Steve Hancock Written by  Aug 22, 2015

PDS Launches Band for 5th and 6th Grade for 2015-2016 School Year

Presbyterian Day School will begin teaching band instruments to all interested fifth and sixth grade students. The program is designed to give our boys the opportunity to experience making music and to begin a lifelong love of instrumental music. Much has been written about the connection between music and brain development, success in school and success in life. We don’t want our students to miss out on this great opportunity.

Band will be offered twice each week in two different settings.

Small Group Instruction: students will be placed in a small group instructional setting with no more than four students in a group. Students will learn basic techniques of the instrument, how to read music, and how to create a beautiful sound. These lessons will take place during the school day.

Large Group Instruction: our band will meet between 3:15 and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays. There will be no conflicts for any boys who participate in athletics - including our Crusader teams. The large group meeting is designed to help the boys learn to follow a conductor, play in a large group, and to learn some exciting music.

Here are a few frequently asked questions:

What instruments are offered?

We will be offering the following instruments:

Flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, french horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba and percussion

What is the cost to join the band?

Parents will need to rent an instrument from a local company. These costs will vary based on the instrument chosen. In general, the bigger the instrument the higher the rent. There will be a $40.00 technology fee to provide a practice aid on each boys computer. There is no cost for any of the instruction. If renting an instrument causes a hardship for your family, please contact Jan Conder, Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid.

How will I know which is the right instrument for me?

During the first several weeks of school we will give all boys the opportunity to try all of the instruments. Together, we will decide on which instrument is best suited for each student. A band can’t be made up of 40 flutes and a trumpet. So, we will look carefully at the instrumentation to develop a balanced band.

Can I join in the winter?

No, playing in the band is a year-long commitment. Learning to play an instrument takes time and patience. These skills can only be developed with consistency of instruction and practice.

My son wants to play drum set. Is this one of the instruments offered?

Students learning to play percussion will eventually learn to play drum set. However, in the beginning we will focus on snare drum technique and orchestral bells. The bells will help our boys learn to read music and develop mallet techniques. Percussionists will learn how to play many different instruments. Remember, not every one can play percussion as we will need a balanced band.

My younger son wants to join the band. Is this possible?

No. Our many years of experience tell us that fifth and sixth grade is the perfect time to start band instruments. The wind and brass instruments do not come in smaller sizes (as do the string instruments). Students need to be a certain size for success on these instruments.

Who will be teaching the band?

Stephanie Hancock has agreed to teach the band at PDS next year. Stephanie comes to us with nearly 20 years of experience teaching band to students in grades 5–12. She has a particular passion for starting students on wind, brass, and percussion instruments. Her students have gone on to do amazing things and she is excited to work with the PDS boys.

What about the string players?

We realize there are several string players at PDS who take lessons outside of school. Mr. Hancock will be bringing these students together this year to help create a small string ensemble. Stay tuned for more information.

We will be having a parents meeting in September for anyone interested in learning more about the band program. If you have additional questions, please contact Stephanie Hancock.

We are very excited to be developing a band at PDS and hope that many boys will decide to participate in the exciting program.

 

Update August 24, 2015

Dear Parents of 5th and 6th Grade Students,

It is an exciting time for the boys as they contemplate the new opportunities that are available to them this year. One of these exciting offerings is the addition of a band program here at PDS. The program is designed to give our boys the opportunity to experience making music and to begin a lifelong love of instrumental music. Much has been written about the connection between music and brain development, success in school and success in life. Learning to play an instrument will be a wonderful extension of what they have already learned in their music classes here at school. 


Students in the Band program will meet two times each week in the following settings:

  • Small Group Instruction: Students will be placed in a small group with no more than four students. Students will learn basic techniques of the instrument, how to read music, and how to create a beautiful sound. These lessons will take place during the school day.
  • Large Group Instruction: Our band will meet between 3:15 and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays. There will be no conflicts for any boys who participate in athletics - including our Crusader teams. The large group meeting is designed to help the boys learn to follow a conductor, play in a large group, and to learn some exciting music.

On Monday, all 5th and 6th graders attended a presentation to introduce them to the various instruments that will be offered in our Beginning Band and to learn about how the program will be structured.

As a follow-up to the introductory presentation, all boys will be given the opportunity to try several instruments with Mrs. Hancock. This process will take place over the span of two weeks, from August 26 - September 9. At the conclusion of this Instrument Discovery process, I will send home additional information that will aid you in your decision as to whether your son will join the band at PDS, and also about which instrument(s) seem to be the best fit for your child.

Registration for band will take place during the week of September 14. To give you as much information as possible before making a commitment to this program, interested parents may attend a Parent Information Meeting on Tuesday, Sept 15 at 8:00 AM in Room E–111. While this meeting is not mandatory, it will help us to start the band year smoothly and address any questions that you may have.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me for more information or clarification. I am already looking forward to the wonderful music that we will make together this year!

Sincerely,
Stephanie Hancock
PDS Band stephaniehancock@pdsmemphis.org

Steve Hancock

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Presbyterian Day School
4025 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111• 901-842-4600 Contact Us

 

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Presbyterian Day School (PDS) is a private, Christian preschool and elementary school serving 500 boys from 2-years-old through 6th grade.

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