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WILLIAMS MUSIC PROGRAMS

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Music sparks all areas of development in children, helping the body and mind work together. Exposing children to a music enrichment at a young age can aid in increasing school readiness and contribute to growth in intellectual, motor skills, social-emotional skills as well as provide a fun way to learn how to work as a team.

WINS is thrilled to be able to expand our Music Enrichment options this year, partnering with Almaden Academy of Music and hope that any child excited about music can find something to participate in. We are excited to continue the Williams Band with a new addition of a Jr. Percussion Ensemble for the younger grades and bring back an Orchestra Program. It's going to be a wonderfully musical year here at Williams! Please see below for Program Options. 

2024 PROGRAM OPTIONS

*Performances will be presented in May for each ensemble, dates and times TBD.

ADVANCED BAND

Spring 2024 Semester: 1/11 - 5/16

Grades 3-5

Thursdays 2:10-2:55pm (ROOM C6)

Instruments available: clarinet, flute, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and drums (*4th-5th only)

Band sets the foundation for a lifetime love of music and allows busy parents the convenience of additional musical training onsite right after school. Kids will have a blast learning to master an instrument, follow a conductor, work together, and enjoy different musical styles. We welcome returning Williams Band students to our Advanced Band. *3rd grade drummers are encouraged to register for Jr. Percussion Ensemble so they can receive more individual attention and technical assistance.

BEGINNER BAND

Spring 2024 Semester: 1/11 - 5/16 

Grades 3-5

Thursdays 2:10-2:55 (ROOM C4)

Instruments available: clarinet, flute, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and drums (*4th-5th only)

Band sets the foundation for a lifetime love of music and allows busy parents the convenience of additional musical training onsite right after school. Kids will have a blast learning to master an instrument, follow a conductor, work together, and enjoy different musical styles. Our new students to our Beginner Band. Kids may choose what they'd like to play from the available instruments. *3rd grade drummers are encouraged to register for Jr. Percussion Ensemble so they can receive more individual attention and technical assistance.

JR PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE

Spring 2024 Semester: 1/16 - 5/14 (ROOM C6)

Grades K-3

Tuesdays 2:10-2:55 (ROOM C4) 

Now that we've gotten some of the basics mastered in the first semester we are moving into more instruments, including the ever-popular...drumset! We'll be diving into rhythms and instruments from around the world too, in preparation for some special performances this spring. Jr. Perc can also look forward to a little more free percussion play each class, as well as some fancy challenges. Our teacher Eli Orque is SO excited to lead the group at our new Tuesday after school time. Eli is one of our most popular younger kid teachers. We know you'll love him! Kids will have a blast learning to play a wide range of percussion instruments, follow a conductor, work together, and enjoy different musical styles. Square-one beginners and those with prior experience welcome. Instrument rental is not required.

ADVANCED ORCHESTRA

Spring 2024 Semester: 1/16 - 5/17

Grades 3-5

Fridays 2:10-2:55 (ROOM C6)

Instruments available: violin, cello, and electric bass

BEGINNER ORCHESTRA

Grades 3-5

Fridays 2:10-2:55 (ROOM C4)

Instruments available: violin, cello, and electric bass

The student may choose what they'd like to play. Low-cost instrument rental of violins and cellos is facilitated through NEMC (AAM partner) and/or Music Village in San Jose. * Students will most likely need to purchase an electric bass if they're interested, as these instruments are lower cost and not typically rented. We recommend Fender, Markbass, and Ampeg brands.

 

PLEASE NOTE STRING INSTRUMENTS COME IN MULTIPLE SIZES - Students are encouraged to stop in AAM to be sized, or to consult videos on Youtube instructing you how to measure for the right size violin or cello before ordering. A child cannot comfortably or correctly play an instrument that is the wrong size for them. 

For all programs, parents/caregivers are required to volunteer for one rehearsal per semester to assist with set-up and clean-up so we can provide this convenience onsite. In lieu of volunteering a $25 buy-out option is available.

FAQs

Why are there age restrictions for some ensembles?

Some instruments are very difficult (or impossible) to play until one reaches a certain physical size. Our age restrictions ensure that a child will almost certainly be big enough to play the instrument of their choice in that ensemble. String instruments can be smaller, whereas wind instruments do not come in smaller sizes because it would just make them harder to play as well as changing the notes and fingerings.

Elementary Orchestra lists electric bass. Do you mean electric bass like a guitar??

Yes!!! An exciting new trend in Elementary Orchestra programs is to allow kids to start playing bass on an electric bass, since upright basses are extremely large, expensive, and can be difficult to get repaired if damaged. An electric bass is a fun, easier, and more budget-friendly option for elementary kids, and the fingerings and skills they learn will translate directly if they decide to move to upright bass in middle school. (All they need to do is apply the same fingers to the upright bass and add the bow.) Electric bass students will use the Strictly Strings book for upright bass in Orchestra, playing pizzicato. We suggest younger students start on a mini or “short stack” bass. Electric basses are typically purchased rather than rented.

Which instruments will kids play in Percussion Ensemble?

Kids will play a variety of cool percussion instruments encompassing pitched and unpitched percussion, mallet percussion (xylophones, etc), Western and world drums, hand-held percussion instruments from around the world, resonator bars, boomwhackers, and fun creative options as well. Senior Percussion ensembles will also get a chance to work on Western classical percussion rudiments and a bit of drumset. Please watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu6SJTIMHpU for a preview from Mr. Niles.

My child would like to join band/orchestra but has never played the instrument before. Is that okay?

Absolutely!! Unless the ensemble is labelled “Advanced …” square-one beginners are welcome and encouraged. Our faculty is amazingly adept at getting kids up and running on their instrument. At-home practice and private lessons helps speed up anyone’s progress, of course, but no prior experience is necessary to join one of the ensembles (except those labelled “Advanced…”).

My child was in Band last year but is trying a new instrument, which level do I sign up for?

If this is a brand new instrument, please register for our Beginner band to be able to better support her transition to a new instrument.

My child would like to join band/orchestra but has never played the instrument before. Is that okay?

Absolutely!! Unless the ensemble is labelled “Advanced …” square-one beginners are welcome and encouraged. Our faculty is amazingly adept at getting kids up and running on their instrument. At-home practice and private lessons helps speed up anyone’s progress, of course, but no prior experience is necessary to join one of the ensembles (except those labelled “Advanced…”).

Where can I rent an instrument?

We partner with a national instrument company, NEMC, which provides very low-cost rentals that you order online and are shipped directly to you. Click here to be routed to their portal for pricing and ordering. If something needs repair, you send it back and they send a new one. This is the lowest-cost option (most instruments less than $30/month) and conveniently delivered to you. Other nice local options for rental are Music Village in San Jose, Park Avenue Music Center in Willow Glen, and Kumimoto Fine Strings in San Jose. The instruments from these stores are generally slightly more per month, but you have the convenience of in-person repairs.

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