Music Program Grades 4-8
Please refer to current Music Schedule for Days/Times of classes
Beginning Strings–This is a beginning level instrumental group offered to students with NO prior experience. Instruction is offered on the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass. (Guitars are NOT included). Students study using a method book with a few additional fun pieces thrown in! This is the primary level of a tiered program in which students work their way up to Advanced Orchestra in 7th & 8th grade.
Beginning Band—This is typically an “afterschool” group in which students can choose to learn a wind instrument or percussion. These students will also be working towards moving up to Advanced Orchestra. Instruments generally offered in this group: Flute, Clarinet, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone. Percussion is offered on a limited basis and usually begins later in the year.
Intermediate Orchestra–This is the next step after beginning strings or beginning band. This is also a group for those students who have been taking private lessons outside of school and who would like to join a school group. Students learn to sight-read and begin learning orchestral music.
Advanced Orchestra–Although this group is mostly comprised of 7th & 8th graders, it can include qualifying players, 5th-8th grade. If students complete beginning and intermediate orchestra at JCS, they automatically qualify for Advanced. Other students may need to audition to make sure they are ready. This group includes all instruments listed in the Strings and Band.
Piano–We do not offer piano lessons at JCS. For students who would like to play piano for Orchestra or Choir, they need to be taking private lessons and be a strong Sight-reader. Speak to Ms. Arrington for further info.
Choir–Choir is open to all JCS students, 4th – 8th, who have a love of singing and a strong desire to improve their singing and sight-reading skills. It is broken up into two levels: 4th-6th (before school), and 7th/8th (during first or second period).
Practice and Performances
All students enrolled in a music classes at JCS are expected to:
- Practice regularly and turn in signed practice logs each week
- Perform in school concerts (Fall & Spring)
Optional performances include holiday fairs in December, and Graduation in June.
School instruments are available on a “first-come, first-serve” basis.
Local rental program: Redwood Music Mart (707-268-3829) has an affordable rental program with nice instruments. They have a few rentals in the store, but if they have to order one, it can take about a week. You can sign up online through their website. Copy and paste the address below:
Here’s what’s available to students at JCS by grade level:
4th graders: (All 4th will learn recorders as part of regular classroom music program; NO application necessary.)
New this year, 4th are eligible for Choir on Wednesday and Friday mornings (free of charge), AND, they are also welcome to join Beginning Band after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays (there is a fee for this class, as it’s funded by the ASE program).
5th graders: All 5th are eligible to sign up for beginning strings, from which they will eventually move up into Orchestra. 5th are also welcome in Choir and ASE Beginning Band ($). Incoming 5th graders who already study an instrument, may be placed in 2nd year Orchestra.
6th graders: All 6th are eligible for choir, beginning strings, and beginning band (ASE $). Continuing music students will be placed in 2nd year (Intermediate) or Advanced Orchestra, depending on level.
7th & 8th graders: Upper grade music students will miss one day of PE and one day of Homeroom to participate in Choir or Orchestra. During the second week of school, any 7th & 8th are eligible to try choir without making a commitment. By Friday of the second week, students need to make the choice to stay in or drop out. After that, choir students must be committed to the group at least until the end of the trimester. Most students stay in for the entire year.
Returning musicians will be placed in Advanced Orchestra. 7th and 8th graders who are interested in starting an instrument are welcome to join after school beginning band on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays; OR, if they are able to study with a private teacher, I will add them to Orchestra any time they are ready.
Contact me anytime with questions.
I’m looking forward to another awesome and musical year at JCS!
Laura Arrington, K-8 Music Teacher