The Massachusetts Amherst and Pelham Elementary schools offer free orchestral instruction for students in third through sixth grades, and free band instruction for students in fourth through sixth grades. Students will receive a 30 minute group lesson, and students in 5th and 6th grade participate in a 45 minute ensemble rehearsal once weekly. We perform winter and spring concerts, during the school day and in the evening.


Getting in touch with us

Heather O’Mara, Orchestra omarah@arps.org

Katie LaFond, Amherst Bands lafondk@arps.org

Robert Castellano, strings & winds castellr@arps.org

Laura Arpiainen, Pelham Band arpiainenl@arps.org 

Rotating Schedule
Students will have the same lesson day each week, but lesson times rotate. Students are expected to check the schedule, keep track of the time, notify their teacher that they are leaving, and come to their lesson on time. Schedules are posted in the classrooms and on my door. If a lesson needs to be rescheduled, the student should do that at the beginning of the day.

Students are responsible for making up classroom work missed during lessons, and if they are absent on the day of music lessons, they are responsible for talking to their lesson group and making up the lesson work they missed. 

If your child needs support, we are happy to help. Please get in touch with us so we can work out a plan together.

Enrollment
Each fall, the instrumental music staff will visit each classroom in grades 3 through 6 so the students may meet the teachers and hear about the program. They’ll receive an enrollment form, which should be filled out clearly and completely, and returned as soon as possible, so that we can schedule lessons, assign instruments, and get started.

Instruments offered

  • Orchestra

    • 3rd and 4th grades: violin, viola, cello

    • 5th and 6th grades: violin, viola, cello, bass

  • Band

    • 4th grade: flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone

    • 5th grade: flute, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, F horn, trombone, mallet percussion (xylophone)

    • 6th grade: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, percussion (drums)