Q:Why should my child enroll in a band or orchestra at JAMS?
A: Music exists in our culture because it provides an aesthetic experience that is unlike any other. No other art form can duplicate the kind of perception that results from expressing oneself through musical performance. The person who plays in a musical organization is paving the way for future musical enjoyment, whether it be listening or performing.
The John Adams Middle School Instrumental Music program offers to all students numerous opportunities with intellectual, physical, creative, social, and emotional experiences that demonstrate the relationship of music to the students’ own cultural heritage, as well as to human experience in general. Students not only gain insights into other cultures, but also understand how music reflects historical contexts, and they are able to recognize universal themes and concepts. The students are able to identify the interrelationships between knowledge and skills gained in music and those gained in other subjects. The goals of the music program not only include creativity and cognitive development in music, but also the promotion of critical thinking as well. Through the acquisition of knowledge, students develop their skills, concepts, styles, and an understanding of the unique principles of music.
Q: What are the requirements to enroll in a JAMS instrumental music class?
Q: Do music classes meet during the school day? Are they part of the regular school/district curriculum?
A: Yes! Every band and orchestra class is curricular and scheduled alongside all other academic classes, and each student earns a course grade for enrollment. We use state and national frameworks to guide instruction, and district guidelines for assessment are implemented.
Q: Can my child learn a different instrument than what he/she played the year before?
A: Yes! In addition to the band and orchestra classes, we offer instruction on a second instrument (woodwind or brass) in the Music Conversion class which meets during A Period (before school from 7:30-8:10am Monday-Thursday). Students are co-currently enrolled in in either the Symphonic Band, Concert Band, or Wind Ensemble.
Q: How often should my child practice at home?
A: Practice makes permanent! Daily practice is highly encouraged so that good habits are reinforced. Because JAMS is on the alternate day block schedule format, music classes do not meet every day, and like athletes, musicians need to practice their skills DAILY to solidify their muscle-memory and sequential learning. Students are invited to practice during lunch and after school in the JAMS music rooms as well.
Q: Can my child change instruments in the middle of the year?
A: All of the instrumental music classes are designed as year-long courses so that students (and teachers) have a significant amount of time to properly and thoroughly assess the compatibility of an instrument with a student, especially for those enrolled in the Symphonic Band or String Orchestra.
Q: Do you have instruments for students or do I need to provide one for my child?
A: JAMS owns a very limited number of instruments that are available for students primarily enrolled in Music Conversion, Symphonic Band, and String Orchestra. The larger, more expensive and unique instruments necessary to complete a well-balanced instrumentation are also available. Although there is no instrument rental fee for a JAMS instrument, students who are issued a school instrument are responsible for its care, safety, upkeep, and repair as if it were their own instrument. Students and parents will be charged for any damage or loss to a school-issued instrument.
Q: Do you offer classes in piano or guitar?
A: At this time, there are no classes for piano or guitar students in the curriculum.
Q: Do you have a jazz band? What are the requirements for membership?
A: We have an extra-curricular jazz band that meets on Tuesdays during Club Day/Advisory. Students must be enrolled in a JAMS band, orchestra, or choir, and participation in the jazz band is at the discretion of the music directors. More information can be found here.