Band at the Elementary Level
Albert S. Hall School, Waterville
Music is valued here in Waterville - as is evidenced by our schedule:
4th grade - all students receive 30 minutes of general music each week, 30 minutes 1/2 a year of violin exploratory, 1/2 a year of recorder so every 4th grader gets 1 hour of music a week.
5th grade - at the beginning of the year we have all three programs band, chorus and strings host an assembly for all 5th graders and high school students demonstrate - we talk about the importance of music and we talk about the work it takes and that many athletes take part in our programs.
5th grade students - all receive 30 minutes of general music each week. If a student is in band or strings they receive an additional 30 minutes of lessons (heterogeneous grouping by classroom) plus 25 minutes of large ensemble - chorus meets for those 25 minutes as well.
The attached schedule - Pink/Alberts is the general music teacher and recorder and chorus, Beacham is the strings specialist and Barre is band. Two out of three teachers travel to two other schools. Click HERE to view the schedule.
The key to success is team work between the music programs and with the administration. Together we accomplish more.
Andover Elementary School, Andover
Up here in Andover our music teacher is here all day on Fridays. 4th & 5th graders spend time throughout the morning either in individual/group lessons or as a band. The total time usually equals about 2.5 hours. I structure my morning as a catch up day or study hall to work with kids in what they need to finish or catch up on. I know we have a rather unique situation so I get that what we do won't fit everyone. I'm lucky in that all my students are interested and engaged in band!
Etna-Dixmont School, Etna
At EDS we have third grade music one half hour a week and recorder one half hour a week which really supports reading music and playing together. They use “Recorder Karate” and we supply recorders that are left at school however the students can also buy their own for home.
Fourth grade has band one day a week during the last period of the day. The students have lessons for a half hour each week and we group them by winds, brass, and percussion. The lessons are pull out and arranged with the teacher so it is least disruptive.
Fort Street Elementary School, Mars Hill
We have band and chorus at our pK-6 school. We share both the band teacher (who is also the technology coordinator) and the music/chorus teacher with the junior/ senior high school. All students, pK-6, are exposed to music, and we have a 5/6 grade band class.
The music/chorus teacher teaches at the elementary school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays all day long, and the band teacher teaches on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the last period of the day.
This quote is from an article that I read in ASCD Smartbrief:
What Types of Sound Experiences Enable Children to Learn Best?
Encourage children to play a musical instrument. “There is an explicit link between making music and strengthening language skills, so that keeping music education at the center of curricula can pay big dividends for children’s cognitive, emotional, and educational health,” Kraus said. Two years of music instruction in elementary and even secondary school can trigger biological changes in how the brain processes sound, which in turn affects language development. https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/11/28/what-types-of-sound-experiences-enable-children-to-learn-best/
Hamlin (Teresa C.) School, Randolph
I have a tiny elementary school. The band teacher (who serves multiple schools in the system) comes to my building one day a week (10:00 - 2:00) and works with the 5th grade students in my school. Concerts are a combination of two schools because of the small numbers.
Harriet Beecher Stowe School, Brunswick
Our beginner band program (5th grade) at Harriet Beecher Stowe School in Brunswick takes place outside of the school day. The music teachers teach at the elementary level, but are on the Junior High schedule, beginning an hour before the rest of the school, and getting done an hour early.
Band is held before school, from 8:00-8:40 (although the “band bus” arrives at 7:45). Students may be dropped off, walk to school, or take the Junior High/High School bus from their neighborhood. This kind of schedule cannot succeed without strong parental support.
We have two music teachers, each taking one section in groups of like-instruments. We hold lessons once per week for each instrument for the first half of the year, and then transition to sectionals on one day and full band on another. Groups this year range in numbers from 7 percussionists to 18 trumpets. Color instruments (oboe, French horn, etc.) are taught individually until they can transition into one of the other sections.
Interest in the band program is high because our Junior High and High School programs are very strong and well-regarded. Students WANT to be part of the older ensembles. In addition, both the JH and HS have many extra-curricular programs (Jazz groups, wind ensembles, etc.) that draw large numbers of students. The last performance of the school year for the 5th graders is part of the All-Town Concert (grades 5-12) and that is when the families see the progression from beginners to strong high schoolers, and that helps solidify their desire to keep their children in the program.
James H. Bean School, Sidney
We stopped offering band at our elementary school when the 6th grade moved to the middle school. We do offer chorus for 5th graders only ... and on a volunteer basis. That is provided 50 minutes once a week.
Line Elementary and Shapleigh Memorial Schools, West Newfield and Shapleigh (respectfully)
We just started 5th grade band back up in RSU 57. We have 5 elementary schools and this is done outside of the school day by having children bussed to the high school once per week (3 schools one day and 2 schools another day). We provide a bus ride to the high school and parents then pick the children up after band has ended. The high school band director (with some high school students) runs this after school program.
This is what we have done as a district this year to begin to bring band back. I have attached a copy of what we sent to parents at the start of the program this year if you wanted to share it. Click HERE to view a copy of the letter.
Sebago Elementary School, Sebago
In SAD 61, we rotate the schedule weekly. This allows students to get a weekly lesson without missing the same subject each week. Teachers are expected to help students catch up on what they missed when they were out of the classroom.
We currently offer it to only 4th and 5th grade students. I'd like to open it up to 3rd graders, especially when you consider how much they love playing their recorders.
The full band practices happen during recess once a week. In the beginning, 1st year students meet one week and then 2nd year students meet the following week. Once concert time comes around, they will both meet to practice their shared songs.
Spruce Mountain Primary, Livermore
We recently changed to a Primary School and the schedule is attached. However as an Elementary School, we simply rotated Band as a Unified Arts class. We did get creative as the teacher was shared between other buildings.
Click HERE to view a copy of their current schedule.
Stevens Brook Elementary School, Bridgeton
Our band program is for students in grades 4 and 5. Students take 30-minute instrument lessons in groups by instrument and grade - i.e. all 4th-grade flutes, 5th grade flutes, 4th-grade sax, 5th-grade sax, etc. The lessons are over the course of a day and a half and are on a rotating schedule so that students don't miss the same classroom lesson repeatedly. Band practice is during recess.
Van Buren School, Van Buren
In Van Buren are a PreK-12 school, all in one building, and we share our special teachers over all grades.
For Grades K-4, we offer only classroom music and these classes are split between art and music.
For Grades 5, we split and 1/2 go to art and the other 1/2 go to band. We do this twice a week. One day I take strings and piano and the other days I take percussion and winds. Then the classroom teacher splits the class so we can have 1/2 class go to chorus and the other stays with classroom teacher, and then the other day I take the non-choir students and classroom teacher works with the other 1/2.
Grades 6-8, we split 1/2 class with art and music one day a week and the other day we split art and band. All, students have either band or music and all students have art. The only problem with this set up is there is no full band for beginners (grade 5) and for intermediate (grade 6-8) and there is no sectional or lesson time other than the 1/2 classes. Makes it challenging.