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Instrumental Music

The instrumental music program at Aiken School is designed to develop musical understanding and instrumental proficiency. All fourth and fifth grade students are encouraged to learn an instrument because everyone has the potential to achieve in music. Research has shown that the study of a musical instrument enhances a student’s academic performance.

The curriculum for the instrumental music program at Aiken develops the “inner instrument” along with the musical instrument because the musical instrument is an extension of the mind and body. The focus of each activity is to empower students to become independent music makers and active music learners. The goal for all students in the instrumental program is to develop a foundation of musical understanding and appreciation that will last a lifetime.

The instrumental music program provides intensive instruction to develop music skills and is a natural extension of the classroom music curriculum. Students in grades four and five have the opportunity to study a band or orchestra instrument. Small group lessons occur during the school day. Large ensembles rehearse weekly before school.

Student Progress Report:

Performs with correct position and posture.
Correct playing position and posture is the foundation for all successful instrumentalists.

Demonstrates good technique.
Technique is dexterity and facility on an instrument.

Plays with correct breath, bow or stick control.
Control of breath (winds), bow (strings), and sticks (percussion), is essential to produce a characteristic sound.

Applies proper bowing/tonguing/slurring technique.
Articulation of notes with the tongue (winds) and bow (strings) is important to develop good technique.

Performs with characteristic tone, on pitch.
Playing on pitch with characteristic tone is the product of proper breath control and embouchure (winds), bow control, finger placement and finger pressure (strings).

Reads rhythmic/melodic notation.
Students are taught to read music notation.

Is developing ensemble skills.
Ensemble skills in band and orchestra include responding to conducting gestures, playing music in two or more parts, and performing with proper blend and balance.

Work Habits

Shows evidence of consistent practice and high quality preparation. 
Students are expected to practice daily, demonstrating careful preparation of assigned music, with emphasis on repetition and self-evaluation. 

Focuses attentively during the lessons and rehearsals.

Brings necessary equipment to lessons and rehearsals.