The students at my school are special because they live in a relatively well-off area, but many of them live in an adjacent town. That town is not as well off as ours, which means that many of my students cannot afford to purchase or rent their own instruments to play in orchestra and band. Another portion of our students come from the large military presence in the area. We have an army base and a military graduate school in the area, so we see an influx of students with parents in the military.
Ninety-five percent of the students in the music program use instruments that are provided to them by the school.
We are quite fortunate to have such a large inventory of functional instruments, but many of them are quite old.
Besides music, students at this school have a limited number of electives that they can take so our music program is turning into a large draw for students from all over the school. The administration is also incredibly supportive of the music programs as well, which makes recruitment and retention much easier.
I will be able to use these books every day with my bands to help them read and play hundreds of different rhythmic patterns. These books help students identify rhythms on sight rather than having to spend time thinking about how to interpret them. I used these books in my student teaching with great success. They helped the band play together in sections of music with complex rhythms throughout. For a musician, learning how to read rhythms proficiently is more important than learning how to play correct notes. A student can play all of the notes on the page correctly, but if the rhythm is incorrect, the music will fall apart.
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