Welcome! The beginning orchestra and band programs at the elementary level are exciting opportunities for students to learn to play instruments in both the small group and large ensemble settings. Orchestra instruments include: violin, viola, cello, and bass. Band instruments include: flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, or baritone. This can be the beginning of a very rewarding experience lasting throughout the school years in the Pottsgrove District and beyond. Playing an instrument can truly be a lifelong experience.
In this packet you will find all the information you need to know for your child to have a successful and meaningful experience in the band and orchestra programs here at Lower Pottsgrove.
**Please read this letter and sign the back page, and return to Mr. Weyman or Mrs. Hyde.**
Lessons The music program works on a rotation schedule. Small group lessons are held during the school day on a rotating basis. Students will have a lesson on the same day (1 through 6) but the time of the lesson will rotate each week so that the same block of instructional time is not missed twice. There are no recess lessons. The instrumental music program follows the same six-day cycle as specials do (art, gym, music, health, computer.) Both Mrs. Hyde and Mr. Weyman teach stringed and band instrument lessons.
Rehearsals Large group rehearsals take place before the school day begins. These large group rehearsals are essential for putting all of the instruments together at the same time, thus forming an ensemble. **Please make every effort to attend these rehearsals. Too many missed rehearsals could prevent participation in the concerts. We cannot have a high quality ensemble without attendance at these full rehearsals**
Rehearsals will be held from 8-8:50 on the following days:
Advanced orchestra and advanced band rehearsals will start the week of October 20th and run through the first week of December. They will begin again mid March and continue until the concerts in May. Beginning orchestra and beginning band rehearsals will be held in mid December and January in the weeks leading up to the concert on January 26th.
Advanced Band-please mark this date on your calendar now!
Monday, November 24th, 6-7:30pm – rehearsal during conferences (room 14, LPES).
Advanced Orchestra- please mark this date on your calendar now!
Tuesday, November 25th, 6-7:30pm – rehearsal during conferences (room 14, LPES)
Ensembles Beginning Orchestra: This group is for students who have had less than 1 year of experience. These students have started lessons during the 2014-2015 school year. Focus is on basic note reading and bowing on the D and A strings.
Advanced Orchestra: This group is for students who have completed at least 1 year of lessons. Focus is on more challenging music and more varied musical concepts.
Beginning Band: These are 1st year beginning students and perhaps some 2nd year students that may not be ready for Advanced Band. We focus on the beginning 5 or 6 pitches, and combined with the basic 3 or 4 rhythms.
Advanced Band: This group comprises of 2nd year band students and later in the year, some accelerated first year students. We will be rehearsing more challenging music containing more complex pitches and rhythms. This is a special group that not only plays exciting music and also is an important step in preparation for the middle school band program.
Each ensemble will hold two evening concerts during the school year.
The concert is the culminating activity that shows off the hard work and dedication of your child throughout the school year.
**All orchestra and band members are required to attend their respective concerts. Students must attend both concerts in order to participate in all end of year activities including the music carnival, recruitment assemblies, etc.**
SPRING ORCHESTRA CONCERT- MONDAY MAY 11th, 7:30pm, Middle School Auditorium
Beginning and Advanced Orchestra
SPRING BAND CONCERT – MONDAY, MAY 18th, 7:30pm, Middle School Auditorium
Beginning and Advanced Bands
Dress Rehearsals: During the school day, usually the day before the concert, all students will be bussed to the middle school for an important final rehearsal. At this time students learn where their seats are on the middle school stage, play and and get familiar with the acoustics of the stage, and they rehearse the concert music. Students will pack a lunch and eat at the middle school that day. Dress rehearsal attendance is required to participate in the concert.
**Concert Attire:White button down shirt, long tie (boys), black pants (no skirts please), black socks, and black shoes (no sneakers). This attire is for our evening concerts.
PRACTICE AT HOME Practice at home is essential for success on an instrument. Students need to be patient and diligent with their practice. 60 minutes of practice per week is required for all instrumental students. A practice record is provided to fill out weekly practice minutes. At the end of each week a parent should initial the week’s practice record. If a student practices 70 or more minutes within a week then a student can get a small prize from our prize box in the music room.
Consistent daily practice should be in a quiet place without any distractions
Practice for a short amount of time each day (10 minutes) rather than an extended amount of time on only one or two days per week.
Practice small parts of the music at a time and fix the mistakes. Do not play the same thing over and over and over making the same mistakes each time.
Parents- Please ENCOURAGE your child! Listen to a song and ask your child what he/she is learning in lessons.
Pottsgrove Music League: The music league is a parent group that supports all music programs at all levels in the Pottsgrove School District. There are many volunteer opportunities within this organization. This organization provided for and debuted new tshirts for all students in the music program last year. Please email Dee Gallion, Music League President, if you would like to get involved and volunteer. firstname.lastname@example.org Music department t-shirts will once again be available to all new members for $5, thanks to our music league. These t-shirts are worn at performances during the school day, at dress rehearsals, and at various other music functions.
Communication Email is the main form of communication for rehearsal and concert reminders, and any other information that need to go out through the school year.
*Please make sure to fill out the music group membership form on our webpages.Follow one of these links to do so:
Mrs. Hyde: http://www.pgsd.org/Page/2765
Mr. Weyman: http://www.pgsd.org/Page/2748 Please check our websites for updated information and please email us with any questions or concerns. We look forward to a great year in band and orchestra!
Kristen Hyde Darrell Weyman
Elementary Orchestra Director Elementary Band Director