The new school year at Patchogue-Medford High School also saw the arrival of 88 new Yamaha electric keyboards, desks and chairs as the musical program is expanding, district officials announced last week.

The keyboards come six years after two piano courses, Piano 1 and Piano 2, were introduced at all grade levels.

“It is really a wonderfully rewarding experience to open up the world of music to both the students who have participated in the music department since fourth grade, as well as those students who are new to our department,” said Stephen Mahr, the school’s piano and music theory teacher.

“It is my hope that in some small way I have changed my students’ understanding of and developed a deeper love for music that will stay with them throughout their lives.”

The school’s director of art, music and cultural arts, Mark Stuckey, said everyone in the program was excited about the possibilities the music lab could offer young people.

“With the advancements in technology and our course offerings, we hope to provide more opportunities to explore the creativity of the 21st century learner,” Stuckey said.

The keyboard lab was created about a decade ago for the music theory and Advanced Placement music theory classes.

Photo from Patchogue-Medford School District