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music

Music is taught at PS 84 as a core subject to every student—both general and special education—regardless of talent or ability, and as a means of supporting learning in other areas.

All students learn basic music theory, such as rhythm, form, note reading, steady beat, harmony, timbre, texture, etc. Each year, students expand on each musical element to grow their musicianship.

Our music teachers collaborate with classroom teachers so that music may reinforce learning and development in all areas. Through musical learning, they help students be socially, emotionally, and academically ready for the future, whether it be learning basic musical concepts in general music class, performing in the musical, or being a part of the band.

Our annual Winter and Spring concerts serve as a showcase for this work, which continues throughout the school year. In addition, 5th graders hold an annual musical production at the school.


Meet the Teachers

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Mrs. Gonzalez

Amanda Gonzalez is an accomplished pianist and violinist originally from Albany, New York. She majored in music at Hunter College, and later obtained her teaching certificate and Master's degree in music education from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.

With experience in early childhood education and the not-for-profit sector as well as being an active member of various music educator organizations, she believes in quality music education for all students and that all students are able to accomplish musical learning and creativity. 

Mrs. Gonzalez began teaching grades K-4 at PS 84 in the fall of 2016, bringing fun, creativity, and energy to the music classroom through various musical pedagogies, games and literature.

Mrs. Gonzalez directs the string orchestra, chorus, glee club, and co-directs the pop music combo and 5th Grade Musical.

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Mr. Licari

John Licari is originally from the Hudson Valley and attended SUNY Orange where he received an AAS in Music Business. Later he attended CUNY Hunter College and received a BA in Music and an MA in Music Education. 

He began working as a music teacher in 2011. In 2015 he arrived at PS 84, where he teaches grades 4-8, directs the bands, and co-directs the pop music combo and 5th Grade Musical.  

For over 15 years he has played drums for numerous punk rock bands and has been a percussionist for the Professional Musicians of Orange County—a collection of musicians who are hired to perform in various parades across the Greater New York area. He also moonlights as a freelance music copyist, composer, and arranger.

Sierra Ray

Ms. Ray is an accomplished vocalist originally from Sacramento, California. She began singing at an early age, performing in choirs and musicals through high school. She also studied tap, hip hop and cheerleading.

In 2012 Sierra relocated to New York City to attend NYU, where she studied voice and piano and earned a degree in Music Education. She performed in NYU’s Choirs and Cheerleading Competition Team.

In 2016, Sierra obtained a Masters in Kodaly Music Education at the Loyola University of Maryland, and began teaching at J.H.S. 383 in Brooklyn. There she helped expand the music department, created her own curriculum, taught general music to grades 5-8 and directed auditioned 7th and 8th grade choirs.

Sierra is an active member of various professional music educator organizations. Sierra believes in quality music education for all students and that all students are able to accomplish musical learning and creativity. Through the use of different musical pedagogies, games and literature, Sierra brings fun, creativity, and energy to the music classroom. Sierra's curriculum is strongly based in the Kodaly philosophy with some inspiration from Dalcroze and the Orff-Schulwek Association.

Sierra is incredibly excited to begin the next part of her journey at PS/MS 84!


Ensembles

These extra-curricular classes are offered as before- or after-school programs.

Chorus

For 3rd-5th grade students who enjoy singing. The chorus attends American Young Voices every year.

GLEE club

For middle school students who love to sing. 

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Concert Band

Beginner Band: For 4th-5th grade students who would like to play the flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, or percussion. 

Intermediate Band: For 5th-8th grade students continuing on their band instruments.

STRING ORCHESTRA

For 4th-5th grade students who would like to play the violin, viola, cello, or bass.  

Pop music combo

Rock group where middle school students learn how to play rock instruments such as the electric guitar, electric bass, keyboards, drum kit, and ukulele.