Music

Meet Mrs. Traxler- PS 51's Music Teacher! 

Katie Traxler is originally from Thibodaux, Louisiana. She moved to NYC with her husband Jude in 2008. She has been teaching music at PS 51 since 2010. Katie holds a BME and MM degrees from Louisiana State University, as well as an Orff-Schulwerk Certification from Belmont University and the Trevor Institute. She has also successfully completed Level 1 Exams in Dalcroze Eurhythmics and earned her Kodaly Level 1 Certification from NYU. Currently she is serving her fourth year as President of the New York City Chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association and is a member of the AOSA Advocacy Committee. She teaches after school guitar and ukulele classes for Abundant Waters as well as 2 Recorder Ensembles, Orff Ensemble, and 2 Choruses for interested PS 51 students in the upper grades. To learn more, visit her website at www.katietraxler.com.

Please make sure you have turned in your photo/video consent form to Mrs. Traxler. There are still a few people who have not returned them yet. You can download it here. 

Mrs. Traxler

Mrs. Traxler


After School Music Classes and Musical Ensembles

Please make sure you are receiving emails for Ensemble Classes. If you have not been getting our weekly emails, let me know!

Check out lots of videos of our little musicians by visiting Mrs. Traxler's YouTube channel HERE.

October Newsletter Article...

Welcome back to another wonderful year of music-making!!! We've really enjoyed the first few classes together singing, playing instruments, and getting back into our old routines quite nicely. Our strings classes started this week along with our 4th and 5th grade recorder ensembles and our TWO choruses! Yup- TWO! We had so many talented singers audition that we will have a Thursday and a Friday chorus this year. Next week our guitar and ukulele classes as well as Orff Ensemble will begin. Instruments will be going home after the first class, so please find a safe place for them. I am looking forward to another wonderful year with your child! Thank you for your support. 


Music Curriculum Maps

Click HERE to see our brand new Music Curriculum Maps for Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade. The other grades will be posted as they are finished. Updating curriculum is a very big challenge when you teach 7 different grades levels!

Our Music Program at PS 51

Our unique elementary music program, developed by Katie Traxler, combines elements of the Orff-Schulwerk approach, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, and the Kodaly teaching method to create a  child-centered curriculum designed around the National Standards for Music Education and the NYC Blueprint for the Arts. The curriculum builds on the content knowledge and performance skills from each previous year over six years in order to develop the highest degree of musicianship in our students. Every child has the same opportunity in music class to play, sing, move, read, and create. Lessons are carefully sequenced to allow each child to fully participate at their current individual skill level. There are also many advanced ensembles to challenge those students who excel in music like Orff Ensemble, 4th and 5th Grade Recorder Ensemble, Chorus, Guitar Class, and now Ukulele Class. Older students who are interested in learning how to teach music are invited to do community service in our classroom during their free time. Below is a brief description of our goals in music class for each grade level.

Kindergarten/Pre-K

Throughout the Kindergarten year, music class activities will focus largely on developing basic vocal technique, music listening skills, steady beat competency, and a movement vocabulary. Students will experience an extensive repertoire of nursery rhymes and folk songs through enjoyable singing games, movement practices, instrumental accompaniment, and dramatic play. There is also an emphasis on exploring early literacy skills through musical play.

First Grade

Throughout the First Grade, music class activities will continue to draw primarily from folk song literature and nursery rhymes. Students will be introduced to the Orff percussion instruments and continue sound exploration with unpitched percussion instruments through stories and improvisation. We will explore part independence with instrumental and movement ostinatos. There is a larger focus on rhythm reading using standard notation and vocal accuracy. We will also begin to look at instrument families.

Second Grade

In the Second Grade, students will be introduced to the traditional 5 line music staff through solfege study and beginning sight singing. We will be challenged with melodic ostinato accompaniments on Orff percussion instruments as well as playing simple songs from music notation. We will continue studying families of the orchestra and be introduced to our composer of the month series. We will explore part independence with instrumental and movement ostinatos. We will concentrate on music from other cultures through our Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers material.

Third Grade

In the Third Grade, students will continue to develop their music literacy and vocal skills through solfege study and sight singing. We will continue studying families of the orchestra with the focus on ranges within each family. We will strengthen our musical vocabulary and analysis skills throughout the Composer of the Month series using a Music Listening Journal. We will learn basic recorder technique on soprano recorder with our Carnegie Hall Link Up materials. Advanced instruction is offered through Chorus and Orff Ensemble.

Fourth Grade

In the Fourth Grade, students will continue to develop their music literacy and vocal skills through solfege study and sight singing. We will continue studying families of the orchestra with the focus on the unique qualities of each instrument. We will strengthen our musical vocabulary and analysis skills throughout the Composer of the Month series using a Music Listening Journal. We will expand our recorder technique and repertoire on soprano recorder through Recorder Karate. We will spend more time exploring student composition and improvisation on the Orff instruments. Advanced instruction is offered through Chorus, Orff Ensemble, and Recorder Ensemble.

Fifth Grade

In the Fifth Grade, students will continue to develop their music literacy and vocal skills through solfege study and sight singing using more difficult literature. We will strengthen our musical vocabulary and analysis skills throughout the Composer of the Month series using a Music Listening Journal. We will expand our recorder technique and repertoire on soprano recorder through Recorder Karate and two-part music. More time will be spent developing student composition and improvisation on the Orff and percussion instruments. Advanced instruction is offered through Chorus, Orff Ensemble, and Recorder Ensemble.


To see more pictures of our students in action in music class, visit Mrs. Traxler's Flickr Account HERE.

Additional Learning Opportunities

We offer many additional musical experiences to our students through partnerships that we participate in each year. We carefully select and match partnering organizations to grade levels to enhance the arts education of our students. These partnerships are paid for by various donations and grants such as ING and Donors Choose. We fully believe at PS 51 that children learn best through hands on experiences like those that the musical, visual, and theatrical arts provide. Please visit the Curriculum and Programs Page to learn more about the arts partners that we are exploring this year. There you can find links to all of the partnerships as well as the participating grade levels for each organization.