Resources and FAQ

Citywide & Giveback Information 2018-2019


  1. Participate in RCSD School Music Program
  2. Participate in Citywide Concert if available for your instrument. (If not available, you get the year off!)


Other RCSD Musical Activities!

Eastman Pathways Student/Parent Handbook

Pathways is partnership between the Eastman School of Music and the Rochester City School District.  The following information is meant to guide students and parents in their educational experiences as part of the Eastman Community Music School (ECMS).  By accepting your Pathways Scholarship, you become part of the Eastman Community Music School and have the same privileges and responsibilities as do all ECMS students and parents.   We hope that you will take advantage of the world-renowned Sibley Music Library as well as attend some of the free concerts and recitals held at the Eastman School of Music.

What the Scholarship Includes

  • Scholarships in Eastman Pathways are either full or partial tuition awards (based on our sliding scale) for weekly 30-minute private lessons, or weekly chorus.
  • Qualified students may begin classes at no additional cost. (See below section: Courses for Pursuing a Diploma)
  • Pathways students are welcome to attend any and all of the workshops, cultural and social activities sponsored by Pathways.
  • Receive extra practice help through “Practice Buddies”

Student Commitment

It is expected that students will be diligent in their practice, lesson attendance, and overall commitment to this ESM/RCSD partnership.  The following are the basic policies and expectations that you agree to when you accept your scholarship; they ensure both your individual progress and allow our program to run smoothly:

  • Have regular access to an appropriate instrument and associated supplies for practice purposes
  • Attend lessons or chorus weekly and on time
  • Bring music and instrument to the lesson or chorus
  • Practice daily, coming prepared to lessons
  • Chorus and ensemble students will participate in all concerts
  • Fulfill all performance requirements. See section on Recital and Performance Requirements
  • Fulfill the expectations of your ECMS private teachers
  • Participate in RCSD Citywide Concert or select an Eastman Pathways Citywide Give-back option.

Parent Commitment and Responsibilities

  • Support the student’s musical growth by attending recitals or concerts in which the student participates
  • Provide transportation to and from lessons and concerts
  • Ensure that the student’s instrument is kept in good repair
  • Pay the $30.00 annual registration fee plus any tuition not covered by the Eastman Pathways scholarship
  • If required for a class, pay required fee of up to $25.00 per semester for theory materials
  • Purchase music books and/or instrumental supplies as requested by the ECMS teacher. (Please let the coordinator know if either is a hardship)
  • Notify ECMS teachers in advance of any student absence
  • Notify the ECMS office of address or phone changes
  • Let the ECMS teacher know of any problems that may be impeding the student’s musical progress

Lesson Information


  • ECMS lessons will begin on the first Wednesday after Labor Day and will continue through the first full week of June.
  • Lessons will be offered for a full academic year, 34 weeks, (17 lessons per semester)
  • Students will be assigned to available ECMS Faculty
  • Private lesson times will be arranged by the first week of September. ECMS Private Instructors will contact the student.  Efforts will be made to meet students’ schedules; however, it will be necessary to first accommodate teachers’ existing schedules.
  • Please notify both your private teacher and the ECMS office with any address or phone changes in order for them to be able to contact you. 


Missed Lessons

  • Students are expected to notify the private and/or class teacher 24 hours in advance of any absence. If there is no cell or studio phone, call the ECMS office at 274-1400.  By calling in advance, you may be able to reschedule your lesson to a different day.
  • Unexcused absences (absences not reported in advance) will be reported through the Progress Report to the parent, RCSD Music Teacher, and the coordinator of partnership.
  • If the student has three unexcused absences, the Pathways scholarship will be revoked.


Lesson Make-up policy

  • Some teachers offer make-up lessons under certain circumstances, but they are not obligated to do so.
  • Teachers are not required to make up lesson time missed as a result of student tardiness.
  • If a teacher is absent from a lesson, or if there is a snow day, a make-up will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.
  • Missed classes can be made up by attending alternate sections of the same class with permission of the instructor.


