VCIS 5th Grade Band Class 2:15-2:45pm

2019 1st Semester Sectional Schedule

  • Monday: Flute/Percussion Sectionals

  • Tuesday: Trumpet/Trombone Sectionals

  • Wednesday: Clarinet/Saxophone Sectionals

  • Thursday: Flutes/Trombone/Percussion Sectionals

  • Friday: Clarinets/Saxophone/Trumpet Sectionals




Dear Parents:


It's almost time for our first 5th grade band concert next Tuesday, November 5th at 7:00 in the VCMS Gym. Report time for that night will be at 6:30 in the VCMS Gym. They will want to check in with a high school student for attendance-this is very important!!!! We're actually taking more of a show and tell approach this year, as we've structured band class quite differently this year. Just to give you an idea of what we're planning, each individual section will be featured in a short one or two minute demonstration of what they've been working on. The whole band will demonstrate some of the rhythmic knowledge they've learned, as well as the notes they have learned so far. To finish off the 5th grade portion of the concert, we plan to invite parents (or grandparents, or aunts/uncles...whomever is there to support your student) up to where your student is sitting, where you will trade places and let your student teach you how to hold their instrument and how to blow into it and make a sound. This will be fairly informal, as far as events go, but will hopefully give you some insight into band class, as well as give students a chance to teach someone else what they've learned. Following the 5th grade portion of the concert, 6th grade band will perform three short pieces. As a note, the 5th grade band students ARE expected to stay and listen to the 6th grade. Failure to do so will result in a grade deduction.


Few things to make note of:

  • Concerts are a required part of the band grade. Failure to attend will result in a 0 (as noted on the band agreement forms signed at the beginning of the year).

  • Dress for the concert in what we call "Sunday's best." That means no jeans, t-shirts, tennis shoes, flip flops, etc. Examples of appropriate wear are polos, slacks, sweaters, button down shirts, skirts/dresses, khakis. Leggings need to be worn underneath dresses, skirts, or tunic tops...please do not wear leggings as pants. 

  • The whole concert (5th and 6th grade) should be over no later than 7:45, and may very well be done quite a bit sooner than that.


If you have any questions, please let us know. We look forward to seeing you next Tuesday, November 5th!!

Amanda and Jan



5th Grade Band Method Book

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Dear Parents,


We're off and running in the 5th grade band-we know that many of you are wondering why the kids only know one or two notes in some cases-we promise that it's all part of the process, and ask you to trust us. It will start progressing much more quickly, especially with the start of practice cards, which is the purpose of this email. This is a long message but contains a lot of important information, so please take the time to read through to the end.


This note is to let you know that today and tomorrow in class, ALL students will receive a copy of the practice card that we use in 5th grade band. Normally students will be responsible for picking up their own, but this first time we will make sure that each student receives one. Here is what you need to know regarding practice cards:

  • Example Practice Card -click the link to view a sample practice card.

  • Practice cards ALWAYS go from Monday-Sunday. The practice card that your student receives today is what they will use starting on Monday, Oct. 28th. The dates for this first practice card is from Monday, Oct. 28-Sunday, Nov. 3.

  • Students will always turn in their practice cards to their individual folders on Monday, even if they don't have band that day, and pick up a new card at the same time. The reason for this is that after Christmas, we WILL have band every single day, and we want them to already be in the habit of turning in cards and picking them up on Monday.

  • Students are asked to practice 20 minutes per night, for a MINIMUM of 100 minutes per week (or some combination that equals 100. 100 minutes will get them a total of 25/25 points). 

  • At this point, students really SHOULDN'T practice more than 20 minutes at one time, as fatigue and short attention spans can set in, and do more harm than good. Please don't allow your student to wait until Sunday to try and get in all 100 minutes, as that does not reinforce the concepts we are working on.

  • See attachment for an example practice card-please help your student fill them out until they get used to the process.

  • The parent signature MUST be present in order to receive a grade-it serves as our verification that a student is actually doing the time indicated. 


Practice cards are worth 25 points a week, but be aware that it only takes missing a few for those points to add up. They also jump up to 50 points a week in 7th grade, so it's important for band students to develop good practicing habits now! 


Here are a few practicing tips that will help ensure successful habits develop:

1. Students should practice at the same time and in the same spot every day. Please try to have the student practice in a place that encourages good posture (i.e. not their bed or a couch/recliner). They should also make every effort to use a music stand, instead of looking down at a table or flat surface. This inhibits breathing, and also can make it difficult to produce a good sound.

2. Students will always have an assignment to be working on. This assignment is given during class time, and all concepts will be gone over in class before the assignment is given. We also have playing tests, which are marked in the book. These are good benchmarks and progress indicators.

3. Students should follow the steps we use in class to learn lines. We always clap and count first, say note names and "air finger," then we sizzle and air finger, then they can play the line. Brass are also encouraged to "buzz" their pitches and notes before playing. Feel free to ask for a demonstration from your student about these steps. Your involvement and encouragement can go a long way in a student's overall involvement and commitment.  

4. It's better to practice things slowly and fix mistakes as they go along, rather than to rush through and learn something the wrong way!


Hopefully this helps to explain how the practice cards work. If you have any questions, please let us know. Just a reminder, our first concert is in two weeks in the Middle School gym on Nov. 5th at 7:00pm. We will have more information regarding the concert at a later date.



Amanda and Jan