About our Program

AUSD has a longstanding tradition of excellence in instrumental music! All students in 4th & 5th grade participate in a music class of their choice once a week for 45 minutes during school. Students interested in learning and playing an instrument may register for Band or Orchestra. (Students that choose not to play an instrument will participate in General Music.) We also hold before-school instrumental music sessions to provide additional support and enrichment. Students are expected to practice at home and will perform in at least one concert per year. Our program is a combination of hard work and fun!

What instruments are offered?

Band: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, French Horn, Baritone Horn, Trombone, Percussion (Percussion is for 5th grade students that have completed one year of study on another instrument)

Orchestra: Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass

Please note: In order to balance our ensembles, students are asked to select a first choice and a second choice instrument. We always need more students playing low strings and low brass instruments! Students will receive an instrument confirmation notice with their music schedule at the beginning of the school year.


How do I sign up?

Third grade students attend a recruitment assembly in late May/early June to learn about the program. Students may indicate interest in playing an instrument at this time.

All fourth and fifth grade students will register for a music class in August. Registration forms will be sent out to parents via email in August. Paper forms are available in the school office if you did not receive an email.

Students playing instruments will register for Band or Orchestra. Students that choose not to play an instrument will register for General Music.


Where can I get an instrument?

Most families rent or buy their own instrument. We highly recommend renting an instrument from a local music store for the first year. This insures you will have a quality instrument. (There are many inferior instruments available for a low price, but a quality instrument will help you to be successful.) More information is available on the Instruments & Supplies page and will be sent home with students when they receive their confirmation notice. There is a very limited number of district instruments available for students who cannot provide their own. Please contact your director for more information.


When are the music classes? How do I know when my class is?

Students attend music class once per week for 45 minutes during school. Your classroom teacher will notify you of the music schedule. We also hold additional before-school sessions on music days. The before-school "sectional" schedule will be sent home to parents and students in advance. Please not that attendance at before-school sectionals is not required to participate in the Elementary Instrumental Music Program.


Do I need to know how to play? Should I take private lessons?

You don't need to know how to play, we will teach you! Fourth grade classes are geared toward complete beginners, although we will provide accommodations for more advanced players. Fifth grade classes are geared towards second-year players, although it is possible to start a new instrument. (Please consult with your music teacher if you plan to start a new instrument in 5th grade.)

Private lessons are not required but can be beneficial. Our school music classes are very large and cannot provide the level of personal attention that a private teacher can. We recommend private lessons for students that may have difficulty with the material we are working on in music class OR students that want to work on more advanced music and devote additional time to the study of their instrument. Private lessons are great but they cannot replace the value of playing in a school ensemble and the excitement of making music with your classmates!


Do we have any concerts?

Yes! All instrumental music students will perform at the spring concert in May. Advanced groups may also perform at the December holiday program, Open House, or other various events. Select students will have the honor of performing in our Side by Side Concerts, where elementary students play alongside members of the Arcadia High School Band & Orchestra.