In fifth grade, students have the opportunity to play in band or orchestra. At Fort Caspar Academy the band program is before school from 7:50-8:20 a.m. every Tuesday and Friday. Students will have the opportunity to start band and still continue to participate in general music during the school day. Students in the band program may learn how to play oboe, flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, or percussion. Students have the opportunity to play with many guest musicians and specialists throughout the year!
The string orchestra at Fort Caspar Academy is designed to give beginning fifth-grade string students the opportunity to learn to play a bowed string instrument: violin, viola, cello, or bass. Learning to play an instrument and belonging to the school orchestra opens up a whole new world of friendship and fun. Your child will be able to take advantage of music performances with the orchestras, at the middle or junior high school level, as well as the high school level. The opportunities for playing stringed instruments after high school are abundant, with many colleges and universities offering financial aid for orchestra participation, particularly for good viola and string bass players. Orchestra provides a great foundation for your child in all aspects of life.
In addition to music, students learn self-discipline, group cooperation, problem solving, goal setting, self-expression, memory skills, concentration, poise, enhanced physical coordination, high self-esteem, and the importance of teamwork; these are skills in great demand in almost every aspect of life.
The class meets from 7:50 to 8:20 on Tuesday and Friday mornings in the music room. A demonstration of the instruments and information about obtaining an instrument will be presented at the onset of the school year. Students choosing to participate should plan on at least a one-year commitment to orchestra class to ensure the best chance for success. Students and parents should also realize that they would be able to switch to a band instrument at the start of the sixth grade only with the permission of the middle school director, as both the band and the orchestra classes generally allow beginners only at the fifth grade level. As with any academic endeavor, this ability to persevere is very important. Home practice (with or without a mute) on a regular basis with encouragement from the family is extremely important as well. One evening and one daytime concert will be presented in the spring as culminating activities.