Instrumental Music
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Instrumental Music Program Overview

 

The Instrumental Music Department offers a hands-on, group-focused program of study, incorporating ensemble rehearsals, small group activities, instruction in music theory and music history and regular student performances.

Available Instruments:

For the 2017-2018 academic year, instruction is offered on the following instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone/euphonium, tuba, percussion (snare drum, mallet percussion & accessory percussion only), violin, viola, cello, string bass and guitar.


Performance Opportunities:

AACMS Instrumental Music students perform regularly during the school year.  Performances opportunities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Two major concert performances for all students in grades 5-8, scheduled in the winter (January) and spring (May or June) each school year.
  • An Eighth Grade Showcase for all eighth grade Instrumental Music students, scheduled in March each year.
  • Performances in a variety of community venues throughout the school year.  These performances vary from year to year.  In the past, our students have performed at Musikfest, the ArtsQuest Center, Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem Christmas City Village, the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley and several area retirement communities.  We are always looking for new performance opportunities!


Important Information on the Instrumental Music Program

  • Student performances are graded requirements of the program, and all students are expected to participate in all assigned performances.
  • Students must provide their own instrument for use in school and at home.(Note: Students who play piano, string bass or percussion do not need to transport their instrument to school but must have a suitable instrument at home for daily practice.)
  • AACMS does not offer private instruction to any student at any grade level on any instrument.
  • Piano instruction is not available during the 2017-2018 academic year.  Please contact the school if your student is interested in piano instruction in a future school year.  

 

Eighth Grade

Our in-depth study of instrumental music includes three main components: 

  • Music Theory: Students study basic and intermediate music theory concepts, including reading music in treble and bass clef, key signatures, major and minor scales, chords, meter/time signatures and rhythm.  The course culminates in a unit on basic music composition at the end of the school year.
  • Ensemble Rehearsals: Students prepare music for our mainstage performances (played alongside students in gr. 6-8) as well as material for a variety of community performances scheduled throughout the year. 
  • Audition Preparation: Students learn practical techniques for preparing for an instrumental music audition.  Students focus on developing fundamentals skills like playing major scales, sight-reading and using effective practice strategies.  The course also includes units on career skills such as interviewing,  goal setting and resume creation. 

 

Sixth & Seventh Grade

Primary Instrumental Music

Primary Instrumental Music is designed for students with experience on a musical instrument who wish to focus on Instrumental Music while exploring another art form.  Our Gr. 6-7 Primary Instrumental Music program includes the following components:

  • Ensemble Rehearsals: Students prepare music for our mainstage performances, to be performed alongside our eighth grade students.
  • Sectionals: Students work in small groups to develop fundamental skills and techniques on their instrument.  Students will use an instructional method book (assigned by the music faculty) for this class.
  • Music Fundamentals: Students will explore a variety of basic concepts in music theory as well as an overview of topics in music history, world music and music in connection with other academic subjects.  


 

Secondary Instrumental Music

Secondary Instrumental Music is designed for students with or without experience playing an instrument who wish to explore Instrumental Music while focusing on another art form.  The Secondary program includes:


  • Instrument Studies: Students develop fundamentals skills on their instrument through independent, small group and ensemble activities.  Secondary students typically prepare one to two pieces to perform alongside our primary students at our mainstage performances.   

  • Music Fundamentals: Students will explore a variety of basic concepts in music theory as well as an overview of topics in music history, world music and music in connection with other academic subjects.  


Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade Workshops

AACMS offers three Instrumental Workshops which meet for one 90-minute period each six-day cycle:

  • Band Workshop: Open to any student with at least one school year of experience on a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument. 
  • Orchestra Workshop: Open to any student with at least one school year of experience on an orchestral string instrument, including violin, viola, cello or string bass.
  • Guitar Workshop: Open to students with or without guitar experience.  Students must provide their own guitar

 

Small Group Lesson Program

ACMS offers an elective, small group instruction program for fifth grade students with or without experience playing an instrument.  Group lessons, which are scheduled during academic classes, meet for one 25-minute period each week.

Group instruction is offered on the following instruments only:  flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium/baritone, percussion, violin, viola, cello, string bass.  (Piano and guitar are not offered as part of this program.)