Music Education for Southeast Baltimore Students

Music instruction has always been an important component of TNCS’s dedication to educating the whole child. Music is a meaningful part of every TNCS student’s academic journey, and music happens throughout the day, including during cultural study. In addition, formal music classes are available both during and outside the school day to elementary and middle school students.

We encourage our students to find their musical passions and express themselves creatively and with skill. New for the 2016–2017 school year, TNCS is expanding its morning and afternoon music offerings to non-TNCS students in grades K–8 across southeast Baltimore. View our before- and after-school string classes below.


TNCS offers a variety of music programs before and after school that are now also open to non-TNCS K–8 students.

The Strings Program: Learning to Play a Musical Instrument

Playing a musical instrument helps develop both creative and critical thinking, imparts a sense of well-being, and even has proven physical health benefits. TNCS’s string program introduces students to the joy and discipline of playing music while developing their technical skills.

Strings at TNCS are broken down into novice programs for violin/viola and cello and more advanced ensembles to accommodate children (including non-TNCS students) at all levels. Please note that students must provide their own instruments and purchase the required method book.

Lessons run for a full semester. In order to learn the skills required to progress, students are strongly encouraged to practice at home for at least 15 minutes each day.  A concert for parents will be given at the end of each semester.  Visit our Extracurricular Activities page for additional information and to register.

Sessions: Offered Semester 1 and Semester 2
Dates: August 29, 2016 through January 25, 2017 and January 26 through June 6, 2017
Time: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Eligible Ages: Grades K–8
Cost: $460 per semester (billed in two quarterly payments)

About Novice Violin or Viola and Novice Cello Lessons

This before-school class is an entry point into the TNCS String Program. Students with little or no experience will be taught by an experienced string teacher in a small-group setting, with a maximum of 10 students. Students will develop proper playing technique while practicing scales, études, and repertoire from the Suzuki books and elsewhere. After a semester at the novice level, students will be eligible to enroll in the TNCS String Ensemble.

Instrument rental and purchase of a method book are required for participation.

Sessions: Offered Semester 1 and Semester 2
Dates: August 29, 2016 through January 25, 2017 and January 26 through June 6, 2017
Time: 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm every Wednesday
Eligible Ages: Grades K–8
Cost: $285 per semester (billed in two quarterly payments)

About String Ensemble

In the TNCS Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass After-School Ensemble, students will come together as a group to experience the joy of making beautiful music and deepening friendships.

Participation is open to all students (including non-TNCS students) who have been playing for at least one semester, independent of their ability to read music. New students will be given simpler parts, and advanced students will be given more difficult parts and solos. Every student will be challenged and inspired at his or her skill level.

Instrument rental and purchase of a method book are required for participation.

About Mr. Yoshiaki Horiguchi

Yoshiaki Horiguchi has been acclaimed by the Baltimore Sun for his ability to put on a “dazzling display of dexterity and panache” and featured by the Examiner in a “Must Watch Video.” Yoshi is an active double bassist, pedagogue, and educator in the D.C.–Baltimore area. His endeavors span a broad spectrum of genres, having performed with the York Symphony, Baltimore Boom Bap Society, Opera Camerata of Washington, Classical Revolution, and more. Most recently, he sat principal bass for a Naxos recording under the direction of Marin Alsop to record works by Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts. Yoshi proudly hails from the studios of Ed Malaga, Jeff Koczela, Laura Ruas, Paul DeNola, and Paul Johnson.

In addition to being an active performer, Yoshi is a highly sought-after pedagogue. Having served as the low-strings department chair and string ensemble director of the Baltimore Symphony’s El Sistema inspired OrchKids program, faculty for Peabody’s Bass Works, and faculty for American Music System, his teaching experience is vast. Yoshi’s International Society of Bassists pedagogy research submission is currently being used as a resource to influence bass teachers across the country. He is also certified in the Mark O’Connor string method and has studied the Suzuki string method, making him an all-around strings pedagogy expert.

Yoshi graduated as a Linehan Artist Scholar from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and is proud to be an Aegon USA scholar at the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University for his graduate studies.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.”


