What is Band? Why Join It?
How Will your child benefit from learning to read and play music?
Band at Rensselaer Central Schools is many things. It is music education, it is kinesthetic education, is Academic AND Athletic, it is a developer of discipline, respect, responsibility and cooperation, it is aesthetically rewarding, it is a promoter of creativity, but above all it is fun. Below is a brief summary of what the bands do throughout the course of a school year.
MIDDLE SCHOOL BANDS
The primary function of the Middle School Bands is to teach cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills and techniques for playing instruments. The middle school bands are geared toward beginning and young musicians and developing them into outstanding ones.
RCMS holds 3 concerts per year: a Fall Concert (first performance for beginners), a Christmas/Winter Concert and a late Spring Concert. One to two of these are usually combined with the High School Bands. Additionally, in early Spring, the 7th and 8th Grade Bands travel to compete in a Contest held by the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA). There is also a chance to perform solos and small ensembles in the winter through ISSMA.
Once a year, students in good standing in the class get to partake in a fun field trip to a nearby amusement, theme or water park as well. The band really becomes a home for the students and a great family to be a part of during the school day and beyond.
HIGH SCHOOL BANDS
The High School Bands play much more advanced music, which is much more rewarding for the students. RCHS also holds 3 Concerts a year (the same as above) and additionally also competes at an ISSMA Contest. The ISSMA Solo & Ensemble Contest is also available with the addition of a chance to compete at the State level.
Many more performance opportunities appear at the High School level, however, and the students receive a greater variety of music and ensembles. Listed below are some of the activities that High School band members will partake in:
Marching Band: Practice throughout the summer and fall, compete and travel through late Fall.
Concert Band: Play advanced music in a concert setting (ISSMA Contest and RCHS Concerts).
Pep Band: Play fun, popular and contemporary music at Basketball Games.
Jazz Band: Play jazz, blues, R&B, funk and other genres not generally explored in Concert Band.
Once every four year, and sometimes more frequently, the High School Band takes a large performance tour and vacation to a fun location. The band just recently returned from Washington D.C. this Spring Break where they performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The rest of the trip was filled with tours of the Nation’s Capital and the Smithsonians. You can see pictures HERE. It was a lot of fun for the students AND the parents who went as chaperones. We are looking forward to our next big trip with great anticipation.
Music is a Science - It is exact and specific. It demands exact acoustics. A conductor's score is a chart, a graph that indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once with the most exact control of time.
Music is Mathematical - It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions, which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.
Music is a Foreign Language - Most of the terms are in Italian, German or French and the notation is certainly not English - but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.
Music is History - Music usually reflects the environment and the times of its creation, often even the country and / or racial feeling.
Music is Physical Education - It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lips, cheeks, facial muscles in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back, abdominal and chest muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears, and the mind interprets.
Music is All These Things, but Most of All, Music is Art - It allows a human being to take all these dry, technically boring (however, difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion. That is the one thing science cannot duplicate. It allows you to be human, to recognize beauty and to be sensitive.
DID you know?
-Skilled musicians have an area of the brain that is up to 25% larger than those who have never played an instrument.
-Scientists have found a link between the age at which a person starts learning an instrument and the size of the musical area of the brain.
-Research shows that repeated exposures to complex music induce improved spatial-temporal learning.
-Music students continue to outperform their non-arts peers on the SAT, according to the 1998 "Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers.”
-Students in music performance scored 52 points higher on the verbal portion of the SAT and 36 points higher on the math portion than students with no arts participation.
-"There seems to be a high correlation between musical ability and reasoning skills. It has to do with recognizing and manipulating patterns. That happens in music and in computer programming.” - Skwarek
-The basic nature of people can be found in their songs, images, dances and stories. To be illiterate in the arts is to be blind, mute and deaf at a most fundamental level.
-The study of music and art makes us disciplined and civilized.
-The arts demand high standards, analytical thinking, creative thinking, practice, discipline, teamwork, and follow through - all qualities that employers say they need in workers.
-"Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.” - Plato
-"The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic...music, dance, painting and theater are keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment". - Former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett