Primary Grades Band & Orchestra

Students are expected to commit to consistent, individual practice of at least 100 Minutes per week. Establishing good practice habits early in instrumental music reinforces technique learned in the weekly lesson and establishes a foundation upon which new techniques can be more easily learned. The lack of a consistent practice regimen can result in lack of progress and could cause the student to feel unsuccessful.

Students are encouraged to either rent or purchase an instrument from a local retailer, as Lake Harriet's instrument inventory is VERY limited. Instruments are available from the school for a modest rental fee.

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Beginning Band is intended for beginning students (4th or 5th Grade) interested in learning a wind band instrument (brass, woodwind or percussion) — no prior experience is necessary! Each student will receive a 30-minute lesson once per week, as well as, participate in an ensemble. Students will be taught everything they need to know about playing their instrument, including care, music reading, and making a beautiful sound!

Dragon Band is a continuation of Beginning Band consisting of mostly 5th grade students. Students in this ensemble will receive a 30-minute small group lesson once per week as well as participate in the ensemble. Dragon Band is designed for students who have participated for students who have completed Beginning Band and/or have equivalent experience in private lessons or other group instruction.

Prelude Strings is intended for beginning students (4th or 5th Grade) interested in learning a string instrument (violin, viola, cello or bass) — no prior experience is necessary! Each student will receive a 30-minute lesson once per week, as well as, participate in an ensemble. Students will be taught everything they need to know about playing their instrument, including care, music reading, and making a beautiful sound!

Overture Strings is a continuation of Prelude Strings class. Students in this ensemble will receive a 30-minute small group lesson once per week as well as participate in the ensemble. Overture Strings is designed for students who have participated for one year in Prelude Strings or have equivalent experience in private lessons or other group instruction.

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Curriculum, Progress, & Grading

Students are assessed by a variety of means, in a variety of contexts. The primary emphasis of the courses are developing a solid technical and aesthetic foundation so students learn the skills necessary to perform, create and respond to music in a sensitive and reflexive manner.  Repertoire is chosen from a wide variety of musical styles with a strong emphasis on the "classics" and American music.

Four quarterly units will be studied, as defined by MPS Focused Instruction. Units covered will happen concurrently and chronologically. The curriculum is cumulative and cyclical in nature, spiraling into deeper focus as more experience is gained. To put it another way, as knowledge and ability are gained we continue adding layers to our musical “cake” emphasizing different aspects for assessment each quarter. Units include: Foundation for Performance, Music Theory, Create-Perform-Respond, and Ensemble Playing.