Elementary Band

Band class

Band is a curricular class which begins in grade 5 and continues through grade 12. Students who are in band learn to play a wind (woodwind or brass) or percussion instrument, rehearse in a large mixed-instrument group and perform in concerts throughout the year. Students are assessed according to District, state and national standards in the following areas: musical performance, musical knowledge and responding to/critiquing music.

In grade 5, band meets 1-2 times per 5-day cycle. Band occurs on one cycle day every week and an additional cycle day every other week for a total of 150 minutes every ten school days. In middle school, band meets every other day, and in high school band meets every day. Musical skills, group experiences and camaraderie build each year, making it especially important to join band in the first year and continue each year.

Lessons

Students in grade 5 receive lessons. Lessons are in addition to band class and are on one day per cycle, which is approximately once per week, for 25 minutes. Lessons include up to eight students of like instruments.

Lessons are pull-out in nature. Lesson times normally rotate, but lesson days do not. It is the student’s responsibility to come to his or her lesson on time and to make up any classwork that is missed while attending the lesson. Only excused reasons, such as taking a test or illness, are reasons to miss lessons. Lesson schedules are posted on Schoology and in classrooms, and a paper copy is given to students at the beginning of each quarter. It is important for students to attend their lessons as there are no make-up lesson times and each lesson progresses forward in terms of skill development and knowledge. Students are expected to return to class immediately following their lesson.

Preparation for class and lessons

In grade 5, students are given a grade for their preparation for class and lessons. This primarily means practicing lesson assignments, bringing materials and participating with appropriate effort and a positive attitude in class. Building these great habits in the first year sets students up for success in their future years.

Concerts

In grade 5, band students perform three concerts within the year. The first concert (in February) includes students from each elementary school performing with the other students in their elementary school. The second concert (in March) is the District Band Festival, which includes students from various levels in the band program – e.g. beginners, intermediate players, and advanced performers. The third concert (in May) includes grade 5 students from two schools in the district coming together. Attendance at concerts is expected as concerts are an authentic experience which cannot be reenacted apart from the group.

Band information and timeline for grade 4 students and parents

This is an exciting time of year when you have registered online for your music class choice for grade 5. It is important to note that the music class choice is for the whole school year. Those who choose band will make the choice to play a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument. We hope to make instrument selection as easy as possible by discussing instrument choices in both music class and by meeting, in the form of a band interview (in late May), with each child who has signed up for band. The information below outlines the process.

  1. In April, the parents and child should fill out the grade 5 band registration form online. An email message will be sent from the District with a survey. The survey is the official registration form. Select band, and you’re registered.
  2. Once registered, students will be scheduled for a band interview with the band teacher at his or her school. Band interviews occur in late May and will be during the school day. Students should plan to come with at least three instrument choices in mind, discuss his or her instrument choices and be willing to try making some sounds and/or performing short skills. The purpose of the interview is to gather information on the student’s musical aptitude and interest. Most students who practice and attend lessons regularly can do well on their instrument of choice, however, some physical limitations such as small hands and orthodontic problems can cause problems on certain instruments. Because of this, it is very important that students be willing to play any of the instruments offered in band.
  3. In early June, after reviewing the students’ choices, physical attributes and information provided by their classroom music teacher, each student will receive an instrument assignment. This process will be completed before school is out, and a confirmation of instrument letter will come home with your child or via email before the last day of school. This letter will include information on obtaining your band instrument as well as the supplies needed. Please do not go ahead and get the instrument or supplies until the confirmation letter comes home. Once the confirmation letter is received, or over the summer, families may go ahead and obtain the instrument and all the supplies listed.

Band begins in September, but school-rented instruments may be distributed to students who have private summer lessons arranged. To do this, email your child’s band director. Students do not need to take private lessons to be ready for grade 5 band. Information on optional summer programs, such as QuickStart Band (which occurs in August), will be sent home with the confirmation letters.

We look forward to meeting all of you and working with you! Go Band!

-5th Grade Band Staff
Orchestra students at Groveland

FAQs

My child has never learned an instrument before, can they still join band?

Yes, anyone can join! No prior instrument experience is needed.

My child might be interested in band later. Can they join in middle school instead?

Grade 5 is where beginners start and lessons are provided. It is difficult to join band after grade 5 since the rest of the class will already be at an advanced stage.

What instruments are available in band?

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba and Percussion.

There are no drum sets in the elementary schools.

What instrument will be best for my child?

Elementary band teachers will meet individually with every student that signs up for band and help them pick the instrument they are most excited about and is the best fit.

How do I obtain an instrument?

Most families rent or buy from music stores. Some instruments can be rented from the school.

What if I can't afford an instrument?

Don’t let that stop your child from learning! The District will help find an instrument, just contact your band teacher and inform him or her of the situation.

Can we use a family instrument?

Yes, as long as it is in good repair. However, we do not recommend forcing your child to choose a particular instrument just because you already own it.


Learn About Instrument Options