GREEN BROOK, NJ - This school year, music returned to Irene E. Feldkirchner Elementary School (IEF) in Green Brook.  Superintendent - Kevin Carroll, and Armand Lamberti - IEF Principal have worked with the Green Brook Board of Education to reinstate music at the school.  The program is guided by newly hired music teacher - Ashley Grutta.  Ms. Grutta comes to the Green Brook School District with a wealth of music education experience.  Ms. Grutta is a graduate of Montclair State University where she earned a B.M. (Bachelor’s in Music) with a major concentration in Music Education.  She has earned numerous honors, scholarships and awards.  She holds a State of New Jersey Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing in Music (P-12), and a State of New Jersey Provisional Certificate in Music (P-12).

At IEF School students are engaged in a variety of music education activities as per grade levels. Preschool and kindergarten music curriculum and instruction is all about exploration: beat vs. rhythm, high vs. low, soft vs. loud, different timbres of instruments, and lots of singing.  First grade students begin learning musical notation and how to read and write it, Curwen hand signs for musical pitches, and how to play as part of an ensemble in an Orff setting.  Second grade continues on this path, learning more complicated rhythms and how to notate them, more Curwen hand signs, and all about instruments of the orchestra.  Third grade is the beginning of students playing the recorder, and handling the responsibility of caring for one’s own instrument.  All the skills learned from preschool/kindergarten are now being put to use, and students will be reading music with increasing fluency. Fourth grade continues with recorder, learning more notes and playing more advanced music.

All grade levels learn about music from countries/cultures around the world; composers of different time periods; and influential and important musicians throughout history - including the present. Ms. Grutta’s teaching is influenced and inspired by Orff Schulwerk, so students will often engage in singing, dancing, acting, and playing percussion and Orff instruments in order to learn different musical concepts.  Students are even exploring the world of music enough to compose their own creative musical pieces.

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There already have been three concerts at IEF School this year. The first concert was the fourth grade’s Halloween themed concert, where many students dressed in their Halloween costumes and performed to a captivated audience.  Next was the first grade’s Thanksgiving concert.  They wore turkey hats (IEF’s art teacher - Ms. Kowalski - made with the students) and sang songs of Thanksgiving.  The most recent concert was the second grade winter concert which featured songs about snow falling and snowflakes - the winter wonderland of the holiday season. In January, kindergarten students will present their concert, and in March  the third graders and their recorders will perform.

Upcoming Music Performance Schedule (Dates subject to change):


Kindergarten Concert Friday, 1/15/16, 9:30 a.m., IEF
GBMS Winter Concert Wednesday, 1/20/16, 7 p.m., GBMS
Watchung Hills Sending District Honor Band Concert Thursday, 2/4/16, 7:30 p.m., WHRHS
GBMS Chamber Concert Wednesday, 2/17, 7 p.m., GBMS
Third Grade Concert   Wednesday, 3/16 & 3/17, 9:30 a.m., IEF
First Grade Concert    Monday, 4/4, 9:30 a.m., IEF
Second Grade Concert Wednesday, 5/11, 9:30 a.m., IEF
GMBS Spring Concert Wednesday, 5/18, 7 p.m., GBMS
GBMS Chamber Concert Wednesday, 5/25, 7 p.m., GBMS
Kindergarten Concert   Wednesday, 6/8, 9:30 a.m., IEF