Beginning Band

Course Description

Beginning Band is a beginning instrumental program in which all 5th and 6th grade students participate. Students may select from a variety of instruments. The band practices four days per week and performs twice during the year. The class provides students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge of music and skills as a musician, and to experience being part of a full band. Daily rehearsals and sectionals contribute to technical and artistic development, while consistently working through the band methods book. School concerts provide the students with opportunities to perform. Daily practice at home is required.

There is a Q & A section at the end of this page.


  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • Bass
  • Clarinet
  • Alto Saxophone
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • French Horn
  • Trombone
  • Baritone (Euphonium)
  • Tuba
  • Percussion (all percussion instruments)

Required Performances

Christmas Concert Spring Concert

Application of Learning  The student will be presented with new music and musical techniques each quarter. The student will apply these techniques to the music as well as learning the pitches, rhythms, and styles of the music. Techniques will include posture, breathing, articulation, blending, tone, and others as needed.

Books and Materials  Standard of Excellence methods book - The student will be issued a Standard of Excellence methods book to use for the duration of the year. The book will coincide with your particular instrument and will be numbered. The student is expected to maintain the book in the condition in which it was issued, or s/he will be required to replace it. This also means that all marks should have been made in pencil and erased prior to turning the book back in.

Folders  The student will be issued a folder to keep their music in. It is theirs to keep; however, they need to take care of it since it is merely paper. Normal wear and tear on the folder will be tolerated to a certain extent as decided by the instructor. Should they lose the folder or damage it beyond repair, they will be charged a $1.00 replacement fee.

Various sheet music  The student may be issued sheet music for various pieces that we will be performing throughout the year. The music will coincide with their particular instrument and will be numbered. Students are expected to maintain the music in the condition in which it was issued, or they will be required to replace it. This also means that all marks should have been made in pencil and erased prior to turning music back in.

Instruments  Each student is encouraged to rent or purchase their own instrument. A wonderful rent-to-own opportunity is available for Horizon students for this purpose. If you are not able to obtain your own instrument, Horizon has a limited number of instruments available for rental through the school. All students will be expected to bring their respective instrument to and from school each band day.

Grading Policies  A quarterly grade will consist of concert attendance (if applicable), participation in rehearsals, application of learned music and techniques, practicing, and tests or quizzes at the instructor's discretion. Approximate grade breakdown is as follows: daily participation and concerts 25%, practice 25%, skills and technique (assigned playing tests) 25%, and overall progress 25%.

Expectations  Nothing will help a student develop skill and musicianship more than regular practice. As a result, students are expected to participate in rehearsals, which means they need to have their instrument and music with them every band day (Monday through Thursday). Each student is also expected to practice their instrument at home 50 minutes per week during the first semester and 75 minutes per week during the second semester. The student is required to fill out a practice record, which their parent must sign, that reflects these practice times. Practice records are due each MONDAY.

Attendance  Classroom and Concerts Please refer to the school policies on absences and tardies for detailed information. Absences and tardies in excess of school policy may result in a grade reduction.

The student is part of a very important ensemble. EVERY concert will be considered mandatory. If you have a personal matter that arises and you cannot attend, PRIOR arrangements must be made with the director, and the student will be required to complete a make-up assignment. We must act as a team, and when one player is missing, the team does not play as well.

Back to top

Questions and Answers

When does beginning band meet? The Beginning Band currently meets four days a week (Monday - Thursday) from 1:15 to 2:05 pm. Note: This time is subject to change each school year.

Does Horizon provide the instruments to play? Horizon has instruments for the students to rent, but they are not provided free of charge. There is a $10.00 monthly fee for school instruments and the student's family is responsible for the repair and maintenance of that instrument during that time. We recommend, however, that each student obtain their own instrument, or rent his or her own instrument from Gorge Community Music in The Dalles, Oregon. Gorge Community Music is very helpful in providing our students with excellent quality instruments at a reasonable price, and they have a rent-to-own program.

Is there a rental program available? Gorge Community Music The Dalles, Oregon provides an excellent rent-to-own instrument program. This rent-to-own system includes general maintenance of the instrument.

Are there concerts that my child will participate in? Yes. There are at least two concerts that the band will perform in throughout the school year. The dates are set by the beginning of the school year and attendance at these concerts if considered mandatory. If a special concert is added and short notice is given, attendance may be optional. Please speak with the band director about this if you have a conflict. We like to give the students adequate opportunities to apply what they are learning in class as well as be able to bless an audience with the talents God has given them. Generally, there is a Christmas concert and a final concert just before the end of the school year.

How do I acquire an instrument? We want all of our 5th and 6th graders to have the experience of learning to play a band instrument and expanding their knowledge of and interest in music. There will be a "Band Night" early in the school year to provide details about the band program hear why we think it’s so important for students to learn to play an instrument. A representative from Gorge Community Music will be there to answer questions about instrument rental, as well as to provide instruments for rent and accessories for sale (reeds, cleaning kits, neck straps, etc.).

Back to top