Instrumental Music Students will have concerts during the year.
Our first concert is a very casual daytime performance. Students will memorize one or two songs to play for younger students called “caroling”.
The second concert is an Area Music Festival, which is a very large evening event for families, and it is always a favorite.
The third concert is a smaller evening concert for the Westwood community, music families, and their guests.
These concerts are free to attend. Students are also encouraged to perform mini recitals at home for family, which can also include online chats with loved ones who live far away.
The Instrumental Music program is a district-wide program for 5th graders who wish to learn how to play a musical instrument. No previous experience needed! Classes are offered during the school day. The main instrument choices are: flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, violin, and cello. Enrollment is during the first few weeks of the school year and this course runs for the whole year, so students are challenged to practice perseverance and dedication. There is just one 45-minute lesson each week! Students are encouraged to practice for approximately 10-15 minutes each evening at home to work on their new skills and the songs for that lesson.
As students progress, they master specific songs and exercises to earn a music belt, much like the karate belt system, except this belt is a colored sticker. There are nine colors, with the black belt being the last lesson in the book. Students work on reading rhythms and notation, coordination, fine motor skills, listening skills, making a beautiful sound/tone, working with classmates as a team, watching/following the conductor, and more!
Middle and high schools in MDUSD offer instrumental music as an elective, so students who participate in this 5th grade program can continue their skills beyond elementary school!
Mrs. Ashford has a newsletter on her website homepage with timely tips and information for music families. Learning to play an instrument isn’t easy, but it’s worth it!