Spotlight on Greenwood Elementary School’s Band and Orchestra

Greenwood Elementary School’s Band is comprised of fourth and fifth grade students who play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. The students meet once a cycle in small groups to learn the various aspects of tone production, music literacy, and rhythmic etudes on their instrument. Students start their first lesson learning how to assemble their instrument and advance throughout the year to being able to play beautiful music. The students also learn the historical importance of the various composers and events during their lives, as well as their connections to other art forms. When concert time is near, the students take all that they have learned in their lesson groups and rehearse together as one large ensemble, allowing the students to combine their part with the other instruments in the band to create complex harmonies and rhythms. The musical literature that the band explores includes folk repertoire, multicultural music, movie soundtracks, and classical arrangements of both traditional band and orchestra composers.

elementary school band performing for an audience

Greenwood Elementary School’s Orchestra is composed of students in third through fifth grades who play instruments from the string family; violin, viola,cello, and bass. The students meet in small groups once per cycle, and as a large group ensemble to prepare for concert performances. Students begin by learning the basics of sound production on their instrument, and then progress to establishing the correct right and left hand technique and then to more complex bow strokes and fingering patterns on all strings. In addition, a large emphasis is placed on learning to read music and having exposure to basic theory skills. The musical repertoire that is used in their development and concerts comes from many genres including: classical, American fiddle, mariachi, rock, and movie soundtracks. The instrumental program is a year-long commitment with concerts presented in January and May.

elementary school orchestra performing in front of an audience