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Music Programs at PS 130

Ms Sorenson Music Page


Helen Sorenson

Music Teacher K-2
Room 407, Lower School

Helen Sorenson has been teaching Pre-K – 5 music for 18 years.  She has been teaching at PS 130 for 10 years.  This year she will be teaching grades Pre-K – 2 in the keyboard lab at the PS 130 Lower School.  Ms Sorenson has a B.A. in music from the University of St. Thomas, where she studied classical guitar.  She also plays folk guitar, banjo, and piano


Jacob Arnold for Music Page


Jacob Arnold

Music Teacher Grades 3 – 5
Room 435, Upper School

(The new Music Suite in the Caton Avenue building includes two practice rooms, instrument storage lockers, and state-of-the-art educational technology.)

Mr. Arnold has been a teacher and clinician in Pre-K – 12 music for more than 15 years.  Jacob has been working in the New York City public schools for over ten years, running band programs and teaching classroom music.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Kansas and an M. A. in Music Education from NYU.  His pedagogical approach stems from the foundation that anyone can sing and anyone can learn an instrument.

In School Programs


Both Mr. Arnold and Ms. Sorenson work with the Pre-K classes, either in their rooms, or in the Auditorium. They will have a variety of activities including songs, chants, finger plays, movement, and dance.

Kindergarten and Grade 1

Music and the Brain
Kindergarten and 1st Grade students participate in Music and the Brain, a curriculum for group keyboard instruction.  Kindergarten students receive keyboard instruction twice a week and Grade 1 once a week.  These students learn the basics of music theory and how to read music using rhythm cards, keyboard cards and movement.  They then learn to play songs on the keyboard.

Grade 2

Musical Explorers
Students participate in the Musical Explorers curriculum where they explore singing and moving to multicultural music.  In the fall they learn about rhythmic and melodic patterns in Greek, Malian Traditional and Classical Indian music.  They attend an interactive concert featuring the artists they have studied at Carnegie Hall in December.

In the spring they learn to sing and move to Puerto Rican, Cuban and Salsa rhythms jazz and Southeast Asian music.  They attend another interactive concert at Carnegie Hall in May featuring the artists they have studied.  Students will also continue working on the Music and the Brain curriculum on the keyboard.

Grades 3 through 5

Upper School students have Classroom Music instruction once a week with Mr. Arnold.

Third grade classes will get the chance to play recorders for the first time this year, and will start their way through Ed Sueta’s Be A Recorder Star method book.  Units of study include: Recorder basics, Instrument Families, Music & Expression.

Fourth grade classes will continue studying the recorder, also working in the Be A Recorder Star book, and will have an opportunity to perform with their class at either the Winter Concert or the Holiday Bazaar.  Units of study include:  Intermediate recorder technique, performance technique, and World Music styles.

Fifth graders will begin with an exploration of their own musical personalities, get to create their own compositions using Garage Band, as well as spend some time preparing music for their Graduation ceremony next June.

After School Elective Programs

Guitar Club

Ms. Sorenson leads our Guitar Club.  Guitar Club is for grades 3 – 5 and consists of a maximum of 30 students.  There are no auditions.  Students are invited to join based on their ability, classroom behavior, and desire to learn guitar.  Students who were in the Guitar Club the previous year, are automatically invited to join again.

Ms. Sorenson meets with a Beginner group from 2:50 PM – 3:50 PM on Fridays, and an Intermediate group from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM on Fridays at the Upper School.

After School Band

Mr. Arnold leads our After School Band Program.  This is a chance for 4th and 5th Grade students to learn to play a brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument.  Students who were part of the program last year are automatically invited to join again.  New students are invited to join based on interest, scheduling availability and a musical benchmark assessment given in class.

Band students are required to meet twice a week after school:  Brass and Percussion meet on Wednesdays from 2:40 PM – 4:00 PM; Woodwinds on Thursdays from 2:40 PM – 4:00 PM; and the Full Band on Fridays from 2:40 PM – 4:00 PM.  Instruments, music and other equipment is provided by the school.

Arts Connection: The Young Talent Program at PS 130

Arts Connection’s Young Talent Program is a comprehensive program of talent development that has been bringing an array of artistic and academic services to New York City Public Schools since 1978.  At PS 130, Master percussionists Ruben Gonzalez and assistant Sean Dixon provide students in grades 3 through 5 with hands-on, in-depth instruction to percussion music and the cultures from which the music originates.

Students are selected for advanced instruction through a unique talent identification procecss involving classroom teachers and professional artists.  All third graders participate in four music sessions where they are observed while deeply engaged in music activities.  The criteria assessed by the artists and classroom teachers includes: musical skills (rhythm, perception of sound, coordination), motivation (enthusiasm, ability to focus, perseverance), and creativity (expressiveness, composition and improvisation).  The students chosen to join the Core 3 Ensemble go on to receive rigorous weekly arts instruction for up to three years – being part of Core 4 in 4th grade and Core 5 in 5th grade.