Beginning Band Class Created

Haladar Wright

The Charter News Feature

11/18/19

You may hear the musical sounds of wind instruments emanating from room 114 on Mondays and Wednesdays. ACA has created a new class, the Beginning Band. It’s purpose is to teach students wind instruments and bring Band music to ACA.

Valerie Johnson, the director of the class, created it to teach more instruments. “There was no music class for woodwinds, brass, and percussion,” she said. “The class is a performance class, so it provides a chance for students to learn their instruments and perform.” 

Valerie Johnson conducting the beginning band at the November Concert.

Jared Lopez, an ACA student said that he “likes the class a lot.” He heard of the class by looking for a music class to take this year. He saw that the band was an option, and went to an “open house” where he tried out the instruments. Lopez enjoys learning under Mrs. Johnson, saying “She’s a good teacher.” 

Cadence Gillespie, who plays the clarinet, saw the offer of the class in the school catalog. She thought that learning a new instrument would be fun, so she joined. Gillespie said that Johnson is “Really good. She’s really helpful.” 

Johnson has a Minor in music. . Her main instrument is the flute, but because of  her music Minor, she knows how wind instruments work and can effectively teach them. 

The instruments used in the band are percussion, brass, and woodwinds. Woodwinds are instruments such as flutes, clarinets, saxophones, and reeds. Brass instruments include trombones, trumpets, tubas, and other similar instruments. 

Students get their instruments from a multitude of places. Some students rent them from the school, while others purchase their own or rent from another music store. Several students are also using their parent’s instruments from when the parents were younger. When the band first started, all but three students had never played a wind instrument before. However, ACA’s band has an advantage over some other beginning bands, because some students have played other instruments and have a general knowledge of how music works. 

“This was really nice,” said Johnson, “because ninety percent of students actually knew music, even if they’re learning that particular instrument from scratch.” 

The Beginning Band performed at the November concert, and will perform at the Holiday Bazaar this semester. After that, they will perform in the May concert. Johnson hopes for the class to return next year and hopes the class can grow in the future and more levels of band classes can be added. “That is the hope,” she said, “that we can move forward and add band classes at varying levels, just like our orchestras.”

Sources: 

Johnson, Valerie. Personal interview. 6 November 2019

Gillespie, Cadence. Personal Interview. 6 November 2019

Lopez, Jared. Personal Interview. 12 November 2019

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