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Senn Arts Music

The Senn Arts Music program is the premiere program for the study of contemporary music in the city of Chicago. The goal of Senn Arts Music is to help students become creative problem solvers, and positive agents of change through the power of music. This goal is met by encouraging our student musicians to appreciate the beauty of music, its ability to enrich our lives, and its power to facilitate intercultural understanding. Students enrolled in Senn Arts Music are able to explore music from many perspectives including but not limited to performance, production, engineering, business, and composition.

The Senn Arts Music program offers a selective enrollment program within a neighborhood and IB World School. Our faculty of certified music educators deliver comprehensive, standards-based, and performance-focused instruction to high school vocalists and instrumentalists in the context of a methodically sequenced, four-year curriculum. In 2014, Senn High School was named to the list of CPS Grammy Signature Schools. Upon completion of the Senn Arts Music curriculum, it is our intention that students choosing to study music at the college level will have access to the tools and techniques necessary to prepare an audition. Moreover, school music participation affords students advantages in life beyond high school and fosters attributes sought by employers, such as the ability to function as part of a team, the discipline and determination to see a process through from beginning to end, and the ability to express one’s self creatively.

Colin Cosgrove,
Ashley McKinstry,
Trevor Nicholas, 
Michael Puckett, 

Curriculum Overview

First Year Music
Foundations / Introduction to Musicianship 
During year one of the Senn Arts Music curriculum, students explore the fundamentals of musicianship, and they apply these fundamentals in the context of large performing ensembles. Music literacy and ear training delivered via the beginning mixed chorus and group piano classes establish precursors to the study of music theory and music history, allowing students to more thoroughly understand the repertoire they perform. Each first-year student brings her or his unique musical perspective to the program, and the blending of these perspectives establishes the identity of our collective artistic work.

Music Experience I
Advanced Band I, Advanced Orchestra I, or Advanced Vocal Ensemble I 

Sophomore Music
Artistic Language  
During year two of the Senn Arts Music curriculum, students continue to explore the fundamentals of musicianship, apply fundamentals in the context of performing ensembles, and study music literacy and ear training. Through their continued coursework, students develop a more comprehensive understanding of the processes and techniques that allow music to function as an artistic language.

Music Theory II
Advanced Band II, Advanced Orchestra II, or Advanced Vocal Ensemble II 

Junior Music
Artistic Voice  
During year three of the Senn Arts Music curriculum, students continue their study of music theory and ear training. This course culminates in a composition project in which the students will have the opportunity to compose, and record their original compositions as part of building their college/ career portfolios.

AP Music Theory
Advanced Band III, Advanced Orchestra III, or Advanced Vocal Ensemble III  

Senior Music
Artistic Identity 
During year four of the Senn Arts Music curriculum, students can become somewhat specialized within specific areas of interest, genre, or instrumentation while continuing to perform and fulfill leadership roles in the capstone ensembles of Senn High School. However, the focus of year four is to prepare student for life beyond Senn High School. Students will spend time developing skills in resume writing, cover letter preparation, interviewing, portfolio building, networking, financial management, and more. 

Senior Music Project
Advanced Band IV, Advanced Orchestra IV, or Advanced Vocal Ensemble IV