“In my own philanthropy and business endeavors, I have seen the critical role that the arts play in stimulating creativity and in developing vital communities...the arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery, and achievement in our country.”
– Paul G. Allen, Co-Founder, Microsoft
Participation in the band program benefits students in a number of ways. Band members quickly learn about responsibility, self-discipline, and teamwork and these character traits continue to develop as they progress through their musical studies. Many studies have shown that students who participate in band have higher scores on standardized tests as well as the SAT and ACT than non-band students.
Students with coursework/experience in music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT: students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math, and students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math, than did students with no arts participation.
- College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001
These benefits come as a result of the affect that the study of music has on the brain and the multitasking and higher level thinking skills that are required of musicians. Independent review and practice is a key component of success in all subjects and band is no different. Home practice is required in order to be successful in learning to play an instrument but no more than 15 minutes per day is required for most beginning band students. As parents are well aware, as we age the stressful requirements of life continue to increase. It is vital to our mental health that we have an outlet of personal expression and playing a musical instrument provides a fantastic opportunity for this.
The things I learned from my experience in music in school are discipline, perseverance, dependability, composure, courage and pride in results... Not a bad preparation for the workforce!”
– Gregory Anrig, President, Educational Testing Service
The steps for getting your child to "Be Part of the Band" are...1) Put Beginning Band as the #1 Fine Arts encore/elective class choice on the student registration card2) Register for and participate in one of the instrument petting zoo meetings. We have not received approval for having our instrument petting zoo meetings this spring but we are hopefull that we will be able to have them as we did back before the Covid closures. Once we receive approval for having our instrument petting zoo meetings there will be a sign-up form linked to this page where parents will be able to sign up for a petting zoom meeting date and time.
For the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year instruction in beginning band will be limited to the Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, and Percussion. Note: Students that are interested in playing percussion will need to have had piano lessons and be able to read notes and rhythms on music and be ablet o perform them on a keyboard instrument (piano, xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, etc.). Students that wish to be considered for percussion will need to be prepred to perform this percussion audition material at their instrument petting zoo meeting.
In order to provide an opportunity for incoming beginning band members to gain some experience with instrument music, the MMS band program usually hosts "Instrument Petting Zoo" meetings. These drop in meetings have given students the chance to "test drive" some of the instruments used in the band. The meetings have also given parents the opportunities to ask questions. Without sitting down and trying out each instrument it is impossible to be sure which one is best suited for each students individual musculature and oral structure. A student that choses to play an instument that is illfitted for their muscalature and embouchure will struggle. Participation in the petting zoo meetings makes it possible for the instrument to choose the student rather than the student choose the instrument (kind of like how the wands choose the witch/wizard in the "Harry Potter" series). We hope to be able to host our instrument petting zoo meetings this May but are waiting for approval from the school system.
In order to gain some additional inforamtion about the instruments that are used in band, parents and students may want to click the following link that can help students choose which instrument might be the instrument that they most prefer to play in beginning band. No prior instruction or experience is necessary for students that elect to play the Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, or Trombone. They will be provided all the insturction that they need to be succusseful duirng their every other day beginning band class.
Tryouts will be held at the end of the second quarter (February) for students that are interested in playing a the saxophone, bass clarinet, oboe, bassoon, French horn, baritone, and tuba. Additional information about switching instruments will be supplied by the band director.
The band program at Meadowlark is very accomplished and one of the strongest organizations at the school. Below are some of the honors earned by the MMS band program during the 2019-2020 School Year.
- 46 students qualified for membership in the All-County Band.
- Three of the eighteen all-county first chair players were from Meadowlark.
- 22 students qualified for membership in the All-District Band.
- Two of the eighteen first chairs were from Meadowlark.
- Five students earned membership in the Western North Carolina all-region jazz band.
- Eight students qualified to audition for membership in the North Carolina all-state concert and jazz bands.
- Two students earned membership in the all-state concert and jazz bands.
- In March of 2019 the MMS Eighth Grade Band earned a "SUPERIOR" rating at the North Carolina Concert Band Music Performance Adjudication Festival performing Grade III literature earning straight "A's" in every category from all four of the MPA judges
- In April of 2019 Seventy-one different solos or ensembles were performed by Meadowlark band students as the district solo & ensemble festival. One hundred fourty-three band students participated in these seventy-one events and every single one earned a Superior rating from the festival judges (the most of any school, middle or high school, in the northwest district of North Carolina).
- In May of 2019 the MMS Jazz Band earned a "SUPERIOR" rating at the North Carolina Jazz Band Music Performance Adjudication Festival earning straight superior ratings from the festival judges.
“It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough - it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our hearts sing.”
– Steve Jobs, in introducing the iPad 2 in 2011