The goal of Lake Drive's Music Program is to provide our students with a comprehensive music education that considers the diverse needs of our student body. The underlying philosophy is that the study of music provides benefits to all children.

Expression through creative movement, songs, and the playing of rhythm instruments provides an effective and rewarding vehicle for communication. Tactile and kinesthetic activities allow children to experience music through different modalities. The music classroom contains a rich treasury of sounds, which can enhance the auditory perception of students in both the oral and total communication programs.

National Standards of Music

The national standards of music focus on creating, performing and responding to music. In all grade levels, students have experience creating music by singing and/or signing songs, and by playing rhythm instruments. They share what they have learned as they perform songs and dances for their classmates and at the school-wide holiday show. They learn about the elements of music, and how to read and write rhythmic notation. Each student is unique; thus each student perceives and responds to music in a way that may be different from each other. Each student's growth in music is encouraged and celebrated!


Preschoolers enjoy learning about music by:

  • exploring the ways their voices can be used
  • singing a variety of songs that reinforce basic skills and vocabulary
  • creatively adding movements and words to songs
  • exploring and playing classroom rhythm instruments
  • performing simple dances
  • moving creatively

Signing Chorus

The signing chorus consists of our upper elementary students at Lake Drive. They have performed with Mrs. Butler's Wildwood Chorus at the Lake Drive Holiday Show and at the Wildwood Holiday Concert. It continues to be a rewarding experience for students from both schools

World Music Drumming

For the past several years, Mrs. Butler has been implementing the World Music Drumming curriculum with our middle school students. With African-style instruments, students learn to:

  • perform as a member of an ensemble
  • develop the concepts of respect for people, instruments, and cultures
  • learn proper drumming techniques
  • maintain a steady beat
  • repeat rhythmic patterns
  • sign/sing songs from a multicultural repertoire
  • understand and appreciate the music traditions of Africa and the Caribbean
  • learn dances in traditional African style

Briarcliff Program

As part of the Lake Drive program at Briarcliff, music students study the following topics:

  • Native American Music
  • Patriotic Music
  • Instruments of the Orchestra
  • Music History I (Ancient times through the Classical Period)
  • History of Music II (Romantic Period through Twentieth Century)
  • American Musical Theater
  • History of Rock Music

Kean University Collaboration

Through an exciting collaboration with Professor Robert Rocco from Kean University's Music Department, some of our Briarcliff students will learn to use the Radio Baton, an electronic instrument created by Dr. Max Matthews. Professor Rocco has one of only ten radio batons in the world, and we are privileged to have access to one. We're using the radio baton to help our students learn rhythms, maintain a steady beat, and manipulate elements of music including dynamics and tempo.

This will be the second time that Professor Rocco has worked with Mrs. Butler and our students. The first collaboration resulted in a paper that was presented and published at the International Society of Music Education (ISME) in Brazil in 2014.

About Mrs. Butler

Mrs. Butler has been working at the Lake Drive School for 21 years, and at Wildwood School for the past five years. She's enjoyed getting to know the families of Mountain Lakes, and appreciates their support of the music programs in the district.

Mrs. Butler serves on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA) representing students with special needs. She presents workshops to music educators throughout the state and writes regularly for the TEMPO, the NJMEA magazine.

In 2005, Mrs. Butler received the Outstanding Educator Award from the VSA Arts of New Jersey and the Governor's Award for Arts Education. In 2014, she received the Joanne Marie Cardillo Memorial Fund Teacher of the Year Award. In 2015, Sigma Alpha Iota, an international music fraternity, recognized her as a "Friend of the Arts."

Publications by Maureen Butler

Rocco, R., Butler, M.,& Schraer-Joiner, L. (February 2015 antic.). "The concert series for the deaf and radio baton project: Two unique music projects with applications for the music classroom."Proceedings of the 20th International Seminar of the ISME Commission on Music in Special Education, Music Therapy, and Music Medicine [electronic document]: Faculdade de Artes do Paraná -FAP, Curitiba, Brazil. July 17-18, 2014, ed. Melita Belgrave, 2014. (Nedlands, WA: International Society for Music Education). ISBN: 978-0-9942055-3-7.

Understanding How the Student with a Hearing Loss Can Succeed in Your Class. (2016, January). TEMPO, 70(2), 54-55.

The radio baton comes to Lake Drive School -A collaboration with Kean University's Music Department. (2015, May). TEMPO, 69(4), 50-51.

Teaching music to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. (2015, January). TEMPO, 69(2), 38-39.

Choosing our words with care… as we talk about students with disabilities. (2014, May). TEMPO, 68(4), 40-41.

Lessons and activities for pre-school special learners. (2014, March). TEMPO, 68(3), 32-33.

Getting to know you: Thoughts for a new school year. (2013, October). TEMPO, 68(1), 58-59.

Meet the parents -of special learners. (2013, May). TEMPO, 67(4), 62-63.

The ABC's of special ed.(2013, January). TEMPO, 67(2), 20-21.

Who is accessible -available -responsible? (2012, October). TEMPO, 67(1), 22-23.

Keeping the beat with adaptive instruments. (2012, May). TEMPO, 66(4), 18-19.

Teaching music to special learners: FAQ's. (2012, January). TEMPO, 66(2), 30-31.

Disability sensitivity activities: How do we teach our students to be more sensitive? (2011, October).TEMPO, 66(1), 30-31.

Music for high tech ears, hearing aids, BAHA devices& cochlear implants: What do children hear? (2011, May). TEMPO, 65(4), 28-30.

Special needs: A plan for preschool. (2011, January). TEMPO, 65(2), 36-37.

Let's dance! (2010, October). TEMPO, 65(1), 48-49.

Classroom management strategies: Have a plan in place! (2010, May). TEMPO, 64(4), 40-42.

Who are the people in your neighborhood? Support-staff who make a difference. (2010, January).TEMPO, 64(3), 64-65.

Helping all students succeed in music class. (2009, March). TEMPO, 63(4), 32-33.
How students with hearing impairments can learn and flourish in your music classroom. (2004, August).Teaching Music, 12(1), 30-34.

Related Links:

Star Ledger Article detailing the Lake Drive Music Program

World Music Drumming

The Radio Baton :

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