Music Education During the School Day

Formal music classes take place twice weekly during the school day for elementary and middle school students. Band at TNCS is broken down into a Woodwind Exploratory Class and a Band Ensemble for more-experienced students. TNCS takes orders and rents the instruments for those who need them. Students take the instruments home for practice and also require a music stand at home. We recommend that students spend at least 15 minutes a day practicing.

Students who do not opt in to Woodwind or Band Ensemble receive instruction in voice and on the recorder.

Woodwind Exploratory Class

TNCS is pleased to offer a semester-long exploratory class in flute and clarinet for students in grades 2–6. TNCS music teacher/director Mr. Warren teaches the class on Thursdays during music time in the fall and winter quarters.

Students study flute for 6 weeks, followed by clarinet for 6 weeks. This introductory class allows students to develop technical skill and explore more than one instrument. A concert for parents is given at the end of the semester.

Band Ensemble

Students in grades 2–6, who have by now experienced flute and clarinet from the Woodwind Exploratory class and/or trumpet and trombone if they participated in the brass program last year, are now in a position to pick their favorite among these instruments and enjoy playing in an ensemble.

This class, taught by TNCS music teacher/director Mr. Warren during music time on Thursdays for the third and fourth school year quarters, allows students to deepen their abilities in technique while playing fun repertoire. A concert for parents is given at the end of the semester.

Vocal Classes

On Tuesdays during music time, all elementary and middle school students receive voice instruction. The focus of this class is on honing vocal technique as well as on music appreciation. Students explore composers, types of instruments, and musical styles all while building skill using the solfège system of learning notes and pitch.

Another important part of this class is building confidence. Most TNCS students are accustomed to singing in groups and in class. Under TNCS music teacher/director Mr. Warren’s guidance, they now learn to be comfortable harmonizing on stage and even singing solo parts. Parents are treated to school-wide vocal performances twice yearly.

TNCS’s Arts Philosophy

At TNCS, we deeply value the arts and have integrated the arts throughout our academic divisions as well as throughout areas of study.

Not only is technical skill development an objective of our arts programs, but even more so is awakening appreciation of artistic expression, from the visual to the performing arts. By connecting art to other subjects and incorporating art-making across curricula, students at TNCS are engaged with art in multiple forms every day.

Why Children Should Learn Music

We recognize that children who play music in a formal education setting come to understand the rewards of working hard, of regular practice, and of discipline.

Learning to play a musical instrument also helps to instill what might become a lifelong passion for music, and it confers many other advantages as well, from social to academic. For example, being a part of a musical community builds confidence and makes for meaningful experiences in a secure environment.

In asking children to decode sound, making music also enhances their language development and their ability to be active listeners, effects that also facilitate social interaction. Moreover, abundant research shows that learning music accelerates learning in a range of other subjects, including math and science, and enhances skills like concentration and memory recall that children use in other areas.

Learning music requires tapping into and integrating multiple abilities, such as vision, hearing, and fine and gross motor skills. Neuroscience shows that the brains of music-makers work harder and are consequently more fit.

Mr. WarrenMeet TNCS Music Director Martellies Warren

If you know anything about Martellies Warren, then you know that he is passionate about music and is the maestro behind TNCS’s twice-yearly wildly popular student concerts. A native of Montgomery, AL, Mr. Warren’s musical gifts were evident from early childhood when he was known for singing almost constantly as well as an ability to replicate tunes on a keyboard from memory.

After formal piano and voice lessons opened the door to music competitions, his destiny was clear, and word of his talent reached the Music Director and Chairman of the Music Board at Morgan State University. On a full vocal scholarship, Mr. Warren arrived in Baltimore in 1998 and began performing across the United States and in Europe with the Morgan State University Choir.

After graduating with a classical music degree in voice as well as a degree in education, he decided to make Baltimore his home. In addition to playing the piano, he also began to play trombone, teach band classes, and helped found the Pi Eta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia national music fraternity.

He has also added gospel and jazz to his vocal repertoire, and for the last several years, he has been a member of multiple Stellar award–winning and Grammy-nominated gospel group Anthony Brown and Group Therapy.