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Band & Orchestra

Band students with horns

Band and orchestra are performance-oriented classes.  The bands and orchestras each perform at least two formal concerts each year, with opportunities for individual students to participate in district, regional, and state music festivals.  

In band and orchestra, students learn the fundamentals of music through the study and performance of a variety of musical styles.  Emphasis is not only on learning to play an instrument, but on the development of the following qualities:  mental and physical self-discipline, good listening and music reading skills, creative self-expression, self respect and self confidence, cooperation and teamwork, responsibility, and leadership.  Another primary goal of the Twin Peaks program is to prepare students for entrance into the intermediate and advanced band and orchestras at the middle school, as MUSD middle schools do not have beginning band or orchestra classes. 

Band and orchestra are taught separately in a large group (not individual) format. The classes meet for two 45-minute classes twice a week.  Sixth graders that are beginners need to progress at a more rapid pace since the majority of students in their group began in fifth grade.  All students in band or orchestra need to practice regularly to make the progress necessary to match the pace of the instruction and develop the proficiency needed to enjoy the experience. Students must acquire their own instruments and purchase method books specific to their band or orchestra class.  There is an informational meeting for parents and students at the beginning of the school year at which the band and orchestra programs are explained in greater detail. 

Although participation in the band and orchestra is open to all fifth and sixth graders, it should be emphasized that becoming an excellent clarinetist or cellist does not happen overnight, or even in a few weeks. Developing any skill of lasting benefit and joy takes a commitment of time and energy, but rest assured that commitment will pay off in the long run.  Music is something to be experienced and enjoyed throughout one’s entire life, and being able to take out an instrument and play with friends and family is one of the best ways to do it!