MAT Sports & Electives
The MAT physical education and athletics department is committed to providing every single student the opportunity to participate in an after school sport as well as enjoy learning about health and recreation during Phys Ed classes. Our physical education curriculum is designed around movement and inclusion and our students have access to two large gymnasiums, two grass and turf fields, a rock climbing wall, a high tech fitness room featuring treadmills, rowing machines, elliptical and video gaming featuring Nintendo Wii’s and XBox 360 as well as a brand new state of the art virtual reality gaming system which incorporates three projected 10 foot gaming screens. Our after school sports program involves over 80% of the student population and children have the opportunity to choose between 18 sports on 38 teams making MAT the largest and most inclusive sports program in the United States for a public middle school. No child is cut from a sport ever, but rather placed on a team that fits his or her abilities. MAT has won 52 NYC middle school sports championships in the last 15 years, the most of any school in NYC history. Our athletic director and physical education teacher John DeMatteo was named NYC middle school teacher of the year four times (3 blackboard awards and one education update award) and has been featured with the former First Lady Michelle Obama on national television to promote fitness in the country. The MAT Phys Ed and sports program was chosen to present at the world health conference in New Zealand in 2014 after a doctorate study on our school revealed how successful our model has been in the U.S. and how schools worldwide could benefit from a similar effort.
The music program at MAT provides a comprehensive and dynamic music experience to hundreds of students each year. Unlike some city school programs that offer only a limited introduction to music education, the MAT music program ensures that each student has a firm grounding in music theory, instrumental technique, performance skills, and music history. Students learn advanced techniques in reading notes and counting rhythms, and will learn to play their instruments at a young professional level. By the time our students reach the 8th grade, several of them play well enough to successfully audition for many of NYC's most prestigious music/arts high schools. Regardless of whether MAT students choose to continue to be instrumentalists, all of them leave MAT with a rich appreciation and deeper understanding of music's ability to enrich their lives and communities.
Students can choose to join the Concert Band or Percussion Ensemble programs as their 3-year "major" course of study. The Concert Band instruments are: flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone horn, and tuba. The Percussion Ensemble students learn to play basic orchestral percussion instruments including snare drum, bass drum, crash cymbals, xylophone and other mallet percussion instruments. Both of these groups give public performances throughout the year.
For students seeking the opportunity to play even more challenging music, they can audition for the Advanced Band (a Concert Band made up of the top 6th-8th students that meets twice weekly before school), and the Jazz Lab (a jazz combo focusing on improvised music that meets twice weekly after school).
In addition to the band/percussion program, MAT offers a one-semester Enrichment class for 6th grade students: the GPS (Guitar, Piano, Songwriting) class. Students learn a very basic introduction to guitar and piano, as well as basic music theory and songwriting techniques.