We are very proud of our St. Luke School Band program. Every child in grades 1 through 8 has an opportunity to learn the violin, with Grades 3 through 8 having the opportunity to join the band. For band, they may choose the following instruments: flute, trumpet, clarinet, trombone, saxophone, bells, and drums. The band and violin lessons are held after school. Two concerts are held each year, at Christmas time and in the Spring. Instruction is provided by Paul Effman Music Service.
A recruitment assembly is scheduled in September. At that time, students and parents receive all information regarding the program. Students (grades 1-8) interested in playing an instrument receive lessons in small groups. The service provides highly trained educators along with a skilled manager to regularly oversee the program. Instruments are available through a rental or purchase program at rates substantially below market.
THE INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC PROGRAM
In September, your child will have the opportunity to join the school instrumental music program. Students will see and hear the instruments at a school assembly in the fall. Your child will come home with all of the information necessary to join the program and obtain an instrument.
Why is instrumental music important?
Although some view instrumental music as simply another club, it is much more than that. Learning to play a musical instrument and performing in the school instrumental music program provides students with tangible evidence that hard work and dedication pay off.
- Instrumental music students average higher scores on SAT tests than other members of the student body.
- In a 1999 Columbia University study, students in music were found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident, and better able to express their ideas.
- College admissions officers cite participation in music programs as an important factor in making admissions decisions.
- Instrumental music is an investment in your child's future. The most common remark from parents following a wonderful school concert is, “I wish my parents would have encouraged me to play an instrument and stick with it.”
Various rental and purchase options will be available to you. Again, there is nothing you need to do at this time. Lesson fees will be approximately $82 per installment (9 installments). All information regarding participation and instrument rental/sales will be distributed in the fall.
Please browse through the instrument selection guide on the reverse side, or visit our website (www.pemusic.com) for more pictures, videos, and sound clips of the instruments. I hope that this information will assist you and your child in deciding upon an instrument.
Participants in our programs have the opportunity to buy or rent all major brands of instruments at a substantial discount. As an experienced teacher, performer, and technician, I urge you not buy instruments from mail order catalogs, e-bay, or non-music retail stores! These instruments may look shiny and seem like a good deal, but they are often poorly constructed and unplayable. Please do not set your child up for failure by purchasing a poor quality instrument.
You are not locked into the instrument decision you make at the start of the school year. With input from parent, child, and teacher, switching instruments is not a problem. The choices shown below represent the instruments we feel are ideal for beginning elementary students. There are other instruments available, such as oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, baritone, french horn, and tuba.
THE WOODWIND FAMILY
The Flute is a member of its family even though it is made of metal. It is easy to fit into a backpack or lockers. Flautists play many high notes in the ensemble. Sound is created by blowing air against the edge of a hole at the top of the flute.
The Clarinet is slightly larger than the flute, but is still a small instrument to carry. The clarinet has the largest pitch range among common woodwind instruments. While most clarinets are made of plastic, professional models are made of wood. The clarinet is a single reed instrument, and making a sound on the clarinet is fairly easy.
The Saxophone is the largest member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are made of metal and come in four sizes. The appropriate size for beginner students is the “alto” saxophone. Like the clarinet, the saxophone is a single reed instrument. The saxophone is popular for its unique sound and versatility across several musical genres.
THE BRASS FAMILY
The Trumpet is the smallest member of the brass family. It is constructed of brass. As with all brass instruments, sound is produced by buzzing your lips into the mouthpiece. The trumpet’s bright and lively sound carries many of the melodies in the group.
The Trombone is made of brass and plays many of the low notes and harmonies in the ensemble. Like the trumpet, sound is produced by buzzing your lips into a mouthpiece. While other brass instruments change pitches by pressing valves to change the length of the air flow, the trombone player simply moves the slide in and out.
THE PERCUSSION FAMILY
The Bell Lyre (also known as the glockenspiel) is a member of the percussion family that produces its sound by striking metal keys with a plastic or wooden mallet. The notes are configured like a piano keyboard, and usually the names of the notes are printed on each metal bar. When struck, the bars create a very pure, resonant sound.
The Snare Drum is a popular percussion instrument that is played by striking the drum head with two wooden sticks. Drummers have the important job of keeping the beat for the group. A common misconception about the drums is that they are easy. Actually, playing drums requires a great deal of focus and practice.
THE STRING FAMILY
The Violin is the most popular member of the string family. Sound is produced by either plucking the strings or running a bow across them. Various note combinations are created by the position of the player’s fingers on the fingerboard. Violins come in various sizes, depending on the size of the player.