Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music

Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music


School Description

"The Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, a Magnet school, will provide a high quality music program with strong academic courses in a safe and nurturing environment for New York City youth who wish to explore and expand their musicianship. Through music, students will use their mind, hands, heart and soul to respond to an ever changing, complex world. Through the integration of music into all areas of the curriculum, students will utilize their unique, creative skills to develop varied approaches to successful learning on their way to becoming well-rounded, educated adults." 

Contact Information

Website: www.ccbxhsm.org

Principal: Jerrod Mabry- jmabry@schools.nyc.gov

Additional ETA Contacts: Penelope Smetters-Jacono, band director- psjacono@gmail.com

Four-Year Plan Goals

Goal One: To create, develop, and implement a Physic of Music course

Goal Two: To develop a more rigorous curriculum for students in advanced ensembles


Goal One:  The school began by seeking to integrate music units into the Global History curriculum in order to leverage the students' musical interest to boost engagement in the academic subject. By Year Two, they refined that goal to focus on science and the creation of a new class. The vision was to develop a science course that integrates the students’ existing music interests with a rigorous science curriculum. The purpose was to provide students with a competitive edge for college and to better engage them during high school by encouraging students to take a fourth year of science.  Students are more likely to engage in a non-mandated fourth year curriculum if they find it relevant to their current music studies.  Developing a physics of music elective course has enabled students who do not want/need to take a Regents based physics course, or AP Biology, to take a highly engaging, hands-on, music science curriculum and receive an extra credit of science.  Science and music teachers used common planning time to create and edit the curriculum and ETA funds were used to purchase equipment and books.

Goal Two:  In order to improve the rigor of instruction for students in advanced ensembles, school leadership elected to enhance the ability and expertise of the music teachers through regular, on-going professional development sessions with master teaching artists. Music teachers observed these master teaching artists conduct master classes and private lessons for students. One on one professional development sessions following workshops and lessons provided the music teachers opportunities to debrief about what they saw, and discuss and practice new instructional and conducting techniques. ETA funds also supported the purchase of a sheet music filing system to store and organize materials.

Arts Partnerships

Goal Two: Master teaching artists included David Burnett, strings; Ernest Schefflein, conducting and woodwinds; Walter Barrett, brass; Denise Lozano flute; Annette Aguilar, percussion; and Melissa Wozniak, voice.

Sustainability Plan

Goal One: School leadership hired a fourth science teacher to fully realize the Physics department and has established the Physics of Music class as a part of its course offerings from year to year.  The curriculum was made available online and all materials will remain with Celia Cruz.  A new Physics teacher would require minimal training to be prepared to teach the course.

Goal Two: A well-organized catalog of repertoire will last indefinitely.  The budget is adjusted for continued maintenance of equipment through the regular DOE funding.  As music teachers increase their skills, continued professional development can be done in house through sharing best practices, workshops, team teaching, etc.  School leadership will continue to seek grants/alternate funding to engage professional artists.