Grade 5,  Semester 1 Curriculum Guide

Weeks 1 through 4: 

Students should be bringing thier instrument home daily, and practicing sustained beginning sounds.  

Brass- Mouthpiece buzzing 

Flutes-Playing on the headjoint

Clarinets-Mouthpiece and barrel     

Saxophones-Mouthpiece and gooseneck     

Percussion- Correct grip and establishing correct playing

Introduction to instrument.  There is focus on establishing habits at this time.  How to sit, where to hold the instrument and even instrument assembly are discussed daily.  This reinforcement happens for every individual student. Also different lessons applicable to individual instruments, (ie reed care, valve and slide oil, a clarinet swab, ect.)

Exercises #1-10 in method book:  Students begin on long tone exercises partnered with quarter note articulations (holding the note, then breaking the note up).  So much time is dedicated to these as to ensure good playing habits and avoid common pitfalls that will be detrimental in the future.


Weeks 5 through 9: 

Students should be individually practicing 10 minutes daily for at least 60 minutes a week. 

Establish “Warm Up”:  Students play their first five notes as long tones descending.  This helps them get the air flowing, but more importantly shows them that beginning warm ups are like a physical warm up.  An analogy I use is, “If you’re running the 100 meter sprint in track, you’ll run better if you jog a little before your race.”

Establish Recording practice time/begin Band Karate: Students are now shown how to record practice time and how to earn more belts for band karate.

Establish Goals in method Book:  A good rule of thumb is a week of rehearsal per page of the method book. Students should begin playing ahead in the book for their next belt, and as a band we play through each exercise.  At the end of week 8, students should be on page 7.


Weeks 10 though 16:  

Students should continue practicing at home, but are also challenged more by the Band Karate exercises and sheet music.

Establishing Note Recognition Method:  Students are taught to say the note name, then say the note name in rhythm then say the note name in rhythm while fingering along.  This method makes learning a difficult exercise much easier.

Notes: Students will be up to 10 notes.

Continuation of exercises:  Students will be on page 11 at this time and have learned a total of 8 notes, whole notes, half notes, quarter notes and eighth notes.  Also, Band Karate is continuing.

Sheet music: Students will now be given pieces of music that are one full page and have a part that is not in unison with the entire band.  Even though these songs are easy, they lay the foundation for later achievement.

Winter break and practice habits:  This is the end of the first semester with 2 week break.  Students are given a challenge to practice as much as they can over break to establish

Method book:  Students will be on page 18 of the method book coming back from break.