Course Description


6th grade band is the beginning level band class for Mason City Schools. It is considered a ‘special’ class option. Any student who decides to play an instrument will have the opportunity to choose other specials to participate in throughout the year. Woodwind and brass classes do not generally rehearse together in 6th grade band. 

We will no longer be teaching percussion in 6th grade band. Students interested in becoming a percussionist will need to play a woodwind or brass instrument in 6th grade to learn to read music, count rhythms, and play within an ensemble. At the end of 6th grade, students interested in percussion will go through an audition process to determine who will play percussion. Percussion instruction will begin in 7th grade band on mallet instruments and snare drum rudiments. Remember: Concert band percussion is NOT the same as playing drum set! Percussionists play in concert band, but drum set is for rock bands and jazz band. We do not teach rock or jazz band in 6th grade. 

Students are to bring their instrument AND band folder to each band class. We will issue free folders to each student at the beginning of the year. Students should keep a pencil in their folders at all times in addition to their method book and any sheet music given to them during class. 

Since band does not get to meet every day, it is very important to do “homework” or practice at home. A minimum of 60 minutes a week is expected of each student in order to maintain and reinforce the techniques that are taught in class. 

Beginning band topics include the fundamentals of posture, the proper way of holding the instrument, production of a characteristic sound, and how to perform. They will be taught how to read music in terms of identifying notes on the staff, manipulation of their instrument to produce the corresponding note, and understanding rhythm values. Students will be graded daily on music preparation, class participation (which includes having the necessary equipment in class), attitude, and completion of weekly practice logs.

Students will be graded on the following scale per the Mason City Schools definitions: 

A PLUS indicates the student consistently demonstrates competency.

A CHECK MARK is the designation for a student who is progressing. Most students typically receive this grade in band.

A MINUS is used when band performance appears to be an area of concern for the graded student. 

Band is considered a performing group. There will be two concerts given each year, one in the winter and one in the spring (usually December & May). These concerts are equivalent to a major project in other classes. Attendance at the concerts is critical. Dates for these concerts will be communicated through letters sent home at least a month ahead of time. They will also be posted on Edline, shared through Edline emails, and available at this website as they are officially scheduled.