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Music Department

Izzet Mergen, Ed.D.
Director of Fine and Performing Arts
154 Laurel Hill Road, Northport, NY 11768
Phone (631) 262 - 6694


Special announcement regarding Northport-East Northport Summer Programs: Please click here

Summer Music & the Arts Information Help Center:

If you have any questions regarding the Summer Music and the Arts Program, taking place from Tuesday, July 11 to Friday, August 4 at East Northport Middle School, please email Mr. Susinno at:

If you have any questions regarding the NHS Tiger Marching Band pre-clinic (July 24-27; July 31-August 3) or clinic (August 8-12), please email Ms. Cromeyn at:

If you have any questions regarding the NHS Orchestra pre-clinic (July 31-August 4) or clinic (August 7-11), please email Ms. Janke at:

If you have any questions regarding the Northport Choir evening clinic (August 3-4, 10-11) or clinic (August 14-18), please email Ms. McCarthy at:


The purpose of all music courses in the Northport-East Northport Schools is to develop musical literacy. As music educators, we believe all students have the potential to learn and enjoy music. Studies show that music helps students become better thinkers, develop higher-order skills, and increase desire to learn. The Northport-East Northport School District is committed to excellence in music education. Performing ensembles begin in the upper elementary grades with students receiving instruction two days a week. Daily instruction for credit is offered in the middle and high schools that are vertically aligned and closely associated with the feeder elementary schools.  Performing ensembles are taught by licensed music educators.

Preparing Students for the Next America:
Arts Education Partnership’s (AEP) latest research bulletin offers a snapshot of how music and the arts supports achievement in school, bolster skills demanded of a 21st century workforce, and enriches the lives of young people and communities. It draws on the research in AEP’s, the nation’s first clearinghouse of research on the impact of arts education on students and their school communities. (Download the PDF)

The music program in the Northport-East Northport Schools is designed so that students experience a broad range of musical styles. Opportunities to work with guest artists and conductors are available through the annual All-County Festivals; regional honor festivals, and summer clinics. School visits and master classes are regularly sponsored by local arts organizations. Many students also participate in private lesson programs and youth orchestras, choirs, and bands in the Northport-East Northport area.

The Music Department features band, choir, orchestra and jazz programs with many award-winning performing ensembles.  At the high school level, the Concert Bands, Jazz Ensembles, Marching Band, Tour Choir, Concert Choir, Women's Ensemble Orchestra, and Chamber Ensembles have all won numerous awards in recent years.  In recognition of outstanding achievement, our high school has recently been cited as Grammy Signature Schools. In addition, Northport-East-Northport Schools have been recognized as one of the Best 100 Communities for Music Education in the nation. The district is also the recipient of the prestigious NYSSMA Presidential Citation Award.

In addition to a variety of course offerings during the school year, the Northport-East Northport Music Department offers eleven separate programs.  The Summer Music Programs are comprised of:

* Exploratory Instrumental Program
* Elementary/Middle School Band  
* Elementary/Middle School Chorus
* Elementary/Middle School Orchestra    
* Continuing Instrumental Lessons
* Marching Band Pre-Clinic Rehearsals
* Flagline Pre-Clinic Rehearsals
* Tigerettes Pre-Clinic Rehearsals
* Tiger Marching Band Clinic @ SUNY Farmingdale
* High School Choral Pre-Clinic Rehearsals
* High School Choral Clinic
* High School Orchestra Pre-Clinic Rehearsals
* High School Orchestra Clinic      

The music department adheres to national and state curricular standards and is committed to introducing its students to technology and a broad range of musical experiences. To this end, both middle schools and the high school have state-of-the-art music computer labs and offer technology-based music theory courses as well as music production and recording classes. 

Here is why we study music and how music makes us better students and citizens:

MATHEMATICS SKILLS: Certain types of music instruction help develop the capacity for spatial temporal reasoning, which is integral to the acquisition of important mathematics skills. Spatial temporal reasoning refers to the ability to understand the relationship of ideas and objects in space and time.

READING AND LANGUAGE SKILLS: Music instruction enhances and complements basic reading skills, language development and writing skills. The study of music provides a context for teaching language skills because music is a language and a powerful form of communication.

THINKING SKILLS: Reasoning ability, intuition, perception, imagination, inventiveness, creativity, problem-solving skills and expression are among the thought processes developed through the study of music.

SOCIAL SKILLS: Music education promotes growth in positive social skills including self-confidence, self-control, conflict resolution, collaboration, empathy and social tolerance.

 Music nurtures a motivation to learn by emphasizing active engagement, disciplined and sustained attention, persistence and risk taking, among other competencies.

Source: Ruppert, Sandra S.: Critical Evidence – How the ARTS Benefit Student Achievement. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, 2006.

Here's What the Research Shows…

Scientific studies indicate that music participation helps train the brain for higher forms of thinking. Children perform better in other subjects by improving reading, spelling, and math skills. Experts note that a year’s musical training can increase a child’s IQ by as much as ten points! SAT scores show that students with experience in music scored fifteen to thirty points above the mean.Source:

High school music students score higher on SATs in both verbal and math than their peers. In 2001, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework/experience in the arts. Source: Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by Music Educators National Conference, 2001.

Nearly 100% of past winners in the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology play one or more musical instruments. Source: The Midland Chemist (American Chemical Society) Vol. 42, No. 1, Feb 2005

A ten-year study indicates that students who study music achieve higher test scores, regardless of socioeconomic background. Source: Dr. James Catterall, UCLA

First grade students who had daily music instruction scored higher on creativity tests than a control group without music instruction. Source: K.L. Wolff, The Effects of General Music Education on the Academic Achievement, Perceptual-Motor Development, Creative Thinking, and School Attendance of First-Grade Children, 1992.

Students who were exposed to the music-based lessons scored a full 100 percent higher on fractions tests than those who learned in the conventional manner. Second grade and third grade students were taught fractions in an untraditional manner-by teaching them basic music rhythm notation. The group was taught about the relationships between eighth, quarter, half and whole notes. Their peers received traditional fraction instruction. Source: Neurological Research, March 15, 1999.

Music study can help kids understand advanced math concepts. A grasp of proportional math and fractions is a prerequisite to math at higher levels, and children who do not master these areas cannot understand more advanced math critical to high-tech fields. Music involves ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time. Second grade students were given four months of piano keyboard training, as well as time using newly designed math software. The group scored over 27 percent higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who used only the math software. Source: Neurological Research, March 1999

Music majors are the most likely group of college grads to be admitted to medical school.  Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medial school applicants.  He found that 66 percent of music majors who applied to med school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group.  For comparison, 44 percent of biochemistry majors were admitted.  Also, a study of 7,500 university students revealed that music majors scored the highest reading scores among all majors including English, biology, chemistry and math. Source: “The Comparative Academic Abilities of Students in Education and in Other Areas of a Multi-focus University”, Peter H. Wood, ERIC Document No. ED327480

College admissions officers continue to cite participation in music as an important factor in making admissions decisions. They claim that music participation demonstrates time management, creativity, expression, and open-mindedness. Source: Carl Hartman, “Arts May Improve Students’ Grades,” The Associated Press, October, 1999