Richard Jay Hyman
Richard Jay Hyman taught vocal and instrumental music in the New York City Public Schools for thirty-five years. In 1991 and again in 1993, Mr. Hyman was one of only ten teachers citywide placed on the Chancellor’s Teachers Honor Roll for his “outstanding student music programs.” In May 2007 he received the first-ever Music Teacher of the Year Award in recognition of his “dedication and outstanding ability as a music teacher,” especially in his role as director of the Vocal Music Program at Francis Lewis High School in Queens, N.Y.
Mr. Hyman is co-founder and music director of the Northport Symphony Orchestra and is music director of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Huntington, New York. He has produced, performed and conducted original music for film and television, and he has been an annual recipient of the ASCAP Special Award for Composer Members since 1998.
Most of Mr. Hyman’s choral compositions have been composed specifically for the student and adult choirs that he has worked with. His goal is to write expressive, well-crafted, and accessible music while carefully controlling technical challenges so that they support the developmental goals that are most appropriate for each group.
Mr. Hyman is a strong advocate for rigorous school music programs, and for elevating the status of music classes so that they are on par with other academic subjects. He has made presentations to various groups about his research into over 600 neurobiological studies exploring the effects of music training on the development of the brain. Most of these studies, using modern scanning technologies, have uncovered positive changes of brain size and efficiency; cognitive ability, executive function, visuo-spatial reasoning, motor skills and reaction times; hearing acuity, and memory.
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