5th grade music
Greetings 5th graders and families.

Welcome to my webpage where all that's new dances before your eyes.


Ahead, I discuss the following topics:

1)    This year’s theme: Music 50 years ago versus today

2)    Dates of the band program for 5th grade

3)    Instrument rental

4)    5 Practices – my instrumental homework each trimester

5)    2 concerts and 2 other special events


This year’s theme: Music 50 years ago versus today

            The annual project looks at pop music today relative to the early 60’s – 50 years ago.  This will become independent creative classwork for both grades while I teach sectionals.  We look squarely at the era after 50’s rock and roll passed as a fad and before the British invasion of ’64 reestablished rock’s legacy in the US.  We’ll pay close attention to civil rights issues the music lays bare. 

            We’ve dissected popular songs of the early 60’s with similar chord patterns: the 12 bar blues and those using chord scheme I  vi  IV  V.  Students are learning to listen then speak articulately about a song’s melody, orchestration, rhythm, phrase & form, and harmony; I call this MORPH analysis based on the first letters of the categories.  Students will use this language while playing instruments.  Also, students will analyze songs of their own generation later this year and make comparisons.


TIS band program

            6th grade will begin playing band instruments at the end of September.  5th graders will begin after October 22nd to allow some prep time in class for music literacy basics.  We finish using the instruments after their spring concert on May 15th. 

            The school has many instruments, but unfortunately not enough to rent to every 5th and 6th grader.  We will use a first come, first served basis, and there are options for renting elsewhere.  Also, with the purchase & use of separate mouthpieces, it is possible 2 families with kids in different classes might share an instrument.

            Instrument choice includes flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and two players of the following per class: keyboard, electric bass & mallet percussion.  In 6th grade, we expand options to saxophone & bass clarinet (if they already play clarinet), baritone & French horn, and drum set (if they already played mallet percussion).  There is no guitar in my program because music is not written for guitars. 


Instrument Rental

            School instruments can now be rented.  6th grade, because they should stay on their same instruments, begins first, but 5th grade parents can secure an instrument by acting now.  Renting is easy; your student must bring in a check and completed “TSD Instrument Rental Agreement” form.  (The form must at least be signed if the family is unsure of the brand and serial # for the instrument.)  Unpaid for instruments may be rented to someone else.  School instruments are $75 per year.

No instruments will be rented during school hours except during lunches 12-12:25 and in the student’s class.  Mr. Gillett is often around after school until 4.  Please do not show up before school or during classes expecting to rent.  If you’d like to schedule a time to rent an instrument, email Mr. Gillett at tgillett@telluride.k12.co.us.

            Students will generally leave their instruments at school except during times of their mandatory 5 practices per trimester.  Students who end up sharing instruments will have to be mindful of each others’ scheduling needs, and I recommend that parents communicate with each other in these instances. 

            There is a band book we use called Standard of Excellence published by Kjos.  It’s $10, and Mr. Gillett will have these available in class.  Next to the instrument form is a list of instruments and what you can expect to pay for a rental + band book + consumables like oils, reeds & grease.

            Please feel free to immediately secure an instrument for your student with the TSD Instrument Agreement and necessary funds.  Also, please consider finding an instrument on your own by emailing friends or contacting music stores – these may be better than our school-issued instruments.


Five Practices – Music’s only (but mandatory) homework

            Class time is not sufficient time to learn an instrument.  The kids owe it to each other to learn to work their machine on their own.  Therefore, the band program requires a minimum of 5 guided home practices each trimester.  This begins with parents watching their kids take out, play and put away the instrument.  After that, kids who stay on track will require less time from their parents.

            Practicing is a fundamental part of their grade.  A student cannot get a 3 in my class with out this absolute minimum of homework.  Mostly, practicing cultivates work ethic and the desires expect more out of yourself and others and share in a unique way: making music in a band.


5th grade band schedule

            Instruments distributed in mid-October.  The first 5 practices period runs Oct 22nd to Nov. 15th.   Instruments should be in school on all music days.  For students of Hunstman/Starr, that’s Monday and Wednesday.  For Stephanie Gebauer’s students, that’s on Wednesday and Friday.  For Cyndi Jerkowski students, that’s Wednesday and Thursday.  For Patricia Kimbrell’s students, classes are on .   All these classes are either at 11:15 or 12:45.  5th graders will not perform on their band instruments in the December 11 concert, but they will at the May 15th concert.


2 concerts and 3 announcements

            TIS formal concerts this year occur on Tuesday Dec. 11th and Wed May 15th both 5:45-6:30 pm.  Students will need to arrive about a half hour early to get prepared backstage.  Students will also perform during the school day on Tuesday January 29th in a celebration of civil rights.  This ties into the music we’ve studied this year. 

The Big Night is our annual five-course dinner and a show benefiting the spring musical.  This event takes place in the Palm on Wednesday, November 14th.  It’s a delightful evening showing off the best our fine arts department has to offer. 

            The Spring musical this year is Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber and occurs the last weekend in March.  This year, the directors are interested in cast members coming from the middle and high schools with perhaps some minor roles filled out by TIS students.  Drama director Angela Watkins runs another musical in the Fall for TIS thespians.