Calling all 5th graders! It’s time to join the PDS Crusader Band! Our band director, Mr. Terry Himebook, has met with the fifth-grade boys and invites all boys to consider joining the band this year.
Fifth-grade students involved in the PDS band will have one small-group lesson held once a week during the school day and one large-group session held after school on Thursdays each week. A strong effort is made to limit the impact on core academic classes and alternative times are offered when needed, but the boys may miss part of another special area class or PE when they have a lesson. 5th grade Crusader Band will begin the week of September 19.
The fee to participate in the beginner band for the 2022-23 school year is $250 per student. While PDS does have some school-owned instruments available for use, instrument rentals from local music stores may be necessary. We will provide guidance for this process. To read more details about band from Mr. Himebook, please read below.
Your 5th grade son is now eligible to join the PDS Crusader Band! And, quite honestly, I want him! Actually, I want the WHOLE CLASS!
Typically, students choose to play flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, trombone or percussion. We can also accommodate students on the oboe, bass clarinet, tenor sax, French horn, baritone, and tuba.
There will be two rehearsals each week: A 30-minute Cohort Rehearsal during the school day on either Monday or Tuesday (5A & 5B on Mondays, 5C & 5D on Tuesdays); and a full 5th grade Band Rehearsal after school on Thursdays (3:15–4:00).
In addition to the two scheduled rehearsals, students are required to practice at least 4 days a week for 30 minutes each day. There is a Practice Grid on page 3 of the Yamaha Book 1. I will be checking their practice weekly.
Why the band?
I read an article 40 years ago written by a university admissions counselor. At that time, incoming freshmen were most likely to graduate in four years if they played in the band through high school. Forty years is a long time ago, but I don’t think we have changed all that much.
The ongoing discussion is whether students who are self-motivated and self-disciplined choose to play in the band, or whether being in a band improves a student’s self-motivation and self-discipline. I think there is room here for a “both/and”. I have been teaching band for over thirty-five years. I have had students who were already driven, but I have also seen students whose grades have dramatically improved primarily because of their involvement with the band.
In addition to encouraging self-motivation and self-discipline, we also function as a team, encouraging one another. We develop an eye (and ear) for detail. We are exposed to a variety of songs and of song styles. And, while we are doing all of these things, ideally, we are enjoying the time spent in class and on stage.
There is an on-line sign-up on the PDS web site. There is also a $250 Band fee. If your son will commit to practicing each week, I can guarantee that he will make this a worthy investment! We start with students who know nothing about music and have them ready to perform as a band by Christmas. And that is just the beginning!
PDS will provide the books. Parents, with some exceptions, will need to supply the instruments. I would recommend Lane Music, AMRO & Circle Music as fine stores to go to for an instrument. Please start your son with a used instrument. For reed instruments, please start with a #1&1/2 or a #2 reed. The smaller the number, the softer the wood. It takes time to build the necessary muscles for a harder reed. Percussionists will need a snare/bell kit. They learn both.
If you are looking online for an instrument, please contact me before you put money into it. We are being inundated with instruments from other countries that look good, but they are not made to last. Some repair shops will not accept them.
Also, PDS has a small collection of band instruments that are available for use at no cost (except repairs, as required by the student). These are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently, we have:
We will aim to start class rehearsals the week of September 19. Again, 5A & 5B would rehearse on Monday, 5C & 5D would rehearse on Tuesday and the combined cohorts would rehearse each Thursday from 3:15–4:00.
Sign your son up for the band! I would love to have him join!
Presbyterian Day School (PDS) is a private, Christian preschool and elementary school serving boys from 2-years-old through 6th grade for almost 75 years.
With our mission of striving to glorify God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man, we take a holistic approach to education, nurturing the heart, soul, mind, and body of each boy.