  • Please refer to the provided Pathways calendar online at
  • Note that classes are held on all Mondays including those designated as holidays such as Columbus Day and Martin Luther King Day, but not on Memorial Day.
  • ECMS teaches on several RCSD holidays including Superintendent’s Conference Days. Please refer to the ECMS schedule and mark your calendars appropriately. Do not assume RCSD holidays are holidays for Eastman.


  • Each instrument being taught at ECMS has a curriculum that is used as a guide against which the student can measure his or her progress through the various levels of performance skills and repertory. This is available online in the ECMS Student Handbook.
  • In order to remain eligible for the scholarship, students must show significant progress through the prescribed curriculum.

Recital and Performance Requirements

  • All students taking private lessons are to perform annually on at least one regularly scheduled ECMS student recital or private teacher’s Studio Recital. Those seeking a diploma must play on 2 recitals annually in the last two years of study.
  • There are three categories of recitals: Youth, General, and Advanced.  There is an appropriate level recital for each student.   Recitals are held in Howard Hanson Hall, Hatch Hall, Messinger One or Kilbourn Hall.


Solo Festival

  • Eastman In-House NYSSMA Solo Festival is required of all students in private lessons with the exception of 1st year students whose teachers concur. RCSD music teachers must register students for the MCSMA and NYSSMA festivals. Students in 10th and 11thgrades performing at NYSSMA level 6 are encouraged to attend an All State site (resulting in possible Area Conference participation).  Ask your RCSD teacher to register you for the appropriate NYSSMA festival – In House or All State. 
  • Students are encouraged to also participate in January MCSMA solo festival (resulting in possible All-County participation)
  • The SOTA music program expects Pathways students to prepare for both festivals. Please consult your SOTA music teacher.


Citywide – Eastman Pathways Community Give-Back

  • On a 3 year rotation, students will participate in their instrumental year. All Eastman Pathways Students must participate in an RCSD Arts Department approved ensemble. Participation in an approved ensemble involves a commitment to all rehearsals and performances as indicated by that specific ensemble’s handbook/ guidelines.  The RCSD Eastman Pathway’s committee, in collaboration with the Eastman Pathways Administrative Team, will create and update a selection menu each year to ensure that Pathways students whose instrumental group is not the focus will have a broad selection of opportunities to give back to the RCSD.

Courses for Pursuing a Diploma

  • ECMS offers many enriching music courses including theory, history, class piano as well as a wide selection of ensembles that lead toward a Diploma.  Theory classes are organized in sequential manner to enable students to engage more fully in their musical experience at Eastman.
  • These classes are always free and optional; only those students who are motivated and interested should register for classes.
  • Qualification: When the student achieves an ECMS curricular level 3 at the annual jury, he/she will be eligible to begin a theory class at no additional cost. Entering students who demonstrate instrumental skills commensurate with the ECMS curricular level 3 will be eligible to take an optional class.
  • Pathways will financially support qualified students’ work toward a 2-year diploma; Specifically Ensemble participation, 2 Theory classes (classical or jazz or electives), a Keyboard class (classical or jazz), a Music History class (classical or jazz).
  • Courses taken in addition to this will be the financial responsibility of the student’s family.
  • Any student interested in working towards a Diploma must declare their intent with the ECMS office staff. The office will then keep track of your progress.
  • Diplomas are awarded to graduating seniors in June at the ECMS Commencement Ceremony upon completion of all requirements listed in the Diploma brochure.
  • See Diplomas and Certificates in the ECMS website for complete information.


  • Eastman Children’s Chorus is bundled with theory for all ECMS students; chorus students will have a theory class regardless of the curricular level 3 ruling.
  • Depending on their instrument, some students will be placed in available Pathways ensembles. Others students who audition for ECMS premier ensembles and are accepted will receive this ensemble class at no additional cost as is the policy for any ECMS student. These ensembles include the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra, ECMS Honors Brass Quintet, ECMS Honors Woodwind Quintet, Krusenstjerna Scholarship Flute Choir, RCSD Percussion Journey, Pathways Flute Choir and others.

