A wide range of music opportunities is available to all Princeton Day School students of any age. In addition, we have an extra-curricular program taught by our faculty as well as a distinguished adjunct music faculty in the areas of woodwind, brass, string, percussion, voice, guitar, and piano.
If you are interested in private study, please email Tomasz Rzeczycki, Music Lesson Coordinator. For general questions about our music program, please contact Tom Buckelew, Interim Performing Arts Chair.
- Lower and Middle School Music Ensembles
- Upper School Ensembles
- Lower School Players' Circle (Extra-Curricular)
- LS Group Lessons for Beginning String Students
- Private Lesson Program
Lower SchoolThree strings ensembles, organized according to experience and ability, rehearse weekly after school. Performances include the holiday concert and several other school assemblies.
Middle School5th Grade Concert Choir: These students meet twice weekly to rehearse. Performances are performed at a Thanksgiving assembly, a holiday concert and a spring concert. In addition, outside performances may be available to the students.
6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Chorale: This ensemble meets twice weekly to rehearse. 8th grade students who would like to perform in medium to large roles in the 8th grade musical are strongly encouraged to participate in this choir. Performing opportunities are expected throughout the year. In addition, outside performance opportunities may be available.
Bands: 5th through 8th grade band members will meet twice weekly to rehearse in one of our two experience-based bands. In addition to these rehearsals, sectionals will be scheduled by the band director during the school day. Students must provide their own instruments. Private lessons are offered for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students for an additional fee. See the Private Lesson Program link for more information.
Strings Ensemble: 5th through 8th grade orchestra members will meet twice weekly to rehearse in one of our two experience-based orchestras. In addition to these rehearsals, sectionals will be scheduled by the orchestra director during the school day. Students must provide their own instruments. Private lessons are offered for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students for an additional fee. See the Private Lesson Program link for more information.
Jazz Band: This extra-curricular ensemble is open to interested students in grades 5-8 who have studied their instrument for at least one year. Students must participate in the curricular band, choir or orchestra classes to be eligible. This ensemble meets after school one day per week throughout the school year.
Choir: This choir meets as a scheduled class twice weekly and is open to all students in grades 9-12. No audition is required.
Band: This ensemble meets as a scheduled class twice weekly and is open to all students in grades 9-12. No audition is required.
Orchestra: This ensemble meets as a scheduled class twice weekly and is open to all students in grades 9-12. No audition is required.
Madrigal Singers: The Madrigal Singers is an extra-curricular select choir made up of students in grades 10-12 from within the Choir. Auditions are held in the late spring for participation in the following school year.
A Cappella Groups: Participants in the extra-curricular all-female and all-male a cappella groups are selected through auditions and directed by students.
CHAMBER MUSIC PROGRAM
Instrumental students are placed in small ensembles and work with a faculty member on a selected repetoire of various styles. Rehearsals take place outside the school day (or at mutual free times for the players and teacher). Emphasis is placed on collaboration, ensemble playing, and musical independence.
Students participating in the Chamber Music Program must be taking lessons with a private instructor (either at PDS or elsewhere). Chamber groups will perform in various settings throughout the school year. Chamber Music is also open to vocalists. Students must be enrolled in band, orchestra, or chorus to participate in Chamber Music.
Three times each year, students in grades Pre-K through 4 who take private lessons on any instrument, regardless of the amount of time they have been studying, may participate in an informal recital called Players' Circle. In front of family and friends, students are supported through the process of being "on stage."
To take part in this, performers need to be accompanied by an adult. They may play one piece no longer than three minutes in length. It does not need to be memorized, but it should be performance-ready. Duets and ensembles are welcome to participate as well. Guests are invited to the Lower School Music Room after dismissal, and the event begins at 3:15. p.m. It is followed by light refreshments.
Princeton Day School has an outstanding adjunct music faculty available to students for private lessons. Lessons are scheduled once a week at a mutually convenient time for student and teacher.
Lessons are available for the following: strings (violin, viola, cello), guitar, piano, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, flute, trumpet, drums, and voice (grade 8 & up). Lessons start in September.
If your child is interested in taking lessons, please send an email to Dr. Tomasz Rzeczycki at firstname.lastname@example.org and include the student's name, grade, instrument/voice, current instructor (if any), any requests for lesson day/time, and preferred parent contact information.
Please note that requests are taken into consideration when setting the schedule but cannot be guaranteed. There are limited number of students who can be accommodated in the lesson program; returning students will be scheduled before students new to the program. Rates and policies for private music lessons are found in the Private Lesson Contract.
- Students can begin string instruments in first grade.
- Students can begin piano or harp in second grade.
- Students can begin all wind and percussion instruments in fifth grade.
- Students can begin voice lessons in eighth grade.
- Lessons take place in one of the four practice/teaching studios in the lower level hallway that connects the gym to the Performing Arts area.
- Any lesson can take place before and after the school day.
- Lower School string students take lessons during the school day.
- Upper School students can schedule lessons during a free period.
- Lessons cannot begin until the school receives a contract signed by teacher, parent and student.
- In order to bring high quality music teachers to PDS, we need to ensure that their schedules remain consistent. Many of our adjunct music faculty would not be able to commit to travelling to our campus without this assurance.
- We believe eight lessons is a reasonable number for our faculty to expect from each student for whom they reserve space in their schedule.
- We also believe eight is an appropriate number of lessons for students to commit to in order to give the experience a fair amount of time. Sometimes the teacher and student need several lessons to learn how to work most effectively together.
- Eight lessons is the most reasonable number of lessons to try to fit into a PDS trimester. It allows for the possibility of holidays, snow days, illness, etc. and gives plenty of time for a make-up lesson if necessary.
- Containing lessons to a single term makes expectations, scheduling and billing much clearer. This system cuts down on confusion and provides a definite beginning and end point for the contracted lessons.
- If a student finishes 8 lessons before the end of a trimester, extra single lessons can be added for an additional fee (same rate). These would be billed separately, and would not be part of the next set of eight.
- Absolutely. However, the switch must be made at the beginning of a new trimester. Students must always complete a set of eight lessons with their original teacher.
- Once a signed contract is received, lessons are billed to your PDS account through the business office.