvisation and performance. This course awards credit toward the social justice requirement.
  • Ear Training 1

    For a developing musician, ear training is one of the most essential skills. Students will learn how to recognize melodies, harmonies, and rhythms in both notated and aural exercises. Students will be given the tools to transcribe and perform their favorite music on an instrument, or voice regardless of style.

    Level 1 skills include:
    • Four basic triad types and Sus 2 and 4
    • ii‑V‑I, I‑V‑vi‑IV, and other diatonic chord progressions
    • All intervals (diatonic and chromatic)
    • Conducting basic patterns of 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4
    • Transcription of 4 bar diatonic dictated melodies
  • Film Scoring

    This course will cover the important techniques of film scoring. Students will have to compose music for specific scenes using our digital software program Finale . Collaboration with students in other disciplines will be greatly encouraged. Guest artists working in the film industry will be invited to campus to share their expertise
  • Guitar Skills

    In this course, we will go over shortcuts for memorizing all notes on the fingerboard, as well as learning TABs, basic guitar notation reading, and writing. Additional topics covered include: fundamental techniques of guitar playing (strumming, picking styles, legato playing, bending tricks), improvisation, and structured jamming sessions. Guitars are available for use in the classroom. No prior experience necessary.
  • Jazz Ensemble

    Students learn to perform jazz standards in a group setting. Emphasis is on establishing a repertoire, building skills in improvisation, and performance. Students are expected to sign up for two consecutive mods of this course. This course awards credit toward the social justice requirement.
  • MIDI

    In this course, we explore the dimensions of sound and texture in music through the use of synthesizer and various MIDI applications. Classwork involves weekly projects in the Electronic Music Studio. Although this may be viewed as an entry‑level composition class, good musicianship skills are a must. This is not a computer course; it is a course in music composition.
  • Musical Mathematics

    Part history, part analytical theory, and part composition, this course will consider humankind’s quest to organize sound from Pythagoras to Stockhausen.
  • Recording and Production

    In conjunction with the Rock/Pop Ensemble, students will explore recording techniques and produce a CD using the school’s stateof- the-art recording equipment, including a Yamaha AW2816 mixing console, the very portable Zoom H4 and Mboxes used in tandem with computer-based programs such as Audacity, Garage Band, Logic, and SONAR.
  • Songwriting

    Songwriting is a performance‑oriented course in which the students will be taught melodic writing, how to set a lyric, standard song forms, and how to add harmonies and bass lines. Students will be encouraged to improvise/compose and then transcribe their ideas into standard notation. We will then create lead sheets using the Finale notation program. Students will write and record their work in an MP3 format and there will be an informal lunchtime, coffee house-style performance at the end of the module. A willingness to learn some standard notation and perform with your peers is most helpful in this course.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete coursework in three of four disciplines.

Grade 9:   2 Blocks
Grade 10:   2 Blocks
Grade 11:   2 Blocks
Grade 12:   2 Blocks

Music Faculty

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Michael Weinstein

    Michael Weinstein Ph.D 

    Music Department Chair
    Education & Degrees
  • Photo of Gustavo Brasil

    Gustavo Brasil 

    Music Faculty
    Education & Degrees

Rock/Pop Concerts

Behind the Artwork

The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.