Music Department


Music Department (718) 595-8420

P. Paolino – Assistant Principal
D. Grant (Required Music & Keyboard)
F. Vasquez (Guitar & Vocal Ensembles)


The music program at Newtown is not only designed to acquaint our students with the requirements leading toward a career in music education, composing, performing or music technology but also for pleasure, life-long learning and listening enjoyment. If the student is not interested in pursing a career in music, he/she may look at the music courses as enrichment courses, hobbies or just enjoyment.Newtown High School supports the development of the “whole” student due to the diverse music activities and courses offered within Music Department. All students are required to study one term of music according to their interests and abilities. If they wish, students may stay in the music program beyond the required one year and earn elective credits toward their diploma. Attending applied music classes generally mean participation in the “Winter” and “Spring” Concerts. This provides an opportunity to pursue self-expression by participating with others, while gaining a lasting enrichment for life. Multi-step Classes are offered in GUITAR, depending on level of interest or ability, leading to participation in the GUITAR ENSEMBLE. Our Keyboard-Lab offers new opportunities to learn about playing PIANO or other KEYBOARD instruments, and prepares students for performances. Signing up for these classes offers the student many opportunities such as CHOIRS, VOCAL ENSEMBLES and the study of VOICE. These classes are open to all according to interest, experience and ability.


THE “TOWER GUITAR PROGRAM” AT NEWTOWN HIGH SCHOOL – Vocal studies are an integral part of the guitar program. Students interested in singing can study singing while they learn the guitar. Vocalists in the guitar program have sung all styles of music. The  award-winning “Tower Guitar Program” at Newtown High School is one of the most popular and innovative guitar programs in the entire New York City Public School system.  Students in this program learn all the skills necessary to progress from a complete beginner to an advanced soloist.  While the technical foundation is classical finger-style guitar, all the styles are taught.  Guitarists from this program have pursued careers in the vast field of Music, including Music Education, Music Technology, Music Therapy and more.One of the goals of the program is to increase literacy.  Therefore, there is a strong academic component.  Students are required to read and write about the guitar and related topics and issues.  The program is integrated academically with core Regents subjects, especially Global History and American History.  These histories run parallel to the history of the guitar.The “Tower Guitar Program” at Newtown High School has been featured a number of times on Queens Public Television.  Recently, a film called “The Multicultural Guitar” – a film about the guitar at Newtown – won first place honors in a film festival that covered the Northeastern United States.


The developmental study of the piano keyboard is meant to teach early learners of piano about the instrument, its heritage and use, and the skills required to begin long-term study and practice. Using a modern piano ”lab”, students learn about the uniqueness of piano music and rehearse as an ensemble to prepare for school concerts and recitals. Insight into film music is offered, as well as, exploiting the timbrel capabilities of the synthesizer.


At Newtown, the Music Department faculty, offer intermediate and advanced studies in Piano instruction. In this tutorial class, students with prior training and/or experience are given individual piano lessons a couple of times a week. Students can work on the repertory of the classics of Piano literature.