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Beginning 5th Grade Information 

Dear 5th Grade Families,


We are well on our way to getting 5th grade band classes up and going!  A couple of informational items to get everyone started:


1. We plan to begin classes on Monday, August 28th.  Classes will be separated into smaller sections to begin with two separate classes each day.  Fridays will be everyone for the entire band hour.  I have attached the schedule in a pdf.  Students only need to bring their instrument to school on the days that they are scheduled to have band class.


2. It is not too late to join band!  If your student missed tryouts or displays and they are still interested, we would love to have them come talk to us!  We would like to come by the classes maybe one more time to give some final reminders before classes start next week.  That would also be a great time if any students still want to join.


3. If your family has any financial issues getting an instrument or materials, please let us know! We do not want finances to ever keep a kid from being involved in instrumental music. While the student may not get their first choice of instrument, we are very willing to work some sort of arrangement out with students/families that are serious about wanting to be a part of the band program.  We have for sure openings on district instruments for baritones and tubas.


Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  We are excited to start a new group of band kids in the Valley Center Band Program!

VCIS 5th Grade Band Class


(30 minute class sessions)



















5th Grade Band Method Books





2023-2024 Concert Schedule: 

  • Monday, Nov. 6th, 2023

  • Wednesday, February 21st, 2024

  • Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

Proper attire for concerts: ("Sunday's Best") 

  • Young Men- Dress Slacks or Khakis and Nice Shirt. We would like to keep away from Athletic Shoes and Jeans if possible. If there are issues we ask the students to communicate that to us. 

  • Young Ladies- Dress, Dress Slacks or Skirt with a Nice Shirt or Blouse. Nice Shoes. 


The next performance for the 5th & 6th Grade Bands will be Feb. 21st at 7pm in the VCMS Gym !! Report Time for students will be at 6:30pm with Sunday's Best Attire as specified in the 5th Grade Band Information from the beginning of the year. 

5th Grade Band Information: 


5th Grade Band Parents- Band This will be based this much on the standards that are now used in the Intermediate grades. 


4 areas of content:


Weekly Attendance w/instrument-book: Exceed/Meeting Standard/Progressing/Not Meeting Standard. Currently we are needing band students to make stand tags with their names to help us take accurate attendance. 


Outside of class Home Practice: (Use of Practice Reports discussed during class.) 

  • 75 minutes per week or above=Exceed

  • 60-74 minutes per week=Meeting Standard

  • 59-40 minutes per week= Progressing

  • 39-below minutes per week= Not Meeting Standard


Attitude/Participation: Exceed/Meeting Standard/Progressing/Not Meeting Standard. 


Performance: Exceed or Not Meeting Standard


Between Thanksgivning to Christmas 1st Semester:

The other area will be putting bigger groups together. Two instructors will be in front of the full group while the other will maintain sectionals from the group meeting that day. 

5th Grade Sectionals.JPG
Traditions of Excellence.jpg
Count Me In Rhythm Book Pix.jpg

5th Grade Band Announcements




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. 2nd. The dates for this first practice card is from Monday, Oct.2nd -Sunday, Oct. 8th.

  • 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  for a MINIMUM of 75 minutes per week (or some combination that equals 75. Minutes exceeding will go in a extra credit. 

  • 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 75 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. 


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.


Thanks, Valley Center Band Staff

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