Continued Eligibility – Evaluations, Grades, and Juries or Exams

  • Each year students must earn the continuation of their scholarship. The Eastman Community Music School reserves the right, upon the evaluation of the student’s ECMS teacher, to place on probation or dismiss students who have consistently displayed a lack of cooperation, interest and/or lack of progress through curricular levels. 
  • It is anticipated that scholarships will be continued for future years for interested students; however, all students will need to re-apply for scholarship assistance each March for the following academic year.
  • All students must be registered in a music ensemble during the RCSD school day. SOTA 9-12th graders must be music majors.
  • In order to monitor student progress and maintain communication with parents and RCSD Music Teachers, a Mid-Year Evaluation will be given at the end of the first semester. The Mid-Year Evaluation is a preliminary indication of the ECMS Teacher’s recommendation for the renewal of the student scholarship for the following year.  Evaluations will be shared with the student and parent. In addition, a performance exam or jury is given to all students in private lessons at the end of each academic year.  As previously stated, it is expected that students will annually show progress through the various curricular levels.
  • When annually applying for a Pathways Scholarship, each student must receive a positive recommendation from both the ECMS (via the Mid-Year Evaluation and Exam/Jury) and RCSD teacher in order to continue in the program. At any time, should a student participate in behavior or activity that is not in keeping with Eastman Pathway standards and the school Principal or music teacher cannot recommend the student for continuation, the scholarship will be revoked.
  • Students must be in good academic standing in the RCSD:
    • Maintain a 2.0 average and be on the way to graduation
    • Participate/be in good standing in the school music program
    • 90% attendance
    • No disciplinary referrals
  • Parents must sign a Grade Sharing Consent Form for the RCSD to share academic grades with the Pathways Coordinator
  • RCSD grades will be checked after marking periods. If the student receives below a 2.0 or has attendance below the 90% mark, the student will be placed on academic probation by the RCSD Director of Music. The student will have until the end of that academic year to meet the grade requirements above.  If the GPA is not raised by the last report card in June, and the course is not made up in summer, the scholarship will be revoked for the following year.
  • At the ECMS first semester marking period, students receiving any ECMS grade of C or lower will be placed on ECMS probation. Any private lesson grade that is not raised by the end of the year will result in revocation of the scholarship. If the class grade is not raised, the student will not be eligible for a class the following year.
  • Students must perform in his/her home school music ensemble on the instrument or voice studied at ECMS. In the case of piano or strings where no ensemble exists, students will be required to perform on a different instrument or sing in the available school ensemble or fulfill another musical service for their RCSD school.


  • In addition to completing the annual Pathways Application in March, every Pathways student must also complete the standard ECMS “Application/Registration for Study” form at the annual Orientation meeting.
  • Please complete all pertinent questions as directed, including birth date and preferred lesson times.  Remember to notify the ECMS office at 274-1400 with any changes in address or phone.

Financial Information

  • Families whose income is less than $40,000 receive full tuition scholarships; families whose income is above that amount will be assessed tuition based on our sliding scale taking into consideration the number of people in the family.
  • Regardless of scholarship type (full or partial), there will be an annual registration fee of $30 and a fee of up to $25 per semester for theory materials depending on course taken
  • Parents must submit family financial information with the annual March application. The most recent year’s AGI form on which the student is listed as a dependent must be submitted by May 1. The scholarship cannot be posted to the student’s account without this information. Students’ parents would be responsible for paying full tuition or any related late fees accrued until the current AGI is submitted and scholarship can be correctly calculated.


