Westbriar Band & Strings Introduction
Interested in joining Band or Strings?
- Westbriar Elementary School offers 5th and 6th grade chorus for young singers who are enthusiastic about making music with others. The chorus rehearses on Friday afternoons in preparation for their performances in March. The chorus leads the school in our annual sing-along prior to winter break. Our 6th grade chorus also participates in the Marshall Pyramid chorus concert at Marshall High School in January.
- At elementary schools in FCPS, students in 5th and 6th grades are able to sign up to learn a band instrument. Instruments in the band program include flute, oboe, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, and percussion (bells and drums). Students are introduced to these instruments at the beginning of the school year, and our band teacher, Ms. Azzarello, helps students select instruments.
- Classes are offered once each week during the school day. A band or strings class becomes one of the two required weekly music classes students receive. All students are placed into groups to attend specials based on signing up for band or strings. Band and string students attend their instrumental class while their classmates attend another special like art, PE, and general music. Band and string students are not pulled out of class during academic time. During the rest of the week, band and strings students attend the other specials.
- Performances this year include daytime assemblies in December to showcase each instrument class. In the spring, fifth and sixth-grade bands will perform a concert for family and friends with assemblies to follow the next morning.
- Advanced sixth graders who practice regularly, have the opportunity to sign up for the Kilmer-Thoreau Area Honor Band. This ensemble is made up of students from several area elementary schools to perform more challenging music. Rehearsals begin in January and run approximately nine weeks. This ensemble will perform a concert in March at Marshall High School. Students will be selected based on ability. Information will be sent home with selected students at the beginning of November. Joining this group is optional.
- Instruction on the Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass is offered to students in 4th, 5th and 6th grade. Lessons will be held once a week during the school day and are free of charge. In order for your child to participate most families will need to be prepared to provide a properly sized instrument for the class. Local music stores offer high quality and reasonably priced trial-purchase and/or rental plans for these instruments. Please do not purchase instruments from an online vendor, as instrument quality can be highly variable. Please also know that the Fairfax County String Program has instruments available for students on free or reduced lunch through the Instruments For All Program. Contact Mr. Barger for more information about this program.
- It generally takes one full year to begin to make measurable progress in an instrumental music program. It is expected that all students enrolling in the program will remain for the entire year. Stringed instrument instruction will continue to be available to your child through the 12th grade. Learning to play an instrument, and belonging to the orchestra benefits children academically and socially. In addition to the music education they receive, students learn self-discipline, group cooperation, problem-solving, goal-setting, self-expression and memory skills. They heighten their concentration proficiency, teamwork abilities and self-esteem – all valuable tools in every aspect of life.
- Please take a few minutes to consider enrolling your child in this excellent program. What is begun in elementary school will be the foundation for a whole new experience in music.
- Students who enroll in Strings are still able to participate in the 5th and 6th-grade Choir.