Spaulding High School Music Department
Small Group & Private Lesson Program
The Spaulding High School Music Department, in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire Department of Music, is pleased to announce the sixth year of our small group and private lesson program! This program is designed to maximize your student’s progress and performance on his or her instrument.
Why should your student pursue small group lessons at SHS?
· Lessons set the student up for success! It’s no coincidence that students who get the best seating assignments in an ensemble, who are accepted to All-State, or who are otherwise able to pursue music at a high level are also, more often than not, the ones that take lessons. By building a solid technical foundation in the lesson program the student gains confidence as he or she learns, plays, and succeeds. By building strong individual skills, the student is then better prepared to participate in large ensembles, to learn more in those environments, and to more fully enjoy their music-making experience.
· Working with a lesson teacher can help a student to catch up and keep up with more advanced peers! Not all students learn at the same rate, but lessons can be the great equalizer. The added instructional attention in a small group setting can help transform a student who is struggling into one that is able to keep pace with more advanced members of their section. This not only raises the overall performance level of the ensemble but also builds the individual student’s self-esteem and sense of overall impact on the group.
· Small group lessons with students of like abilities can help to minimize an individual student’s anxiety and frustration! The small group environment provides an instant support system that may help further individual achievement and to encourage shy players to take chances that will improve their playing.
· Lessons keep your student motivated by teaching them both HOW and WHAT to practice! A lesson instructor can help the student to set realistic goals and to determine what new exercise, etude or excerpt will help them to achieve those goals. By sending the student home weekly with the proper practice skills and assignments, the lesson instructor can help the student get the most out of their individual practice time, to take control over it, and to confidently expect results.
· Lessons have never been more affordable! By creating small lesson groups students share the cost of the instructor while still reaping many of the benefits that would be obtained through one-on-one instruction.
· Our lesson program can assist students in reaching their goals for enrollment in Honors or Enriched ensembles. In order to participate in ensembles at the Honors or Enriched level students must demonstrate that their musicianship rises to an appropriate level. Group and/or private lessons are a highly effective means of gaining the skillsets required and as such are highly recommended.
Where will the lessons be given?
Small group lessons will be conducted in various rooms in and around the Music Department at Spaulding High School.
Who will be teaching the lessons?
Lessons will be taught by junior and senior candidates for degrees in Music Education at the University of New Hampshire or by individuals with similar credentials. Whenever possible, lesson instructors will be actively enrolled in the Music Education program as well as be members in good standing of the Collegiate Chapter of NAFME (National Association for Music Education). Instructors will be accomplished performers on their primary instrument. In some cases they may also be qualified to teach a secondary instrument. Instructors will have already successfully completed teaching experiences with both elementary and middle school aged students through their involvement in the EDUC 500 course at UNH (or equivalent). Further education will be provided as needed by both UNH and SHS music faculty members.
The program will be supervised by at least one member of the SHS music faculty at all times while lessons are in progress.
How much will lessons cost?
By assigning students to small groups we are able to keep the cost of the lesson low. Lessons must be pre-paid. There are between 8-10 lessons scheduled each semester. The cost is $7/lesson for a group lesson or $20/lesson for a private lesson, HOWEVER, lessons are purchased in blocks - meaning you must purchase the entire semester's worth of lessons. Single lessons are generally not available except under certain circumstances and by special arrangement with Mr. Goodwin.
Checks should be made payable to: Spaulding Music Department
NOTE: Students may also be required to purchase a method book appropriate to their ability level at a cost of between $10-20. More information will be provided at the first lesson meeting. Books must be purchased ASAP following the first meeting.
When will lessons take place?
The SHS group lesson program will run on a weekly basis as outlined below. Students must commit to a full semester of lessons (typically 8-10). Exact lesson times will be determined after students have enrolled so that students may be placed into groups of like instruments and ability levels. Lessons will run for 45 minutes per session.
* It’s important to note that Spring Lessons are particularly challenging to schedule. Final schedules will depend on instructor availability and that means that sometimes lessons must be taught on days or times other than those listed above due to academic or performance conflicts. This is one of the trade-offs for getting quality lessons at a discounted cost. I appreciate your patience throughout the scheduling process. The finalized schedule will be released as soon as possible so that employers and family can be notified as early as possible.
Instructors will be carpooling from Durham on a weekly basis. Due to the cost of gas and the limited income of these college-aged students the ability to schedule make-up lessons will be limited to instances where the instructors themselves must cancel due to illness or an extenuating circumstance such as unsafe weather or driving conditions. In the instance that a make-up lesson cannot be scheduled the student will either be credited or refunded the cost of one lesson at the discretion of SHS music faculty.
Students who are unable to attend a lesson, whether due to illness or some other reason, should notify Mr. Goodwin NO LATER THAN 7:30 AM on the day of the lesson. In some cases multiple attendance issues may require that we cancel an instructor for the day and notice must be given to that instructor well before they leave Durham.
Due to scheduling difficulties, there will be no make-up lessons scheduled and no credit or refund granted for individual student absence or tardiness. Students must make their best faith effort to attend each lesson as the lesson must be paid for regardless of attendance.
OTHER FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS:
Are there any other perks or benefits to the small group lesson program?
YES! Students enrolled in lessons through this program will qualify for a SUBSTANTIAL discount on participation in the New Hampshire Youth Band, which rehearses weekly (Wednesday evenings 6:30-8PM) at the UNH campus in Durham, NH. By mentioning your enrollment in the Spaulding Lesson Program one semester of participation, which includes ten weekly rehearsals and one performance, will cost a student only $10 ($1 per rehearsal) … regular cost is $100 or more!! This would be an excellent opportunity for SHS music students to further enhance their skills, make contacts beyond the Rochester community, and have the opportunity to rehearse and perform in a collegiate environment. More information on the New Hampshire Youth Band can be found at: https://cola.unh.edu/music/outreach/new-hampshire-youth-band
Are private one-on-one lessons offered through SHS?
A limited number of private lesson blocks are available and requests will be examined on a case-by-case basis. Due to scheduling constraints placement cannot be guaranteed.
Students must commit to a full-semester of lessons.
Will younger children be able to enroll in the lesson program?
Invitations to participate in the program are extended to certain 8th grade students on a case-by-case basis. The student must be particularly mature, motivated and interested in furthering their abilities on their instrument and should have strong support for their efforts at home to ensure success.
Is participation in the lesson program required in order to receive Honors or Enriched credit?
No, students are not required to participate in the lesson program in order to receive Honors or Enriched credit for ensembles. Enrollment in Honors or Enriched sections of ensembles is based upon level of musicianship and as such students must pass an audition in order to be admitted into those sections. Once admitted, students must also commit to meeting other requirements as well (outlined here). One of the easiest ways for a student to increase their skillset and better their musical abilities to the point where audition requirements can be met is through small group or private instruction, however so long as a student can pass the Honors or Enriched audition they may enroll in those sections of the ensembles regardless of whether or not they are taking lessons.
Money is very tight, but my student is driven to improve and wants to take lessons … what can we do!?
Contact Mr. Goodwin ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org … we are able to scholarship a select number of students each semester so long as they are serious about making the commitment to be there and to practice!