Practice Makes Music
In the Samuel Mickle School Instrumental Music begins in the fifth grade. The instruments introduced at this level are the flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone and percussion.
Participation in our band has always extremely high. Each year we have between fifty and seventy-five percent of the fifth grade participate in our band program.
Besides all of these young musicians we are fortunate to have many of our boys and girls studying piano, organ, guitar and other instruments privately. Music has truly become a part of their lives and everyday world.
A small group of Fourth Graders have an opportunity to participate in our after school Choir Chime enrichment program. These are instruments that are similar to hand bells. The children each are responsible for one or two notes, and ringing them in the proper time to create music. We perform with the Band at the Winter and Spring concerts annually.
How can we as parents and teachers help and encourage our young musicians? First we must provide them with real, quality instruments. These should be well made student models that have good sound, are mechanically correct, and are maintained in good condition. Some quality student instrument makes include: Yamaha, King, Conn, Selmer, and Buescher.
The next most important factor is practice.
A good plan for better practice time includes:
1. Discuss a good time for practice each day, a 20-30 min. period that does not conflict with other things that are also important and need time. Decide together which half hour it will be, and then make it part oftheir daily routine. At first, remind them and of course, always encourage them. The more they practice, the better they play; the more they play the better they like it!
2. Practice in a room (not too isolated) where they can concentrate and be by themselves to experiment with their new notes and sounds. This way they won't interrupt you and you won't interrupt them.
Please remember that in the beginning months, it is not easy to play high C's and low G's and sometime we squeak and squeal a little, but we get better and better each week.