The percussion class was developed by middle and high school band instructor Betty Long. She was inspired by a seminar she attended at the Music Educators Conference. “It introduced new materials and curriculum for percussion classes. I knew this would be a good class for Sagemont with so many students interested in playing percussion.”
The class focuses entirely on percussion instruments, unlike a traditional band class which usually focuses on the wind instruments. “In percussion class we cover parts of the snare, various percussion instruments, rhythm reading and dictation, solo and ensemble playing, and composition,”
Of course, for the students, their favorite part is playing STOMP-style. Mrs. Long encourages students to be creative and come up with different ways to make interesting sounds. “We like to incorporate everyday items like desks, bicycle frames, pens and cups,” she explains, noting that students work together to figure out what items to use.
“I learned that you can make music from absolutely anything and also that it is always fun to use just everyday things from maybe around the house or in the classroom to create a composition,”
Students in Mrs. Long’s percussion class quickly learn that making music is not the same as making noise. “Creativity is the key,” she explains. “How does it all blend together? What type of theory is behind it? The students learn how to read and write rhythms as well as the basics to composition. They use the knowledge that they have gained over the year(s) to write their music.”
That is 10th grader Ali Awad’s favorite part of percussion class. “I liked making variations of sounds and putting them all in one ensemble.”
The percussion class is not the only unique music program at Sagemont. Mrs. Long also offers a pep band at the high school. “It’s another way for the band students to participate as a group,” she notes. “The music is a bit less serious so the students have a little more fun with it.”
Both of these programs compliment Sagemont’s successful band program. “Last year, our third year as a band program, we had a student accepted into the All-State Middle School Honor Band and the All-County Middle School Honor Band,” explains Mrs. Long. “At District Solo and Ensemble MPA’s, we received 12 Superior ratings and 7 excellent ratings. Then, at the end of the year, one of our students was invited to audition for the Florida Youth Orchestra and is now a member of their Flute Orchestra.”
Sagemont hopes to build on that success by introducing band to younger students. The school offers band as a year-round elective to fifth graders. The class doubled in size last year with the addition of Noah Bellamy as band instructor. He is a member of the classic 70’s band, KC and The Sunshine Band. Bellamy plays trombone.
Sagemont’s Upper School Campus band classes will perform at the winter band/chorus concert on Wednesday, December 14th. Admission is free and is open to the public.
The Sagemont School offers a college prep curriculum and operates two campuses in Weston, Fl. In Pre-K through Grade 5, The Sagemont School provides core concepts in a creative environment combined with weekly specials that include science, art, music, Spanish for non-native & native speakers, swimming, PE and media and technology. From middle school through high school graduation, Sagemont students choose from a variety of regular, honors and AP course work. In addition, students share in a networked wireless laptop environment and participate in a comprehensive guidance program for college entrance. Visit The Sagemont School Web site at http://www.sagemont.com/
For more information on The Sagemont School contact Dr. Brent Goldman, President at (954) 389-2454 ext., 305, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.To read more stories about The Sagemont School written by Stacey Bomser go to School News at www.ourcityofweston.com
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The Sagemont School operates two campuses in Weston. The Lower School Campus
serves students in PreK3- Grade 5; the Upper School Campus serves Grade 6 through