What music classes are offered at Mesa Verde?
At Mesa, we have 3 Concert Bands, 2 String Orchestras, and 2 Jazz Bands. In general, students are grouped by grade, but expections are made to make sure students are placed in the right ability level.
6th graders can start in Beginning Band or Beginning Strings an receive instruction the following instruments:
Band - Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Saxophone, Tuba, or Percussion
Strings - Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass
Students with experience in playing Piano, Guitar, Bass Guitar, or Drum Set are invited to join our Jazz program (see below), conditional upon the enrollment in a school-day Band or Strings class.
How much does it cost to be in the music program?
For the 2011-2012 school year, all families will be asked for a donation of $110 per students. This goes to pay for the many things the program needs to thrive, including staff salaries, method books, some uniform items, school instrument repair and inventory, sheet music, and much more. This donation is tax deductible.
It's important to note that, though the "Fair Share Donation" is integral to the quality of the music program, no student will be turned away from the music program for financial reasons. We can reach terms on a payment plan or other arangement if it means keeping your child in the program!
In many cases, students will need to either rent or purchase their own instrument. If you are going to purchase one, please get professional advice (from me!) as to which ones to buy. Renting an instrument is available at several local music stores including: Musician’s Blvd. (T.O.), World Music (Simi), and Nick Rail Music (Agoura). Nick Rail will be holding a rental night in the Mesa Verde Music Room on September 6, 2011, and will be able to provide you with all the necessary accessories as well.
Mesa also has over 120 instruments on hand to lend out to students for $35/year on a financial need basis. This will however, limit your selection. For instance, if you want a particular instrument, and it is not available to borrow, you will have to make another choice.
How do you sign up for Band or Strings?
First and foremost, please email Mr. Gray at email@example.com to express interest.
You can sign up at any time during the year. If you are in 5th grade, talk to your teacher to get a Music Registration Form, or look in the office during the last week of April or the first few weeks of school. If you're currently a Mesa student, talk to your counselor to see if a program change is possible.
Do you have to have experience to be in a music class?
No way! Most of the students currently in the music program started learning music in the 6th grade. Many joined up as a beginner in 7th, and a few in 8th. You can start playing music at any time in your life. Placement in the various classes at Mesa is based on experience. If you have already played some, please indicate that on your Music Registration Form.
Students are able to try out the instruments at the beginning of the year to see which one suits them best.
Students who take private lessons can sometimes be bumped to the higher level classes earlier.
How are grades given in music class?
Grades are based on behavior, performance attendance, practice journals, preparation, and SmartMusic assignments (both in class and at home). Students are expected to practice at home on their instrument daily, come to class prepared with their instrument, reed, book, and a pencil, and to attend ALL performances. More information will be made available in the 2011-2012 version of the Mesa Music Student Handbook.
Which is the hardest instrument to learn? Which is the easiest?
It depends on the student. Everyone has a different physical makeup and level of coordination. The best thing to do is decide which sound you like best. Listen to lots of different instruments and decide for yourself. Then try them out and see how it suits you physically.
For instance, if you enjoy the sound of the flute, but your lips are shaped with a “tear drop” (upper lip extends down in the center) it would be a difficult instrument for you. An alternative would be another high sounding woodwind such as clarinet, or oboe.
Or, if you love the sound of the trombone or acoustic bass, but have very, very short arms or small hands, you may be better suited for the baritone or the cello.
Mesa offers an opportunity to learn America's most unique musical invention! Jazz bands meet before school (outside of the school-day) in the music room. No grade is given for Jazz, as its only requirement is regular attendance at all rehearsals and performances, which includes concerts, festivals, and community events.
All students with at least one year of experience on their instrument are encouraged to try out for one of our award winning jazz bands. Some students use Jazz Band as an opportunity to learn a secondary instrument, and our piano, guitar, bass, and drumset players find a place where they can play those instruments, as they're not offered in any of our other band or strings classes.