Welcome to the Norwalk 5th Grade Band website!
Mrs. Menke will post band updates below.  
Please also check out the tabs above for helpful information and photos/videos of the band in action!


posted Feb 14, 2020, 9:28 AM by Elaine Menke

What a great night of music!  At our practice I challenged students to remember 2 words for us to have a great concert - focus and fun!  It takes a lot of hard work for such a huge group to synergize and perform, I am really proud of all of them!


                        Victory Band                                             Integrity Band

CONCERT VIDEO:  Click HERE for the Norwalk Warriors Live YouTube Link if you would like to watch and share with family/friends!

CONCERT PICTURES:  Click HERE for a link to pictures taken by Lynda Downs (proud grandmother and Norwalk MS teacher)!

REMEMBER - Solo Festival (March 7) sign up is due!
All students are practicing a solo in their band lessons! Solo Festival is a great opportunity for them to share their greatness with you in a few weeks.  This is event only takes a short amount of time on March 7 and is NOT a competition, just a "mini-concert" for just your family!

Please click HERE for the online sign-up form or find the attached form below.

Keep making great music Warriors!!

January Update - Concert Feb. 11

posted Jan 28, 2020, 6:46 PM by Elaine Menke

Winter Band Concert - February 11
6:30 PM High School Performing Arts Center

Solo Festival - March 7

Students have started practicing a solo for the Solo Festival on March 7.  They got a chance to choose a solo that fit them the best where they will work on learning new notes, rhythms and symbols.  We are working on this as a long term project with each lesson focusing on a small, more manageable chunk of music.  Ask them to play their first/second chunk for you!

I highly encourage all students to participate in performing for their family at Solo Festival so they can celebrate their progress from the beginning of the year but it is not required!  In a few weeks I will send home a sign-up sheet where you can indicate your preferred time on March 7 (same solo festival for grades 6-8).  I will schedule a 5-minute performance time for your child to perform their solo with piano for family and friends - this is NOT a competition and they DO NOT need to stay for the whole day!

Around-the-World - Home Practice Challenge #2

We have been setting practice goals for about 6 weeks and the band students have been off visiting different countries!  Kudos to the students that completed the Winter Break and Snow Day challenges who have zipped ahead!  Below are some pictures of which countries students are currently visiting!

Tonic Sol-fa Concert THURSDAY!

posted Jan 6, 2020, 8:02 PM by Elaine Menke

Winter Assembly - Dec. 20

posted Dec 30, 2019, 12:41 PM by Elaine Menke

WOW - our first combined band performance was a hit!!  I am so proud of all the band students today - it was a lot of hard work but so much fun to hear how much they have improved since October!  Enjoy the videos below and be sure to read a couple important notes:

Click the links below for the different performances at today's assembly!
Combined Band - all 5th grade performing 3 songs
Breakfast Band and Chorus - 1 band song and 3 chorus songs
Staff 12 Days of Christmas - it was a little tricky for the band kids to see this during the assembly, so hopefully they can watch it with you :)

There are also pictures on the Lakewood Facebook page!

Winter Break Challenge 
A sheet of fun ways to practice and other activities - special bonus for students that complete 1 row or all the boxes!  The sheet is attached below!

Winter Band PARTY!
To celebrate all their progress and practicing at home, we will be having our Winter Band Party when we get back from break.  Students will enjoy hot chocolate or hot apple cider as we watch some fun music videos - I could use maybe 2-3 parents to help serve our drinks, let me know if you are free (Mon. Jan. 6 - Victory Band, Tues. Jan. 7 - Integrity Band) from 2:00-2:45.  THANKS!

Thank you for letting me teach your children, I am truly blessed!!  Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday break and see you next year!!

BRAVO - Demonstration Concert

posted Nov 7, 2019, 5:00 PM by Elaine Menke   [ updated Nov 7, 2019, 5:06 PM ]

Such a great night of performances celebrating the 5th graders progress!!  I am so proud of all these young musicians, it was fun hearing them talk about how they can't wait for the next concert!!

Click HERE for the link to the Norwalk Warriors Live on YouTube that you can watch and share with family, the Integrity Band starts at 07:00 and Victory Band starts at 1:20:00

Click HERE for pictures of the Victory Band taken by Lynda Downs, Middle School teacher and proud grandmother of a 5th grader!  Below is a large group picture she took!

I don't have any pictures of the Integrity Band - if you took some pictures that you would be willing to share, please e-mail me, THANK YOU!

Holiday Book Fair - looking for some fun music to play for the holidays, come check out several books from Rieman Music that you can order!  These will be available during conferences and order forms/payment are due Thursday, Nov. 14.

October UPDATE - Demonstration Concert - Oct. 31

posted Oct 18, 2019, 9:36 AM by Elaine Menke   [ updated Oct 18, 2019, 9:39 AM ]

It's hard to believe students have been playing only 2 months!  Hopefully at home you are hearing more recognizable tunes!  We are excited to share with you what we have learned already at our Demonstration Concert! 

Other concerts - SAVE THE DATES=============================>>>

    ** the other concerts will have Victory & Integrity combined as one band concert

Shirts handed out Friday - If you missed ordering a shirt or want a hoodie, long-sleeve, etc. please visit The Norwalk Shop - click HERE for the online shop to order, thank you Chad Smith for helping design and print our shirts!!

