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Music at MUSE

We approach music through immersive  daily instruction beginning in pre-K that weaves rhythm, song, and simple melodies into the fabric of learning and daily life. Every MUSE artist develops baseline musicianship that builds into advanced levels of performance and music creation in succeeding years.

Music is integral to life at MUSE. We approach music as a living language through which students learn authentic self-expression and reflection, while also illuminating a path to exploring our common humanity.

The opportunity to listen, feel, and engage creatively with music sparks both the imagination and cognitive development, as nurturing musical intelligence generates positive effects across a broad spectrum of academic areas.

Careful lesson planning creates interconnections with academic subjects from humanities to math, language arts, and geography. All genres of music are explored in the MUSE curriculum, from symphonic works and opera, to African and diaspora drumming, musical theatre, pop, folk, rock, and jazz. Each type of music can teach valuable aural lessons and add variety and enjoyment to students' experience of music. Encouraging openness to all the world’s music, from folk and early music to modern, is an important goal at MUSE.

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Dance & Movement

Daily instruction in dance and movement is an integral part of the MUSE educational experience, and an invaluable means to develop body awareness, strength, social learning, and energy regulation.

In pre-K and kindergarten, gross motor skills, coordination, and socialization are all honed by creative movement, leaping, circling, and folk dances. Core skills such as counting, alphabet, shapes, rhythm and pattern recognition are reinforced through mirroring, call and response, and synchronized skywriting. Folk dances to live musical accompaniment reinforce musicality. Students learn to regulate their emotional states and become cooperative, open-minded, and inspiring.

As young bodies begin to strengthen, a core vocabulary of dance movement is learned with more sophisticated and complex sequencing. Students are encouraged to find interconnections with mathematics, geometry, and the study of the natural world. Interpretative historical dances vividly capture defining conflicts, turning points, and personalities. Beginning in first grade, students learn Laban movement analysis and begin to recognize dance as a structured language. The development of core skills is accompanied by segments in a wide range of movement, including jazz, African dance, Chinese dance, yoga, tap, and hip hop.

In later grades, students are exposed to major trends in ballet and modern dance, so that they can recognize and analyze the evolution of the art form. As they progress, the movement materials given in a class will become more fluid, artistic, and intricate, and culminate in productions that capture the joy of dancing on stage where families and friends will come together as patrons of the arts.

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Drama & Performance

Creative play, drama, and storytelling are all essential elements of the MUSE approach to early childhood education. Young learners construct simple narratives and characters and enhance social skills through role play and reflecting situations from their community and daily lives.

Beginning in second grade, dramatic play becomes more structured as students reflect myths and historical incidents and characters in original works. Students learn the fundamentals of character development, movement, plot, and dramatic tension and resolution. Poetry is taught not only as texts to be analyzed for meaning and meter, but as song that comes alive in performance to the school community. 

MUSE students have the opportunity to take the stage in fully produced versions of age-appropriate musicals through the BMS Musical Theater Program and to perform in the choral and dance elements of operas staged by the Brooklyn Opera Works and Summer Vocal Arts programs at BMS.

In older grades, young thespians are exposed to major works of comedy and tragedy and the study of key historical periods in Humanities is illuminated by historical dramas. Rich connections with the Visual Arts are made through practical experience in set design, costume design, and scenery painting. Study of the dramatic arts is enriched through field trips, backstage tours, and guest artist classes at major cultural institutions, many of which are only blocks away from the school.