At an arts-integrated school like Johns Hill, we are very proud of our performing ensembles and music classes. Students have the opportunity to learn more than just reading music and playing instruments. Students in the Instrumental music program practice improvising, composing, listening, reflecting, and many other ways of making music come alive. Students in Johns Hill’s instrumental music programs are often found in high academic standing, as well as visible members of the school, performing for other classes, and school programs such as the annual Veteran’s Day Assembly.
Beginning in the 4th grade, students are able to begin traditionally-instructed lessons on any string instrument: violin, viola, cello, or bass. Students meet weekly for small-group lessons and also participate in concerts and festivals hosted by the district. For most, this is the first opportunity to play an instrument in school, and many students who enjoy this experience continue to play a string instrument through middle school.
In addition to continuing a string instrument from the previous year, many 5th grade students often take advantage of playing a band instrument: flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, and percussion. Like beginning orchestra, students meet weekly for small group lessons and play in school concerts. The goal of the beginning band is to familiarize the student with reading traditional notation as well as becoming proficient on an instrument.
The 6th Grade Band is comprised of students that continue with their instruments into middle school. Meeting every day, it is designed to further enhance the students' musicality and music literacy. The 6th grade band performs more difficult music, as well as serving as a transition to the 7th/8th grade band.
The 7th/8th grade band is comprised of both third and fourth year players. Playing more difficult music, students refine their skills as players and begin to learn more advanced music theory as well as polish their music reading skills.
The Middle School Orchestra is made up of 6th, 7th and 8th grade string players. They also polish their music reading skills and play music from many different time periods, including classical to modern. The orchestra does many performances in the school and out, including Jazz on the Hill every May in Art Alley.
Students in 7th and 8th grade may want to participate in the Johns Hill Rock Band, which meets once a week during lunch in addition to several after-school rehearsals. This one-of-a-kind ensemble plays pop music from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, from Otis Redding to Stevie Wonder, James Brown to Dolly Parton. The Rock Band plays several concerts a year, both in the building and out, and is always a highly-anticipated show!
Mr. Tom Miller, Director