  • Parents or Guardians of Pathways students will receive bills at the beginning of each semester even if you have a full scholarship.
  • If the annual $30.00 registration fee was not been paid at the orientation session, it will be listed on the bill.
  • Students must pay the cost of a textbook if required for their course.
  • If your scholarship is for full tuition, the “balance due” at the bottom should read $0.00.
  • If the scholarship is for partial tuition assistance, the balance will read the amount due after the scholarship has been subtracted.
  • If the scholarship recipient elects to register for a course in addition to the one offered through the scholarship, the bill would indicate a fee for such class. Refer to Course Offerings in the ECMS Catalog for tuition rates noting discounts with lessons.
  • If the recipient elects to increase lesson time beyond the 30- minute award, the bill would indicate the additional fee.
  • Payments may be made in one of 3 ways: 1) by mailing a check or signed “Credit Card Authorization form” (provided with each bill) using the self-addressed envelopes provided with each bill; 2) personally delivering cash, check or credit card to the ECMS office; or 3) by faxing a signed “Credit Card Authorization” form to ECMS at 274-1005.  The ECMS office cannot accept credit card payments over the phone or online.
  • If you have any questions about billing or feel that you have an error on your statement, call the ECMS office (274-1400) for clarification.

Other Benefits of the Pathways Scholarship


  • Carrol Frangipane, a former public school music teacher, is our experienced Pathways Mentor. Frangipane is contacted when a Pathways student has been reported finding it difficult to adjust to our rigorous curriculum, falling behind in class work, missing lessons, coming consistently late or unprepared for lessons.  She works with the student and parent to help find solutions to problems.

 Practice Buddies

  • Recommended students as well as those students who would like to participate are paired with an Eastman collegiate student of like instrument to practice lesson assignments

 Workshops and Cultural Events

  • Various student workshops are offered to all Pathways students
  • Annual RPO Night with pre-concert chat and dinner
  • College information workshop to learn about careers in music


  • To encourage all of our students to annually participate in recitals, each student is granted two rehearsal coupons per semester (value $26/semester).
  • Each coupon covers a rehearsal of up to 30 minutes with any accompanists on the ECMS list. Coupons are available in the ECMS office, 3rd floor of Messinger Hall, 10 Gibbs Street.
  • Please refer to the accompanist policy found on the ECMS website for specifics.
  • The use of the accompanist for additional rehearsals and performances outside and not affiliated with Eastman, (e.g. NYSSMA) are the financial responsibility of the parent/student.

If you are in 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th or 11th grades, and want to enroll in the Diploma Program, Pathways will fund all the necessary classes you need to get a diploma:

  1. Private lessons (and juries)
  2. 1 Music History class
  3. 2 Theory classes
  4. 1 Ensemble

You must maintain good grades and fulfill all the Pathways student responsibilities to remain eligible.

Click here for a brochure with more information on the Diploma.

Click here to register for the Diploma Program online. You may also visit the ECMS office to declare your interest, or call them at (585) 274-1400.

For ECMS Teachers

Below is a summary of your responsibilities as the teacher of Pathways student. Please do not hesitate to contact Pathways Coordinator, Hannah Harrow, with any further questions!


Performance Requirements (Private Instructors)

All Pathways students complete the performance requirements below in order to remain eligible for their scholarship. Make sure your Pathways student:

  • Performs in at least one ECMS recital per year (general, departmental, studio or solo recitals count)
    • Diploma students must perform in at least two recitals each year
  • Performs an annual jury examination
    • Juries may be optional for your other ECMS students. But, we require the juries for all Pathways scholarship recipients, regardless of age.
  • Performs in the MCSMA and/or NYSSMA Solo Fest
    • Pathways students from SOTA must perform in both MCSMA and NYSSMA. All other students are only required to perform in NYSSMA.


Evaluation Forms (Private Instructors & Classroom Teachers)

We ask teachers of Pathways students to submit two evaluation forms: the Entry Evaluation Form and the Mid-Year Evaluation Form. (Links to the forms in the tabs below.)

Evaluation form for Classroom Teachers, coming soon! 


Grading and Attendance for Pathways Students 

All Pathways students must receive a C or higher in their lessons and classes in order to remain eligible for their scholarship.

Private Instructors: If a Pathways student has 3 unexcused absences from lessons, they could lose their scholarship. Make communication a priority with your students and their families. Help them learn how to best contact you if they must miss a lesson. (Note that transportation is difficult for many of these students, so we thank you in advance for your patience in dealing with attendance issues.)

