Grade 5 Band

In our district, band students begin learning an instrument in early September of their 5th grade year.  They will go to band daily in the Hamilton Elementary band room from 2:25 until 2:45pm.  Students are expected, unless special circumstances occur, to provide their own instrument and method book. The Method book series used, which is our main curriculum, is called Essential Elements 2000 Book 1.  The method book is full of unison exercises that get progressively more difficult.  Students will also play a variety of individual pieces of sheet music.


For beginners especially, practicing individually is crucial.  Muscle memory, coordination and learning to read music all need to be developed through constant repetition.  On the reverse side of the front cover, you will find a practice chart.  Students are expected to practice 30 minutes a week, and document that time on that chart.  This is an important part of the process that teaches responsibility.

“Band Karate”  

To encourage practicing and to add an element of fun, 5th grade band members are introduced to “Band Karate”  There are specific, difficult exercises in the book that have been outlined to the students.  Once a student shows that they have mastered the exercise they will be awarded a “belt” or a ribbon to tie around the handle of their instrument case.  These exercises were chosen specifically for their difficultly, so extra practice is required.  There is no punishment for attempting to play it and being unable to. 


The 5th grade band usually performs twice a year.  Students are asked to wear “Nice” clothes.  This means that there is not a particular uniform, however some clothes are not to be worn.  Jeans, sweats and tennis shoes tend to take away some of the “specialness” of the event. 


At the end of a student’s 5th grade year, they will be able to:

  1. Play the concert Bb scale one octave.
  2. Play through Essential Elements Book 1 exercise 100.
  3. Play through five pieces of music from a wide variety of cultures.
  4. Understand basic musical concepts such as Clef signs, Intonation, Dynamics, Key Signatures, Accidentals, ect.