Washington Township was selected as one of the Top 100 Communities for Music Education in 2001. This award was given by the American Music Conference (AMC) and was a joint survey project of the AMC, Music Teachers National Association, National School Boards Association, VH-1 Save the Music Foundation and Yamaha Corporation. In the 1998-99 school year and once again in 2002-2003,Washington Township High School was recognized as a Grammy Signature School by the NARAS Foundation, for its comprehensive music program.
- Music Theory 1 - This course will give students a basic understanding of the principles surrounding the creation of music. Units of study include the fundamentals of music, structural elements of music, harmonization and analysis, and aural skills development. The course emphasizes compositional skills through in-class and independent writing using both traditional and computer-assisted notation.
- Advanced Placement Music Theory 2 - In addition to the study of advanced harmony, melodic and rhythmic concepts, in established or original music, students will be assigned a variety of composition and arrangement projects individually and in small groups. Analysis of complex harmonic structures and the development of aural skills through sight-singing and dictation will be integral to the course. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be eligible to take the Advanced Placement Music Theory Test as administered by the College Board.
- Introduction to Music Technology – This course is for students who are interested in learning modern methods of music production. Students will be introduced to many aspects of music technology, including the use of computers for composition and production, basics of hardware and software electronic instruments and MIDI, the use of electronics in performance, and basic audio recording and editing. Over the course of the year, students will be expected to create a number of original musical compositions and create a CD album of their work. Previous musical experience is not required, but students with little or no previous experience will find this course challenging.
- Advanced Music Technology: Electronic Music & Audio Engineering – This course is for students who wish to undertake advanced study in music technology. Students will build on knowledge and skills gained in Introduction to Music Technology and will continue study in electronic music and audio engineering. Students may choose to emphasize a particular area of study, such as electronic music (including effective use of MIDI and audio effects, programming of hardware MIDI controllers and instruments, principles of synthesis and sound design, and proficiency in the use of an electronic instrument), or audio engineering (including effective use of microphones, mixers, and other audio equipment; listening critically to recorded and live sound; and use of digital audio workstation software to mix, edit, and master audio). All students will collaborate to create major projects integrating multiple fields of study. Students are expected to participate in any extracurricular activities involving the music technology program. Students taking this class will gain significant experience in the music technology field.
- Guitar 1 - This course is an introductory beginning level course for students interested in learning how to play the most popular of all folk instruments. Music reading skills will be emphasized and practiced on a daily basis. Students will also learn the concepts of reading chord notation and tablature.
- Guitar 2 - Students taking this course will continue to refine the skills learned in Guitar 1. More advanced music reading skills will be learned through daily classroom practice and instruction. Guitar ensemble music will be integral to the course and include outside performance opportunities.
- Guitar 3 - Further refinement of the skills learned in the earlier guitar courses will be the focus of this course. Students will develop advanced playing abilities that include solo and ensemble work. Performance opportunities in and outside of the school setting will be encouraged.
- Band - Three classes of band are offered for students wishing to play traditional band instruments. All band instrumentalists must audition for placement in a band class. The Concert Band is for developing musicians, theSymphonic Band is for the more advanced players, and the Wind Ensemble is for the musically accelerated students. Instrumental technique, ensemble technique, music literacy, music history, critical listening and etiquette as a performer will be covered in these classes. Daily rehearsals will prepare students for a number of concert and festival performances during the year. Weekly small group lessons supplement the daily classroom instruction. Students in these ensembles are also eligible to participate in the Minutemen Marching Band. The Marching Band performs at all football games, a number of competitive events including local and regional championships, and community events. Every two years the band travels to a national level festival or performance. Past trips have taken the band to Virginia, Canada, Florida, and Kentucky. The band was selected to participate in the 1997 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California and in the 2003-2004 school year the band participated in the Gator Bowl Festival in Jacksonville, Florida.
- Chorus – Students interested in vocal instruction have a number of opportunities for participation. The high school offers two Mixed Choruses, two Women’s Choruses, Concert Choir and Chamber Choir. Students are placed in the vocal ensembles through audition. Vocal technique, ensemble technique, music literacy, music history, critical listening and etiquette as a performer will be covered in these classes. Daily rehearsals will prepare students for a number of concert and festival performances during the year. Weekly small group vocal lessons supplement the daily classroom instruction. Every two years the vocal ensembles travel to national level festivals. Past trips have included festivals in Virginia, Georgia, Canada and Massachusetts.
- Orchestra – String students are given the opportunity to participate in two classes, String Ensemble andSymphony Orchestra. The String Ensemble is for the developing string player and the Symphony Orchestra is designed for the accomplished string player. The Symphony Orchestra teams up with members of the Wind Ensemble to present full orchestra performances. Instrumental technique, ensemble technique, music literacy, music history, critical listening and etiquette as a performer will be covered in these classes. Daily rehearsals will prepare students for a number of concert and festival performances during the year. Weekly small group lessons supplement the daily classroom instruction. Chamber music instruction is an integral part of the small group instruction. All orchestra students participate in the annual American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Festival held on the high school campus. Every two years the orchestra ensembles travel to national level festivals. Past trips have included festivals in Virginia, Georgia, Canada and Massachusetts.