Please alert us right away using the Progress Report if any issues (attendance, lack of practice, lack of appropriate instrument, etc.) are impeding your student’s progress.


Additional Funding Requests

If your student is in need of instrument repair, sheet music, textbooks, bus passes, or other materials, please send an email to to request additional funding. Students on full scholarship with significant financial need will be prioritized.

For your students annual NYSSMA performance, he or she must play a piece found in the NYSSMA Manual. 

A manual is available  in the ECMS office and in Sibley Library. You can also use the repertoire list below for recommendations!

NYSSMA Repertoire List (Available soon!)

You may use this document as a guide for selecting NYSSMA solos for your students. It is a list of some of the best and most accessible solos for your student, sorted by instrument and level. Please contact me to confirm your student’s NYSSMA level before choosing a solo. 

Entry Evaluations must be completed after NEW student’s first lessons. (This form does NOT need to be completed for returning students.

These help us track the student’s progress throughout the year, and determine continuing eligibility for scholarship.

Click the appropriate link below to fill out and submit your evaluation online.

Only NEW (first-year) Pathways students require this evaluation. These students have an “N” next to their name on the Pathways Student List.

Piano Entry Evaluation

Percussion Entry Evaluation

Voice Entry Evaluation

Strings Entry Evaluation 

Winds/Brass Entry Evaluation

Class Evaluation Form (coming soon!)

Fill out the Mid-Year Evaluation at the end of the first semester for ALL PATHWAYS STUDENTS.

This form includes a student response section, as well as a teacher response section. You may take time in a lesson to have the student complete his or her part this form. Drop off the completed form at the ECMS Office.

Hard copies of the form will be available for pick up in the ECMS office near the end of the first semester.

Classroom/ensemble evaluation form coming soon!

Mid-Year Student Evaluation

Use this Progress Report to alert us to communication, attendance, progress or any other issues that arise with your student.

Carrol Frangipane is available to mentor students or help you reach out to families. Onee you submit a progress report, we can put the student in contact with her to help resolve outstanding issues.

Send an email to to request additional funding for your student if he or she is in need of:

  1. Sheet Music
  2. Instrument repair
  3. Textbooks or other materials

Here is a list of all Pathways Students enrolled in 2018-2019.

Pathways Students 2018-2019

(Note: This link takes you to a password protected page.)

Please check your class rosters for these students! An updated contact sheet will be coming soon!


For RCSD Teachers

Below is a summary of RCSD Teacher responsibilities:

Recommendation Forms

All RCSD teachers must fill out a New Student Recommendation Form for new students as part of their Pathways Application. We cannot process a student’s application without this recommendation.

RCSD Teachers must also submit an annual Returning Student Recommendation form in order for their student(s) to continue in the Pathways Program.

Both of these forms are available online. See tabs below.



RCSD teachers must register their Pathways students for MCSMA/NYSSMA each year. Pathways students attending SOTA must participate in both festivals.


CityWide Participation and Registration

RCSD teachers must register any eligible students for the RCSD Citywide concert.

All Pathways students are required to “give back” to the school district through participating in an approved ensemble. Students may choose from a list of approved opportunities, and register online for the GiveBack option.

CLICK HERE to register your student for a Pathways GiveBack.

The first and most important step of your student’s application process is for you, the RCSD teacher, to submit a RCSD Teacher Recommendation Form.

Complete the form online to begin your student’s application.

RCSD Teacher Recommendation Form

Click here to go to our homepage, and find a complete list of Application Instructions. Families can complete the entire application online.

Please complete the annual Returning Student Recommendation Form for each of your continuing Pathways students. We cannot register your student until we have received this form.

Returning Student Recommendation Form

Pathways Workshops

Pathways Workshops exist to help you enrich your student’s experience in the classroom. These workshops can take a variety of forms, including, but not limited to:

  • Interactive performances
  • Masterclasses
  • Sectional rehearsals
  • Group lessons
  • Visits by current Pathways students (depending on availability)


A group of specially-selected ECMS Faculty are available to visit to your school and collaborate with you during your music class. Email to schedule a workshop!