• Beginning Band
    Welcome to LMS's 5th Grade Beginning Band! LMS has a wonderful band program comprised of multiple sections of 5th and 6th grade bands, and we have one Beginning Band. Our Beginning Band has students with a variety of musical backgrounds and experiences, but while some may have more musical experience than others we all bond over the mutual understanding that everyone in the class is new to their instrument! Playing an instrument is hard work, but it's also a lot of fun! Below are some things you should about our Beginning Band program.
    ~Rehearsals and Lessons~
     At LMS we run an A/B Day schedule. Students will have their band class every other day. Lessons will meet in small groups or occasionally individually on a rotating basis during class time.
    ~Supplies ~

    To be prepared, the following items need to be brought to class every day:

    ·               An Instrument, in working order. Percussionists will need a practice pad, a bell kit, and snare sticks and mallet. Rental information is sent home after instrument testing, with a reminder to rent emailed home. If you need additional assistance, please contact Mrs. Keefe (jkeefe@mtsd.us).

    ·               Accessories, such as valve oil, reeds, slide oil, etc. (We will let you know the required accessories for your child's instrument. It is your responsibility to acquire these and replenish as needed. We will help you along the way!)

    ·               Band Lesson book - Essential Elements for Band Book 1 for your child's instrument

    ·               Sheet music and other paperwork, as applicable

    ·               Pencil

    ·               Band Folder - Folders are supplied by LMS. All sheet music and other papers should be kept in this folder and brought back and forth from home)

    Additionally, Clarinet and Saxophone students will need reeds. 
    Both clarinet and saxophone students will begin the year with strength 2.5 reeds, and this will change as they gain more experience. I would suggest purchasing NO MORE than one box of reeds to start, as students may change reed strengths within a few months. As your child is ready to try a new strength, we will let him or her know.
    Since reeds break frequently, I ask that students come to class prepared with at least 3 reeds in good condition.
     What if an instrument breaks? If your child is careful with his or her instrument and maintains the instrument properly, most major problems can be avoided. However, I understand that accidents do happen and that sometimes instruments just break. The first thing to do is to have your child bring the broken instrument to the band faculty in the morning when they arrive at school or as soon as they realize there is a problem. We can fix most problems and if we are unable to fix them, we will advise you on how to solve the problem.

    Students are graded each marking in four areas:

    • Individual Playing Assessments (IPA): Band is a performance class, and students will be assessed throughout each marking period on the music being studied. Playing alone in front of their peers is part of the learning process for each student in this performance class. About 3-5 times per marking period, we will listen to each student play their instrument individually and use a performance rubric to assess them. These assessments can be on concert music, scales, or any other pedagogical skills we work on in class and lessons.


    • Ensemble Skills and Active Engagement: One of our primary goals for beginner ensemble members is to understand that the band works together as a unit - similar to a sports team, to reach the same musical goals. As a result, the greatest portion of the grade for a beginning band student is in their ensemble skills. In this area students show they are working on their own and with the group to help the band achieve it's full potential. In other words, ensemble skills focus on group work and a student’s ability to participate in that group work. If a student is not prepared for class or not participating fully, he/she will have points deducted for that day as this prevents engagement in the ensemble skills necessary.


    • Practice Records: The purpose of the practice record at this grade level is to establish the daily routine of practicing. Students are expected to practice an average of 140 minutes per week (or more accurately 20 minutes per day). This is critical for beginning instrumental students! For tips on effective practicing methods and how not to practice, students should join our Google classroom


    • Graded Concerts or Graded Rehearsals: Concerts are GROUP projects. As such, students must be present to receive credit. One of the most important lessons students will learn in Band is the importance of relying on each other and teamwork. The dress code for the concert is white shirt, black pants/skirt, tie (for boys), and dark shoes. Since a concert is the culmination of our work together, we will also have graded rehearsals several times throughout the year. The focus for these rehearsals is that students work as a group, and actively focus on how they collectively are progressing in their ensemble skillsm and teamwork. Generally, these rehearsals should not feel much different from our regular class rehearsals.  
    To ensure a safe and nurturing learning environment for all of our musicians, please follow these guidelines: bathroom breaks should be taken care of at the beginning or end of class, with the exception of emergencies, to minimize walking through our narrow rows; students must let the teacher know when they need to be excused. Food, beverages, gum, and candy are not allowed in class.  Students are expected to treat each other with respect, and treat their own and others’ instruments with care. If a student needs to be excused from playing in band (i.e.suffered an injury, their instrument is in the repair shop, etc.) they should bring a note of explanation from home, or have the parents contact me by e-mail. Another appropriate assignment will be given on those days. Before and after class, instruments are to be safely kept in the band room, the students’ classrooms, at the labeled tables, or in their lockers. Instruments are not to be left in public areas such as in hallways, locker rooms, etc.