Why I Chose My Instrument
In late spring, Parkland School District 3rd graders consider what they might play in band or strings in 4th grade. To help our 3rd graders decide, we asked 14 4th and 5th graders to share what motivated them to choose the instrument they are now playing in band and strings. Here's what they said!
There are lots of reasons to join the band at school. One great summary of these reasons is in the article, "18 Benefits of Playing a Musical Instrument." I hope you'll click the link and read it. A video from the TED Talks Series, How Playing a Musical Instrument Benefits Your Brain also makes the case for some GREAT reasons to play a band instrument! Finally, watch the video, Keep Music in Your Life.
Enjoy this video to see and hear each instrument. Which ones do you like most?
Parkland School District offers first-year instrument instruction to 4th graders and second-year instrument instruction to 5th graders. Each spring, instrument choices are shared with 3rd graders in the district via classroom demonstrations and attendance at the 4th grade band concert. 3rd graders also participate in a music listening survey on which students can indicate an interest in playing in band, listing their 1st and 2nd choice of instrument. The band instructor then meets with students individually to confirm their choices (especially if there's a concern with the physical size of the instrument).
An "intent" permission form then goes home for parents to sign if they wish to have their child enroll in the program in 4th grade. The following "Band Instrument Pyramid" illustrates a desirable instrumentation for a school band. Students choosing some of the larger instruments - tenor sax, baritone, tuba, sometimes French horn - will be allowed to rent those instruments from the school district for a very low cost. All other instruments - flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, trombone, snare drum - must be rented independently by parents. If there is a financial concern, contact your building band instructor - we want everyone who is willing to put forth effort to be able to participate.
GETTING AN INSTRUMENT
As a convenience to Parkland families, there is always a meeting for 4th grade band parents (usually the 2nd Wed. of the school year, in the PHS auditorium) at which Zeswtiz Music Co. (877-480-8224) will be available to rent instruments for a reasonable rate on a trial basis. A letter to parents is sent home at the beginning of 4th grade with information about this meeting. Other area stores that rent quality instruments include Nazareth Music Center (Nazareth, PA).
Fun BAND Facts!
- 96% of our nation’s astronauts performed in the fine arts during their school years, including Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Mr. Armstrong was a talented euphonium player in middle and high school band.
- President Ronald Reagan was a trumpet player and was drum major in his high school band.
- President Bill Clinton was a three-year All-State band member on saxophone.
- David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs attributes much of his mental quickness and coordination to the study of keyboard and saxophone.
- National Association of Secondary School Principals reports 66% of all college freshmen drop out after the 1st year. In contrast, 96% of band students graduate from Universities.
- American Medical Association states that the #1 admittance to medical schools are students that majored in music as undergraduates. Pre-med majors are #2.
- It is a fact that music students represent the top of the academic scale in our schools. The national average for the SAT test scores in 2013 was 1498, the average for Texas was 1437, and the average for the Texas All-State Band was 1906.
- Commitment in an extra-curricular activity through the senior year is at the top of the list of admission criteria into most major universities.
JOINING IN 5th GRADE
Parkland's program is configured to instruct 2nd-year players in 5th grade. Generally, because of staffing and scheduling limitations, we do not offer beginning instruction to 5th graders. However, if a 5th grader is interested in playing a needed instrument that can add value to the program, the instructor may try to specially arrange for lessons during recess, after school, etc. if the parents are interested. 5th graders may pursue private lessons outside of school on any instrument. After a period of private instruction it is likely that the student can then be "folded" into the 5th grade school band program. Contact your building's band instructor for more info. Here is a list of area private instructors (click here).