Karate Practice Challenge pictures - Celebrations!!  Students have been earning their Karate belts for practicing and it's been fun seeing their excitement in getting their next belt!  We will keep recording minutes on the green practice chart through Nov. 15.  Students get a bonus 10 minutes for having a parent/guardian signature!!



We said goodbye to Miss Cook as she finished up student-teaching, we were so lucky to have her working with students and sharing her love of music!!  She is off to Waukee for her next student-teaching placement.

Big Rocks and Music t-shirt update

posted Sep 22, 2019, 10:25 AM by Elaine Menke

WOW, I can't believe we have had almost 1 month of band this year already!  The students are working hard, some of our "BIG ROCKS" right now are:
    1. confident first 3 notes
    2. starting notes with tongue articulation (percussion - using correct sticking)
    3. keeping eyes on music

We are going to get recognizable songs very soon, I am reminding students that learning something new takes TIME, PATIENCE and PRACTICE!  Just like learning how to swim - you don't learn to dive right away, or learning how to cook - you are not roasting a turkey on your first try!  So, practicing these easier, basic songs will help us become confident music readers for the fun songs with more notes!

Below is the order form our Lakewood Music t-shirts that will be worn by both 5th grade band and chorus students for several performances through the year!  We are ordering shirts through The Norwalk Shop, thank you to Chad Smith for all his help with the design.  I will have paper copies at school too!
Order forms and money are DUE Oct. 4!!

First Big Band - videos

posted Sep 22, 2019, 10:20 AM by Elaine Menke

The first Big Bands for both Victory and Integrity went awesome!!  They were great listeners and we are off to a great start!  We had fun playing together for the first time - lots of laughs because of the crazy sound with everyone :)   Enjoy the videos below - turn the volume up for the full experience - HA!

Victory First Big Band

Integrity First Big Band

First Big Band practice!

posted Sep 9, 2019, 11:13 AM by Elaine Menke

Hello Victory band families - we have had 2 great first lessons and hopefully you are hearing some fun sounds now at home!  Encourage your child to show and play for you what they have learned!

This week students will need to start bringing their instruments twice a week :
        Victory Band (Clouse, Kramer, Krichau, Rench, Sullivan):  MONDAYS and THURSDAYS

        Integrity Band (Friesen, Hollingsworth, Pelzer, Perington, Ramthun): TUESDAYS and FRIDAYS

         ** Wednesday lesson students will still have a lesson on Sept. 11**

In our final beginning group lesson (#3) this week, we will go over more information about cleaning and taking care of their instrument.  Please go over the care sheet in their band folder.

A reminder that every band student needs a band book (Measures of Success).  You can purchase one at the local music stores, Amazon or at Lakewood.  If you would like to purchase your band book through school, please send $10 ($15 for percussion) by Wednesday - this will be the final day to order books.

Thursday will be our first Big Band where we practice with ALL Victory band students together!  I will be sure to share a video of our first sounds for you to enjoy :)

Final note - students have been challenged to practice regularly at home (15 minutes, 4-5 days a week).  They are working to earn their "karate belt" by practicing 180 total minutes at home and filling out their green practice chart.

Summer Update #2

posted Aug 15, 2019, 9:33 PM by Elaine Menke

As of today we have around 170  5th graders signed-up for band and I'm very excited for this large group!!  We will be split into 2 smaller bands as in past years.  

REMINDER:  although I know your child may be VERY excited, please don't let them play their instrument yet (I recommend hiding it if needed!)  First lessons will start on Aug. 28 and it will be fun for them to start learning together with their classmates.  Also, this reduces the chance for any instrument damage to happen.

OPEN HOUSE - Aug. 20, 4:00-6:00 PM:  Please stop by the band room, I can't wait to see everyone!  Students will also get a chance to vote for our music t-shirt design!!  Rieman Music will also be available at Open House.  For the quickest process - use their online rental form (click HERE) and pick up everything at Open House!  You can also stop in to rent and ask questions to the Rieman Music representatives. 

** all offer rental programs, and rent reputable/durable brands

INTRODUCING......Miss Cook
I am excited to introduce Miss Cook as my student teacher!  She attends the University of Northern Iowa, flute is her main instrument and Lakewood students are going to have a great time learning from her this fall!

Now would also be a good time to talk with your child about some of the Leader in Me 7 Habits to help them have a super band experience:

1. Be Proactive and set up a game plan for practicing at home - which days and times work best, where is a quiet space for them to focus, etc. It's awesome that many students are involved in multiple activities and they can also be successful in band with a goal of practicing 4-5 days a week for 15-20 minutes.  

2. When they come to their weekly band lesson prepared it's a great feeling of accomplishment and if they are thinking Begin with the End in Mind - making a plan to practice at home helps!

3.  At some point, Putting First Things First may be one of your needed reminders, whether it is about homework, chores or practicing their instrument.  I tell students that 15 minutes will go by really fast if they practice the circled songs I give them at their lessons.  

Looking forward to getting this year's 5th graders started on their band adventure and see you at Open House!!  Please also let me know if you have additional e-mail addresses you would like added to my e-mail list.

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