Wiley Elementary Band

Learn More about the Wiley Beginning Band

beginner trombonist

What is Beginning Band?

Beginning Band is a class designed especially for 3rd-5th graders at Wiley who have never played a band instrument before. In Beginning Band, students choose a band instrument and start learning to play from scratch. Ms. Thompson guides beginner students toward developing good practice habits, a basic understanding of their instruments, ability to read and compose music, and a solid musical foundation upon which to build their future musical endeavors.

Instruments available to beginners

Alto Saxophone
Percussion (snare drum and bell set)

How will my child choose an instrument?

Each April, our band holds two Instrument Show and Tell Days for for all students who are interested in joining Beginning Band. During Show and Tell, Ms. Thompson will play each instrument for the students and briefly discuss each instrument's characteristics and challenges. Then, students will be able to try the instruments. By the end of the last Show and Tell, each student should have an idea of which instrument he or she wants to play in band. Parents have until the first day of Virtual Band Camp to obtain an instrument for their child.

Virtual Band Camp - A Special Start for Beginning Band Students

The beginning of one's musical career is a very busy time. There's an instrument to figure out, fingerings to learn, and new musical concepts to practice. During their first days of playing, band students need individual support to help them feel comfortable with their instruments and begin building a strong musical foundation. To provide this necessary support, the Wiley Band asks all beginning band students to participate in Virtual Band Camp before school begins. For more information about Band Camp, please visit our Band Camp Page.

A Dozen Things You'll Learn in Beginning Band

  1. How to assemble, hold, and produce a tone on your instrument
  2. How to clean and care for your instrument
  3. How to figure out and play simple tunes by ear
  4. How to read music in your instrument's clef
  5. How to count rhythms including whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes
  6. How to compose your own music
  7. How to play a major scale on your instrument
  8. The basics of improvising (making up your own music on the spot)
  9. How to play with a pretty sound and blend with the musicians around you
  10. Ways to practice like a professional
  11. How to play music with melodies, countermelodies, and basslines (and not get lost)
  12. How to communicate like a musician

When does Beginning Band rehearse?

Beginning Band rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-8:45am.

How do I join Beginning Band?

Registration for band takes place every April, and detailed information will be sent home in students' Monday folders in late March. Registration forms will also be available here during the regular registration period. If you have questions about joining band, please e-mail our director.