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Thursday March 23, 2017 at 4:00pm Age: 2 yrs
Category: Middle School, High School, District


It was the students’ idea! It started with high school students looking for ways to help middle schoolers acclimate to the high school, ahead of freshmen orientation. When Music in Our Schools Month came along, the opportunity created itself: middle school and high school band students came together to play music, learn from each other, and celebrate.

This week, March 20-23, Laura Martellaro, middle school band teacher, took groups of students across campus to the high school for band workshops in jazz, woodwind, percussion and brass, with Mr. Horner, Mr. Stickney, and Mr. Christy’s students.  

Together with their high school peers, band students in grades 7 and 8 engaged in sight-reading of chamber pieces, discussed playing techniques (posture, improvising, tone quality), listened to performances by the high school teachers and senior band members, and learned new breathing exercises with Mr. Sanso, a student-teacher.

“About 100 middle school students participated in this program. They learned a great deal from their older peers, and they were visibly inspired by the experience,” Mrs. Martellaro said. “We hope to do it again next year.”


High School Students Pushed for the Band Exchange Program

“We heard from older students that they had this program years ago, and we thought it would be good to bring it back. It makes everyone feel welcome and helps middle school students transition to the high school band program and the school itself,” said Matt Goetz, a junior who plays the trombone. “It was also interesting to see how everyone learns differently.”

“I know what it’s like to come to the high school and the band program and feel like you don’t know anyone, so I was all for the idea of getting us together,” said Tess Lysyczyn, a sophomore and trombone player. “I made many new friends, and I’m amazed at how much we grew over these past four days.”

Both Matt and Tess want to go into musical education, and they saw a valuable experience in helping younger students learn something new.  

How Middle School Students Benefitted From the Program

“This was a very educational experience. I learn many different techniques and tips, and it was great to get together with high school students I had met through band and drama in years past,” said Felicity Heilferty, a 7th grader who plays the French horn.

“It was great to work with the high school band teachers and feel more connected,” said Audrey Venter, an 8th grader who plays the trombone. “I really enjoyed the opportunity of helping and learning from each other, and I feel more inspired to continue to play music.” Audrey participated in the jazz and brass workshops.