boy in band playing guitar





Music is truly an international language. Dwight School’s goal for music education is to establish a strong foundation that allows students to carry music through the rest of their lives, either as dedicated performers or as enthusiastic audience members.

Pre-K & K

The Preschool & Kindergarten music program combines singing, basic note reading, and an introduction to keyboard, orchestral, and percussion instruments, with music games, listening, and other hands-on activities.

Grades 1-5

The ultimate goal of music education in grades 1-5 is to create a solid foundation of vocal music along with strong music notation and note reading skills. Every Lower School student has the opportunity to play an instrument in an ensemble setting. In fifth grade, Timothy House students write and produce their very own song for the IB Exhibition.

Grades 6-12

Students in grades 6-12 receive a comprehensive education in the history and theory of Western classical music, an opportunity to explore the many changes in musical composition, and performance in each era. The middle and high school core curriculum is oriented toward helping students learn how to listen to and understand music.

The Dwight Conservatory offers private instrumental instruction in both a variety of instruments and vocal instruction taught by some of New York’s finest teachers and professional musicians.

Music Ensembles

Dwight School offers a variety of music ensembles to students to satisfy all styles of musical interests:


  • Dwight Voices: This is a non-audition choir for all students in grades 6-12 and involves music of many styles
  • Orff: A singing and percussion ensemble for students in Timothy House
  • Band: For any students in grades 6-12 wishing to make a pop/rock band
  • Orchestra: A large, non-audition ensemble that invites all instrumentalists in grades 6-12 to be involved
  • Choir: A wonderful singing ensemble for students in Timothy House
  • Chamber Music: This ensemble requires an audition and is for our most advanced instrumentalists

  • Jazz Band: This is specifically for students in grades 6 through 12 who are interested in jazz, taught by a jazz specialist
  • Rock Band: This is specifically for students in grades 6 through 12 who are interested in rock and improvisation, taught by a rock musician with a key interest in improvisation and music of different styles
  • Drum Ensemble: A percussionist’s dream … this ensemble for students in grades 6 through 12 invites percussionists to fuse together, taught by a drum enthusiast
  • Bravo! Ensemble: For students in grades 4 through 7, this ensemble brings students together to perform music of all different styles and to enjoy working together; taught by a wonderful chamber musician with a great history already established at Dwight
  • World Music: An exciting ensemble for any students in grades 6 through 12 particularly interested in the music of different cultures from all over the world; taught by a world music specialist and awesome guitarist



  • Annual Carnegie Hall Performance
  • Annual Lower School performance at Symphony Space
  • The Dwight Conservatory after-school lessons
  • Upper and Middle School Choruses; Honors Choir
  • Lower School after-school music programs including our very popular Junior Orchestra and Concert Choir
  • Intermediate and Advanced Jazz Bands
  • Winter and Spring Music Recitals
  • Field trips to New York City cultural institutions
  • Assemblies with presentations of different orchestral families done by well-known orchestral musicians
  • Our annual Lower School community outreach musical performance at the Goddard Community Center

In the Spotlight

Bringing Global Vision to Life through Music: A Profile of Music Director Alistair Hamilton
What does it take to assemble nearly 200 Dwight students from four different campuses on one of the world's greatest concert stages? We sat down with Music Director Alistair Hamilton to get a behind-the-scenes look at the annual Carnegie Hall production — and to learn a bit more about the man behind the music.
Read more about Bringing Global Vision to Life through Music: A Profile of Music Director Alistair Hamilton