Arts & Entertainment

Paterson Music Project Brings Music Education to Community Charter School

May 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM

PATERSON, NJ - As the students lined up in the hallway, waiting to enter the room where their cellos are stored, their teacher played a few notes on his own instrument. When his left hand moved up the neck and along the strings, one of the students asked, “What are those called?” “Octaves,” he replied.

That was just one of the teachable moments occurring at the Community Charter School of Paterson, where 30 students are now learning about music in an innovative afterschool program.

The Paterson Music Project was started in January by the New Jersey Youth Symphony, which comprises 10 orchestras and ensembles and includes approximately 400 young musicians throughout the state. The symphony is the orchestral music education organization of the Judith G. Wharton Music Center, a non-profit charitable organization.

Sign Up for E-News

The idea was to serve an underserved population in a city where music and other arts have been eliminated from the public school curriculum.

“We’re trying to give the students an introduction to music and demonstrate that music is part of the learning process,” said Carol Ulmer, the symphony’s director of marketing and development. “The discipline of focusing and being ready to learn are skills the children can use for other subjects.”

The pilot program at the Community Charter School began with second-graders who signed up to participate three days a week for two hours each session. Plans are to continue with that group and expand the program to another group of second-graders next year. Each successive year another incoming second grade class will be added.

For the present, the students are concentrating on string instruments. Eventually, organizers hope to develop a full-fledged orchestra for the entire school, which will include grades K through 8.

The program is supported through a $25,000 grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Funding to provide violins, violas and cellos for the children to use is provided by the Dombal-Vogel Foundation, the Henry S. and Agnes M. Truzack Foundation, the Provident Bank Foundation and the Wallerstein Foundation.

On a recent afternoon, the students spent the first hour of their session in one of two rooms. In the first room, with their teacher Terrence Thornhill, they practiced drumming with wooden sticks on overturned plastic buckets. He asked them if they could play softly, “so softly that if a baby was in the room he wouldn’t wake up.” Then he drilled them on drumming to various rhythms—“Mississippi hot dog,” “strawberry, blueberry” and “see you later, alligator.”

In a second room, students led by teacher Elizabeth Moulthrop practiced playing simple plastic recorders.

“Hold it down like a beard, not up like a water bottle,” she suggested.

In the meantime, a third teacher, Shanna Lin, pulled students out from their classrooms to give mini-lessons to students who needed extra help with playing simple melodies on their instruments.

In the next hour, students picked up their string instruments and ran through various melodies and rhythms. In the room with the cellos, Thornhill praised the students, “Some of you show excellent posture and some of you have good bow-holding,” he noted.

Earlier this spring, the students had a chance to participate in the NJYS spring gala in Rahway. The students joined with members of another orchestra in a piece specially commissioned by the symphony’s artistic director, Jeffrey Grogan.

The growing confidence of the students was demonstrated this week when Thornhill asked his students to play a particular scale.

“Oh, that’s easy!” one of his budding cellists exclaimed and bent to his instrument.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Speaker Ryan Signs Lance Bill

December 4, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07), Vice Chair of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, today joined U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan as he signed off on Lance’s  Consumer Review Fairness Act.  Lance’s consumer protection legislation passed both the House and U.S. Senate and now heads to President Obama.  The legislation will allow ...

Registration Begins Next Week for Indoor Riding Lessons at Lord Stirling Stable in Basking Ridge

BASKING RIDGE, NJ – Winter weather doesn't have to mean the end of horseback riding for equestrians in Basking Ridge and nearby. The Somerset County Park Commission has announced that registration will begin next Saturday, Dec. 10, for a 10-week session of Winter Horseback Riding Classes at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge.

Lessons are ...

Holiday Specials for Personal Training

Stay active this winter and get in shape for the spring!  Whether you are looking for a meaningful gift or a way to get healthy, the Summit Area YMCA has a variety of options that will be sure to help you and your family reach your goals this winter season! Take advantage of our holiday personal training specials available at both the Summit YMCA and Berkeley Heights YMCA to get healthy and ...

