Grade 6 Band

Students meet daily for instruction in 6th grade band in the Hamilton Elementary band room from 2:00 to 2:25pm.  The curriculum used is Essential Elements Book 2 supplimented sheet music that reflects the more advance abilities of the musicians.   Students in this ensemble have all played in the 5th grade band for the full year.  On the rare occasion of a student joining band for the first time when they are a 6th grader, they will begin with the 5th grade band until they have enough understanding to join the more advanced group.  Students are asked this year to purchase a lyre and a flip folder to hold their music while marching.  Some instruments, like the flute and trombone, will have a flip folder that doesn’t require a lyre.


6th grade students are asked to practice 45 minutes a week, using the  practice chart on the front cover of the Essential Elements book.


Much like in the 5th grade band, the 6th grade band has a fun system to encourage practicing.  While the focus for the 5th graders is on specific exercise, the focus for the 6th grade musicians is to improve endurance by practicing longer. Consitently having longer practice sessions will result in a more mature, developed tone.  Their system is based on “ranks.”  If you practice for 30 minutes, you have the rank of private, for example.  To rank up to corporal, you will have to practice 45 minutes that week. To become a general, a student will need to practice 300 minutes that week. Once a rank is achieved it will not be taken away.


Like the 5th grade band, students perform at two traditional concerts, usually in the High School gym.  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. 


Unlike the 5th grade band, the 6th graders perform in the West Hancock homecoming parade.  Students are asked to wear a black pair of gym shorts, sneakers with white socks and their band tee shirt.  Each year the band tee shirt order forms are handed out at school.

At the end of a student’s 6th grade year, they will be able to meet all of the 5th grade expectations; plus:

  1. Play the Concert C and Ab scale and Bb chromatic scale one octave.
  2. Play through Essential Elements Book 2 exercise 110
  3. Play through 10 pieces of music from a wide variety of cultures.
  4. Understand more advanced music vocabulary such as Andante, Allegro, Fine, Rallentando, ect.
  5. Be able to understand the basics of marching and playing in parade formation.