Beginning Band

Course Description
Beginning Band is a beginning instrumental program offered to 5th grade students. Students may select from a variety of instruments. Different types of woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments are encouraged. The band practices three days per week and performs several times throughout the year. Students learn to discipline themselves through practicing, musical endurance and worship. The class provides students with the opportunity to experience being part of a full band. Daily rehearsals and sectionals contribute to technical and artistic development, while consistently working through the band methods textbook. School concerts provide the students with opportunities to perform. Daily practice at home is required. There is a Q & A section at the end of this page.


Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
French Horn
Baritone (Euphonium)
Percussion (all percussion instruments)

Required Performances

Christmas Concert
Northwest Christian Band Festival
Spring Concert

Application of Learned Music and Techniques
The student will be presented with new music and musical techniques for playing each quarter. The student will apply these techniques to the music as well as learning the pitches, rhythms, and styles of the music. Techniques will include posture, breathing, articulation, blending, tone, and others as needed.

Books and Materials

Folders - The student will be issued a folder to keep their music in. They are yours to keep, however you need to take care of it since it is merely paper. Normal wear and tear on your folder will be tolerated to a certain extent as decided by the instructor. Should you lose your folder or damage it beyond repair, you will be allowed to have one more folder, free of charge. Any folder that must be replaced after that will be a $1.00 replacement fee. You cannot, however, go without a folder.
Standard of Excellence practice book - The student will be issued a Standard of Excellence practice book to use for the duration of the year. The book will coincide with your particular instrument and will be numbered. The student is expected to maintain the book in the condition that it was issued in, or it will be required to replace it. This also means that all marks should have been made in pencil and erased prior to turning book back in.
Various sheet music - The student may be issued sheet music for various pieces that we will be performing throughout the year. Your music will coincide with your particular instrument and will be numbered. You are expected to maintain the music in the condition that you were issued it in, or you will be required to replace it. This also means that all marks should have been made in pencil and erased prior to turning music back in.
Instruments - Each student is encouraged to rent or purchase their own instrument. A wonderful rent-to-own opportunity is available for Horizon students for this purpose. If you are not able to obtain your own instrument, Horizon has a limited number of instruments available for rental through the school. All students will be expected to bring their respective instrument to and from school each rehearsal day.

Grading Policies
A quarterly grade will consist of concert attendance (if applicable), participation in rehearsals, application of learned music and techniques, practicing, and tests or quizzes at instructor's discretion. Approximate grade breakdown is as follows: school concerts 25%, practicing 30%, daily participation, application in rehearsal 40%, and class work or quizzes 5%.

Students are expected to participate in rehearsals. Each student is also expected to practice their instrument at home. The following is the schedule for grading practice time in one week: 4 days at 30 minutes=A; 3 days at 30 minutes=B; 2 days at 30 minutes=C; 1 day at 30 minutes=D; no practice or missing practice record=F. The student will also be required to fill out a practice record, which their parent must sign, that reflects these practice times. Practice records are due in each MONDAY. Late practice records will drop one letter grade for each day they are late. The student will also be required to keep a current daily practice journal that will be checked on a periodic basis. Remember; practicing is 30% of the student's overall band grade.

Attendance - Classroom and Concerts
Please refer to the school policies on absences and tardies for detailed information. Absences and tardies in excess of school policy may result in a grade reduction.

The student is part of a very important ensemble. EVERY concert and festival will be considered mandatory. If you have a personal matter that arises and you cannot attend, PRIOR arrangements must be made with Mrs. Sullivan and the student will be required to complete a make-up assignment. We must act as a "team" and when one "player" is missing, the team does not play as well.

PDF files to download and read:

Back to top

Questions and Answers

When does beginning band meet?
The Beginning Band currently meets three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) from 12:35 to 1:15 pm. Note: This time is subject to change each school year.

Does Horizon provide the instruments to play?
Horizon has instruments for the students to rent, but they are not provided free of charge. There is a $15.00 monthly fee for school instruments and the student's family is responsible for the repair and maintenance of that instrument during that time. We recommend, however, that each student obtain their own instrument, or rents his or her own instrument from Columbia River Music in The Dalles, Oregon. Columbia River Music is very helpful in providing our students with excellent quality instruments at a reasonable price.

Is there a rental program available?
Columbia River Music in The Dalles, Oregon provides an excellent rent-to-own instrument program. This rent-to-own system includes general maintenance of the instrument.

Are there concerts that my child will participate in?
Yes. There are at least 2 and up to 4 concerts that the band will perform in throughout the school year. Attendance of these concerts if considered mandatory and the dates are set by the beginning of the school year. Rarely, special concerts are added and, depending on the notification given, attendance may be optional. We like to give the students adequate opportunities to apply the things they are learning in class as well as be able to bless an audience with the talents God has given them. Generally, there is a concert in early winter, a festival in the spring, and a final concert just before the end of the school year.

How do I sign my child up?
The class is an elective. There will be a "Band Night" the first week of school. This is an informational meeting about the band program. Mrs. Sullivan will be there, along with a representative from Columbia River Music, to answer all questions about the band program. After hearing of the requirements for the class and getting an instrument lined up, you will be able to decide whether your child is suited for band. You can let Mrs. Sullivan know at that time whether or not your child is choosing to take band. Classes will begin the following week after the meeting.

Back to top