Cures Bill Passes, Securing Lance Victories

 Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today hailed passage of the 21st Century Cures Act in the U.S. House.  Lance, the chair of the Congressional Rare Disease Caucus and a member of the Energy and Commerce Health Committee, praised the landmark bill which has been two years in the making:

“This legislation is for anyone who has lost a loved one from cancer,  had a ...

Letter to the Editor by Edmund Tom Maciejewski

December 4, 2016

Dear Editor,


In accordance with a ballot question that was passed in November 2005, Berkeley Heights switched from a Township Committee form to a Mayor-Council-Administrator form of government under the Faulkner Act or OMCL ( Optional Municipal Charter Law ).

There are 4 categories of municipalities under the Faulkner Act. The Mayor-Council-Administrator form that was chosen by ...

BH Town Council, Where's the Zero?

To the editor: 

In a recent Mayor’s Roundtable, the town council mentioned that Berkeley Heights uses zero-based budgeting. The Nov 17, 2016 stream of the Mayor's Roundtable explained the budgeting process and made it clear that Berkeley Heights is not using ZBB by any definition of the term.  

Our council used to have five or six budget review meetings to publicly go ...

Unwanted guests leave a bad taste

Dear Editor,

Last Friday night, six friends gathered at a local Italian restaurant to catch up about the week's surprise events and enjoy each other's company.   Our dinner was interrupted by a surprise serving of bigotry and intolerance.

A different couple, strangers who had just ended their dinner, approached our table and interjected their opposing views on the ...

My Epic Beauty Fails

One day as I was looking around a high-end cosmetics store for a new lipstick, a “beauty expert” approached me and said that I was so stunning I should forget the lipstick, and get a lip plumper instead. At first I wondered why I needed a lip plumper if I was already so stunning. But then I thought, “Now here is someone wearing a badge that says, ‘beauty expert,’ so ...

The Mayor's Roundtable November Edition

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Mayor's Round Table is a monthly show hosted by Dr. Donald DeFabio, who sits with Mayor Robert Woodruff to talk about current issues that affect the township as well as answer questions submitted by citizens. 

Included in this episode are discussions regarding the next step to creating a Peppertown Park committee; Board of Education ...

Shannon's six week transformation story

Shannon just finished her 6 Week Transformation, here were her results: 

Dropped 2 Pant sizes
Energy Level went from a 2 to a 9
Confidence level from a 5 to a 9

She was very happy and satisfied with these results, but the best result was taking her focus off the scale! For years Shannon only measured her success for her health by weight loss.

When we sat down in the ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, December 5, 5:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Merry Fitness – A Program To Get You Through The ...

Health & Wellness


Mon, December 5, 12:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Mah Jongg

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, December 5, 1:00 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pickleball Weekly Games for Adults!

Health & Wellness Sports

Mon, December 5, 6:00 PM

Union County College, Cranford

Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) -- ...



Tue, December 6, 5:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Merry Fitness – A Program To Get You Through The ...

Health & Wellness

Tue, December 6, 9:00 AM

Union County College, Cranford

Intermediate QuickBooks


Which is Best: Lump Sum or Pension Annuity?

Is a lump sum offer from an employer a better choice than a pension annuity for life? The former provides an immediate up-front amount (say $300,000), but the pension annuity gives you a stream of payments for life (example: $1,350 per month). A number of employers dangle a lump sum offer to employees in part to remove future liabilities from their balance sheets. It’s tempting for ...

Chris Brown Named President at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties is proud to announce the appointment of Chris Brown to President of the 21-office real estate brokerage headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey. Previously serving as Executive Vice President and General Sales Manager, Brown is a member of the company’s ownership team along with Bill Keleher, Seymour and Nancy Litwin, and Steve Janett.

Local Students Lend a Hand at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Gov. Livingston seniors Hannah Probst and Gillian Mitreuter walk in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade for the second yea.. Last year they were a part of the 'All star' baseball clown group and this year they were a part of the first ever Girl Scout float group.

"It was such an honor walking with the Girl Scout's inaugural float as we were both Girl Scouts ...