Students at Salem have the wonderful opportunity to take lessons on brass, woodwind, percucssion, or string instruments. In the third grade, students are able to choose either violin, viola, and cello. In the fourth grade, students are given the option to continue playing their stringed instrument or to choose string bass, flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone horn, or percussion. Saxophone and percussion require an audition to limit the size of the class.
Students are required to attend weekly 1/2-hour small group lessons and practice their instruments on a daily basis. Once a specified level is achieved, the 4th and 5th grade students are invited to play in either orchestra or band. The band and orchestra rehearsals are conducted by Mr. Akios and the group lessons are taught by Mr. Akios and Mrs. Friedman.
The curriculum focuses on playing from a method book and technique builders as well as learning to read band music. Children are motivated, challenged and enthusiastic with the selections chosen. Students develop critical thinking through musical expression. There is a sense of pride, satisfaction, teamwork, creativity, cooperation and self-discipline in playing with an ensemble.
Home practice is a very important part of learning to play an instrument. It ensures that new skills and techniques are learned through repetition and muscle memory is gained. We ask that students practice a minimum of ten minutes a day.