Band class gets tune up at Red Deer Catholic

Six schools participate

More Grade 5 students with Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division will participate in an expanded music program starting in September.

The elementary comprehensive music program pilot program that ran at three schools will be soon be offered at six schools — Father Henri Voisin School, St. Martin de Porres School, Maryview School, St. Teresa of Avil School, Holy Family School and St. Elizabeth Seton School.

“We’ve had almost a redesign of what we’re doing at the Grade 5 music level,” said division principal Michelle Wright.

She said historically everyone in Grade 5 took band and each student learned a band instrument like the trombone, clarinet or alto saxophone. The focus on learning one instrument met the needs of some students but others needed more variety.

“Now band instruments can be a 12-week program. The other weeks are other aspects of the music program. In some schools they’re using boomwackers. In some schools they’re doing bucket drumming. We also have djembe drums.”

Singing and other aspects of the music curriculum are also being added, she said.

“We believe we’ve hit a nice balance between all the strands within the music curriculum.”

Wright said schools can choose whether they want to expand their music program or stick with the original band program. Mainly kindergarten to Grade 5 schools are choosing to expand.

She said the division is looking at all of its fine arts programs to see how schools can improve students’ experience and enjoyment. Grade 5 music was one of the initial areas of focus.

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