Dear Musicians, Families, and Friends,
Congratulations! You are attending school in one of the few districts in California that provides a full time music teacher at each elementary school. SBUSD offers general music for TK through 2nd grade, recorders in 3rd, and instrumental instruction for band and orchestra in 4th through 6th grades. Santa Barbara was recently recognized as a NAMM 2015 Best Communities for Music Education.
Here are just 4 of many ways in which music develops the mind and benefits students all around:
1. Music strengthens your memory. Scientists have proven that students who learn to play an instrument or who sing are able to remember facts and events better than students who do not take music lessons.
2. Music makes you smarter in school. Students who have regular music lessons tend to score higher on tests and perform better in school.
3. Music teaches teamwork and social skills. Bands, orchestras, and choirs need other people to make music. A clarinetist depends on the trumpets, who depend on the flutes, who depend on the saxophones, and so on. If there is a disagreement, musicians have to work it out for the sake of the music.
4. Music teaches individual responsibility and hard work. Playing an instrument or becoming a good singer is difficult. Students have to practice at home, apply corrections, and decide what they personally need to work on for the sake of the ensemble.
Given the unique opportunity that Santa Barbara schools have provided and the many benefits of taking music lessons, we need your help to make the most of it!
• Students need to practice during the week! At minimum, students should play their instrument for 20-30 minutes four days per week. You can help by asking them to play or sing what they learned in class for you.
• Upper grades need to practice reading notes on a staff. Just like learning how to read a book, music has its own language when reading music. Students can make flashcards, write in letters underneath the notes on the music, or download a note reading game.
• Get involved! Music teachers could always use volunteers, supplies, and instrument donations. And please attend our concerts! Every school has at least two concerts per year.
• Join an extra ensemble! There are many free after-school programs designed for elementary music students including BRAVO and iCAN. All schools also participate in the district's honor choir and honor band performances. Ask your music teacher for more information.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know and understand our music program a little better! We look forward to meeting you and to seeing your student in our music classes this year!