Elementary Band and Orchestra Concerts June 7, 8 and 9

Growth of student-musicians

The fifth graders know exactly what to do when they enter the band room. The flute players assemble their instruments, the clarinet players put in their reeds. The sounds of random scales and melodies emerge, interspersed with “who moved my folder” and drum rolls.

Then, Chris Oriani, the conductor, who is standing silently in the front of the room, raises his left hand, closes his thumb and fingers, and makes a quick upward cupping movement. The sound tapers away. It’s a few weeks before the concert season—three evenings of fourth and fifth grade band and orchestra concerts across the district—and these musicians are ready to work hard to polish their pieces!

Students learn to watch the conductor

students learn new ways of thinking

lessons throughout the year

Playing in the school band or orchestra is a much-anticipated opportunity open to all fourth and fifth graders. Students select their top three instruments in the beginning of the school year. “We do everything in our power to grant them their first choice,” said Oriani. “We want them to have the best experience possible, while creating balanced ensembles.”

Band and orchestra members meet with Oriani or Linda Kirshenbaum, the elementary-level strings teacher, once a week for a small group lesson. They learn how their instrument works and how to take care of it. Musical concepts including pitch reading, note names, rhythm and playing together spiral through the year. Towards April, school orchestras and bands gather weekly for ensemble work by grade.

students grow as individuals and musicians

Both Oriani and Kirshenbaum point to teamwork as one of the most beneficial aspects of band and orchestra. “Students learn to appreciate the difference between the way their individual instrument sounds on its own and how their instrument sounds as part of an ensemble,” said Kirshenbaum.

“Above all else, playing in lessons and ensembles provide students an important way to grow and develop interpersonal skills,” said Oriani. “Students learn to work together to put on a collective performance.”

students learn to listen to one another

Linda Kirshenbaum, Orchestra Teacher

Chris Oriani, Band Teacher