5th Grade Band

1) 5th Grade Band - Cassville Band
Current Band Schedule:

Dear Parents & Guardians:

 

We are excited that your child is interested in joining our band program! The purpose of the program is to begin the study of a musical instrument and experience the joy of music through playing that instrument.  However, the benefits to your child go beyond learning music. They learn how to practice and improve at a skill; they develop focus, confidence, and discipline; they learn responsibility as they care for their instrument; and they learn teamwork as they play with the band.  While we will have fun along the way, the primary goal is for students to achieve basic proficiency on their instrument, which takes hard work but is ultimately a rewarding achievement.

 

This information about the band program some helpful suggestions to help students succeed.  Please read all of this information carefully with your child.

In order for students to meet their full potential, they are expected to fulfill the following basic responsibilities:

  1. Students are expected to attend each band class.If a student is absent from school for that day, they should find out what they missed in the lesson and practice for the next class.However, if a student is present at school, and does not come to band, that absence is unexcused.Students will receive a calendar that indicates the schedule for band each month.
  2. Students are expected to bring their instrument, music, pencil, and supplies to every band class.It is difficult to learn if any of these items are missing.
  3. Students are expected to practice at home every day and make progress between lessons. Each new lesson builds on the previous one.If a student is practicing daily, but not making progress, they can contact Mrs. Aquila to ask for further help.
  4. Students are expected to complete their homework for their regular classes and make up any work missed during band so that their other grades remain high.

Students who are responsible in each of these areas will achieve success.  If a student does not meet these responsibilities, they will be sent back to class, will miss out on the band lesson that day, and the absence will be unexcused. If this is the first time there is a problem, Mrs. Aquila will speak with the student and give them a warning.  However, if problems continue, the student will receive an unexcused absence slip that must be signed by the parent and returned at the next band class.  A student who receives three slips is subject to removal from the band program.

Finally, concert participation is required.  We are planning to have a concert at the end of the year so that the students can share their progress with you.  This will be an evening concert (tentative) in the spring. This will be a graded performance and your student will be expected to participate.

Practice

One thing that will be different this year is that when we won’t be able to play our instruments inside the classroom yet. During our classes, we will do some instruction inside without blowing on the instruments. Then we will go outside to try actually playing what we discussed.  However, since we won’t be playing as much at school, students will need to be doing more playing at home.  We will give them resources that they can use in their practice to help them be successful, but it will be especially important for students to be diligent about their practice.

 

Practice is the key to success in music.  There are no shortcuts or cheat codes to “unlock” the instrument. But musical success is worth the effort!  Students will find that they enjoy playing their instrument after they see the improvement they have made.  The skills required to play an instrument are not natural: they are learned. They must be practiced daily and in the manner taught by Mrs. Aquila.  Practice doesn’t make perfect: Perfect practice makes perfect.

 

Students are expected to practice 15 minutes a day. Practicing should be viewed as the “homework” for band. Mrs. Aquila will tell students what to practice after each band lesson. The best way to make practice a habit is to schedule a regular time in the day for it.  Some students may have to plan their practice time around other activities such as sports.  While students may occasionally miss a day due to a family activity, etc., this should be a rare exception.   

 

Occasionally, students may not fully understand a concept that is covered in the band class. It is important that students ask questions during class to make sure that they are able to practice the concept correctly at home.  If questions arise at home, students can ask other band students or contact Mrs. Aquila directly for clarification.  This will prevent students from practicing incorrectly.

Grades

As in all academic classes, students will receive a grade for band.  Students are expected to achieve  basic proficiency on their instrument.  A grade based on the student’s preparation and musical progress for each band lesson will be averaged together into an overall grade. Student’s progress may be assessed informally during class, or through tests and other assignments.  The band grade is included on the regular report card.

 

Because band is a pull-out program, it is important that students keep their band grade in the A/high B range.  Anything lower than that means that the student is not making adequate progress on their instrument.   If a student’s grade falls to the low B or C range, parents will be notified and the student will be expected to start earning higher grades each class in order to bring up their overall grade.  If a student does not bring up their grade, they may be dropped from the program since they may be better served in their regular classroom during the band time.  However, if a student is practicing regularly and coming prepared for class, they will progress rapidly and will earn high grades.

 

Both parents and students need to be aware that though band students are pulled from class to attend band, they are still responsible for maintaining their studies in their regular classroom.  If students do not complete their homework or classroom assignments, they may not be allowed to attend band class for that day.  This can affect the band grade, as this would be considered an unexcused absence that could ultimately lead to dismissal from the band program.  

Dropping from the Band Program

Learning a new instrument is hard work!   Like any new endeavor, it will be exciting at first, but after some time, the thrill will wear off and students may feel like they don’t want to continue.  While students do have the option to drop, we want to encourage them to be persistent. We recommend that students do not drop during the first 8 weeks.  This is usually the minimum required time to rent an instrument anyway, and this is a good interval for students to fully investigate what band is like.  Parents, please be supportive and encouraging of your students, and help them press on. Many students find that when they persist, they eventually find that they are enjoying it again when they realize how much progress they have made. However, if a student does decide that they are no longer interested in band, they will be able to drop as long as Mrs. Aquila receives notice from a parent.   

Band at the middle school

There is no beginning band at the middle school level. The students in the middle school bands started in elementary band when they were in fifth grade. Each year of band builds upon the skills learned in previous years. 

Students who satisfactorily complete the band program at Lightfoot and wish to continue in sixth grade will have the opportunity to be placed in the Concert Band at Day Creek Intermediate School.  Notices regarding this will be sent home to the parents of band students near the end of the year. 

If there are ever any questions concerning a student's band grade, please contact Mrs. Del Cid at [email protected]