Middle School Music Program

Greetings, families of Middle School students.

As we approach our third year of the Band program at Wooster, I am excited about continuing to build our Instrumental program and giving our students the opportunity to learn, grow, and explore through the discipline of music. Below please find information for the compulsory music program for 6th and 7th grade and instrumental offerings for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.

6th and 7th grade students are required to play an instrument. Their choices are Beginning Band, Intermediate Band, Chamber Ensemble (permission of Director required), and CIE (7th and 8th grades only). It is our hope that the experience of learning to play an instrument and to make music with others will have a lasting impact on our students.

Beginning Band (6th grade) and Intermediate Band (7th and 8th grade)
Instructor: Michelle Altman

Concert Band offers a variety of instruments that appeal to a broad spectrum of tastes, preferences, and skill. From the first day of school, Band Director Michelle Altman will guide students to match them to an instrument that will give Wooster a balanced band, and give them an enjoyable experience.

We are encouraging all of our families that do not already have an instrument to rent one for their child. In previous years, we have established a relationship with Bethel Music. Rental materials will be available to students during the first week of school. Please see the Bethel Music Center Rental Information. Renting gives a family flexibility and ensures that every student receives a high quality instrument, particularly suited for a beginner. Additionally, rented instruments come with service and support so students never miss a practice or performance. Families with concerns should contact me directly at claire.simard@woosterschool.org or at 203-830-3964. You can also reach our Band Director, Michelle Altman at michelle.altman@woosterschool.org for more information.

*Please do not purchase an instrument for this course. It is too early to tell if the instrument is the right fit and will be a part of your child’s long term plans.

MS Chamber Ensemble
Open to - 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students (subject to approval of Director)
Teacher - Paul Malyszka

This course is open to students who have at least 2 or more years of private lessons on a string, woodwind instrument, or piano. Entrance is subject to the approval of the Director. This group will play a variety of small chamber pieces ranging from standard Baroque and Classical repertoire to more popular and contemporary pieces, tailored to the interests and skill level of the group.

Additional Instrumental Offering:
CIE (7th and 8th grade)
Teacher - Mike Andrews
Instruments - Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums
Prerequisite - At least one year of private lessons on their instrument.

CIE, or Rock Band, teaches young musicians about chord progressions, musical form, rhythm, ensemble playing, expression and teamwork through the form of rock music. Form an ensemble with other students and learn how to play classic to contemporary rock songs under the direction of guitarist Mike Andrews.

For some, the exercise of learning an instrument will be solely experiential while others may continue for a time only to discover that they are drawn to other instruments or other kinds of musical and artistic expression. For many, though, this will be the beginning of a relationship with music and the arts which will influence them throughout their lives.


Claire Simard
Head of Music and Performing Arts
Wooster School

Contacts for The Arts

Deborah Chodoff

Coordinator of Art Department

Claire Simard

Coordinator of Performing Arts

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