5th Grade Music Team
Susie Martone, Chorus
Rosemary Montgomery, Violin/Cello
Pete Santucci, Trumpet/Trombone
Nicole Smith, Flute/Clarinet
2016-2017 Class Schedule
As a continuing part of the Ross Valley School District music program, students will select the focus of their music instruction for their 5th grade year. This is called our 5th Grade Music Choice Program. All 5th grade students receive music class once per week for 60 minutes. Each student selects one of the following courses for a year-long study of music: Chorus, Violin, Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Trombone, or Trumpet.
Please note that you and your child have made a choice for the entire school year. Changing to a different music class once your child has been placed may be possible during the beginning of the year, however no class changes will be made after November 1. Any possible changes before that time must be considered on a case-by-case basis, following parents’ or guardian’s contact with the music teachers, and conference with the principal and classroom teachers. (Keep in mind that any change of music class would not only require your child to complete extra work to catch up to their new classmates, but may also disrupt the flow of lessons in the new class to which he or she is switching.)
Students are expected to participate consistently and appropriately during music classes, practice every week at home, bring their instrument and music to school on music day, take responsibility for the proper care of their instrument, and attend all concerts dressed appropriately.
Parents should arrange to acquire instruments and method books by the beginning of the school year, encourage and remind their children to practice regularly, ensure that the instruments and materials arrive at school with the student on music day, help with instrument maintenance or pay for repairs (if needed), and arrange for students to attend all concerts dressed appropriately.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why are only flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, violin and cello offered for instrumental music study?
These are the most basic instruments in each instrument family and the easiest to manage for children. After learning any of these basic instruments, a student may easily switch to another instrument in the same family when they are older and it is more developmentally appropriate for them to do so. For example, many students begin instrumental studies on cello for a few years, and later switch to the string bass when they are older and stronger. Similarly, many students start on clarinet, and later switch to saxophone.
How will my child be affected if he/she has already started studying an instrument?
Instructors will strive to differentiate instruction to provide appropriate levels of leadership, challenge and enjoyment for each student. Students who have already had a year or more of instruction will be able to help those who are just starting. In fact, students taking on a “teacher’s assistant” role often refine and improve their musical techniques through the process of showing a beginner the basics. They not only strengthen their skills on their own instrument, but grow musically by tutoring, mentoring and inspiring other students. The instructor in charge will coordinate these activities within each class. Other students, however, may prefer to continue studying their first instrument privately at home, and choose to sing in the chorus class at school, or choose to study a different instrument at school. Many students are greatly engaged by this opportunity to learn a second instrument that they have been interested in, or to learn to sing in harmony and improve their vocal technique.
What are parents’ responsibilities?
1.) Acquire an instrument (except for chorus students) which could be rented from one of the local music stores, purchased, borrowed from someone who has an instrument that is not currently being used, or borrowed from the school district.
2.) Provide a method book ($10) and supplies to accompany the instrument. However, please do not rent an instrument or purchase a method book until you have received confirmation of your child’s placement, and specific instructions from the teacher. Chorus students will be given the option to donate $10 to help defray the cost of choral sheet music.
3.) Parents are responsible for checking and initialing students’ practice logs to verify at least 30 minutes of home practice time has occurred each week between lessons. Logs are presented in class as proof of practice and count as part of the student’s music grade.
4.) Ensure that students attend performances dressed appropriately - students will wear an RVSD 5th Grade Music t-shirt at all performances. Purchase information will be provided in the fall.
Will financial assistance be available?
Yes! We do want all students to be able to pursue their preferred selection for music class. Through YES, Ross Valley Schools Foundation, we are able to help families that cannot rent an instrument at this time, or who choose not to do so. Please contact the Music Department Coordinator, Pete Santucci for more information. Your request will be confidential. Because we believe strongly that all students must have equal access to the music program, we encourage families to request assistance when it is needed.
How much time should my child practice outside of music class and how can I support my child’s progress?
Students are expected to practice their instruments or song selections at home 30 minutes per week. Music teachers will send home more information and practice logs to support student’s at-home practice, as well as keep this music website up to date with directions for at-home practice. You can support your child by providing positive reinforcement as well as an appropriate place and time for focused, consistent practice. It is important that parents check the practice log each week.
This core arts program is funded by the YES Foundation. Thank you for your support!
5th Grade Music T-Shirts
NEW! 5th grade student musicians are asked to wear a 5th grade music t-shirt with jeans or dark pants for our assemblies and concerts this year. The requested donation is $10 per shirt.
There are TWO ways to order:
1. 5th Grade Music T-Shirt ONLINE ORDER FORM (order and pay online)
2. 5th Grade Music T-Shirt Paper Order Form (hard copies will be handed out to students in music class in the fall; return completed form with cash or check payable to YES Foundation)
Please contact your child’s music teacher via email or written note to request a confidential t-shirt scholarship.
Susie Martone, chorus
Rosemary Montgomery, violin/cello
Pete Santucci, trumpet/trombone
Nicole Smith, flute/clarinet