WINGS Homeschool Bands Overview
The WINGS Homeschool Bands are Christ-centered musical ensembles for students in grades 4-12 who would like to learn to play a band instrument. As a member of the band, you will learn the elements of music, have performing opportunities, and learn the lifelong skill of making music.
Elementary Band: The WINGS Elementary Band is primarily for students in grades 4-6 who are learning to play a band instrument for the first time or who are second year players still playing out of Accent on Achievement Book 1. No prior musical experience is required to play in the Elementary Band. See below for rehearsal times and available instruments.
Middle Level Band: The WINGS Middle Level Band is for students in grades 6-9 who have played a band instrument for two or more years and are ready for a new challenge. This ensemble uses Accent on Achievement Book 2 as our primary instruction book along with playing a wide variety of full band music.
Uppler Level Band: The Upper Level Band is for students in grade 7-12 or who have played four or more years. Upper Level Band students will be reviewing the second half of Accent on Achievement Book 2 at the start of the year. Our emphasis is to play with skill, increase musicianship, learn a wide variety of musical styles, and grow in technical ability. The Upper Level Band rehearses for 1-1/2 hours each week. Sectionals will occur on a regular basis within this time frame. In addition to rehearsal and sectionals, students in the Upper Level Band will have the opportunity to mentor younger students and perform multiple times during the school year in both solo and ensemble environments.
*Elementary and Middle-Level band rehearsals will meet for one hour on Tuesday afternoons at Grace Church. In addition, your child will meet for like-instrument instruction every other week on Tuesdays either before or after their large group rehearsal.
*Upper-level band will meet for 1-1/2 hours weekly.
The cost of tuition is TBD for the entire year. Families will be responsible for acquiring their child’s instrument and accessories.
: Regular attendance at group lessons and rehearsals is required. Absences must be communicated with the director. Repeated, unexcused absences may require dismissal from the program. Parents are required to remain on the premises during rehearsals.
: Consistent practice is key for musical success. Generally, the more a student practices, the better they will sound on their instrument. I recommend 20-30 minutes of practice per day, five days per week.
: Involvement with the WINGS Homeschool band requires a one-year commitment. Mid-year entries will only be accepted after the student has passed a proficiency audition with the director.
: WINGS band members will have 2 required performances per year. These concerts will be mid-year and in the spring. Attendance at performances is required. Specific dates and times are TBD.
: All families with children involved in the WINGS Homeschool Band are required to be members of the WINGS group. This membership is $8 and gains access to the WINGS discussion forum and resources.
Students playing in the Elementary band will use the instructional book Accent on Achievement, Book 1. Students playing in the Middle Level Band will use the instructional book Accent on Achievement, Book 2. In addition, we will learn and perform a wide variety of musical styles including but not limited to sacred, classical, jazz, folk, and modern music. Each class will begin with scripture reading and prayer, recognizing that that our desired outcome is not only musical excellence, but primarily to glorify God in all that we do.
Elementary Band Instrumentation:
Just like a sports team, not everyone can play the same position. We will do our very best to accommodate your child’s instrument selection, but it is likely that not everyone who desires to play a certain instrument will be able to do so. Instrument selection is based on physical characteristics, musical aptitude, and balanced ensemble instrumentation. Due to the importance of having a balanced instrumentation, a limited number of students may be assigned to play percussion and saxophone. In addition, percussion students are required to have had two years of piano instruction in order to be considered for that instrument. Please emphasize to your child the importance of having a second and even a third choice for an instrument. Reiterate the importance of staying committed to the band for at least one year to experience the real joy of being in the instrumental program!
Elementary Band instrument assignment will be done on a first-come, first-served basis at the time of registration.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Should I rent or purchase an instrument?
To avoid a large initial monetary investment, I recommend renting an instrument from a reputable music vendor. Advantages: (1) Guaranteed working condition. (2) Proper selection of equipment and mouthpiece. (3) Ability to return the instrument without further obligation.
May I purchase an instrument from another source?
Absolutely. However, take into account that the different brand may be inferior in quality and can be detrimental to your student’s progress. Similar to buying a used car, there are many things you will want to consider before purchasing. See a director for additional help.
Does my student need to know how to read music to be in band?
Students are not required to have any prior musical training to be in the Elementary Band. Not only are the students taught the basics of playing their instruments, they are taught how to read notes from the music at the same time. Everyone learns from the same book; making it possible for all the instruments to play music together, even on the very first day.
Should my child take private lessons?
ABSOLUTELY! Private lessons are the best way to increase your child’s chances for success. It means they will meet once a week with a professional player of his or her instrument for one- on-one instruction. While private lessons are helpful, they are not required for involvement with the WINGS homeschool band.
Further questions? Feel free to contact me. I am happy to help!
Jen Mulvihill Band Director firstname.lastname@example.org