Why Music?

IMAGINATION- Inviting students to think beyond the given, to imagine, “What if?”

EXPRESSION- Giving students the opportunity to recognize and express their feelings, to acknowledge, “This is how I feel.”

EMPATHY- Building student awareness and sensitivity to the emotions of others, to appreciate, “This is how you feel.”

INTERPRETATION- Enabling students to see that there are many equally viable ways in and out of the same subject, to know that even if their views differ from others’, “What I think matters.”

RESPECT- Helping students become aware of, interested in, and respectful of different ways of making sense of the world, coming to know that even when they disagree, “What others think matters.”

REFLECTION- Helping students develop skills of ongoing self-reflection and assessment, moving beyond judgments of good or bad to informed considerations of “How am I doing and what will I do next?”

RESPONSIBILITY- Connecting students to others within and beyond school walls, helping to awaken a sense of social responsibility and action because, “I care for others.”

Davis, J. H. (2008). Why our schools need the arts. New York: Teachers College Press

Course Descriptions

5th Grade Band is where the roots of our band program take shape.  Students are taught to read and count music as well as how to play woodwind, brass or percussion instruments.  Students may choose between playing flute, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone,  tenor saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, euphonium, and percussion.   Music composition, theory, improvisation and history are introduced and students are given the opportunity to participate in chamber music and private lessons in addition to their full band activities.

6th Grade Band students continue with wind and percussion instruments learning about different styles of music through performance and study.  Additionally, select students are given the opportunity to switch to larger instruments such as the bass clarinet, bassoon, baritone saxophone and tuba.  The band schedule expands to include additional school and community performances, including participation in the jazz bands, and a performance at the ISSMA concert band festival. Students continue to develop as young musicians through the study of more advanced concepts in music theory, additional opportunities for improvisation and a more in-depth look at the role of music in past and present society.  Students will perform in chamber and full ensemble settings and are provided the opportunity to take private lessons.

In 7th Grade Band we carry on our musical experience, adding more challenges, activities, and opportunities for learning.  Students continue with wind and percussion instruments learning about more styles of music through performance and study.  Some highlights of the 7th Grade Band experience include marching in the Annual Zionsville Fall Festival Parade, IBA All-Region and All-State Honor Bands, opportunities to travel and a performance at the ISSMA concert band festival.  Students continue to develop as young musicians through performing more challenging repertoire, the study of more advanced concepts in music theory, additional opportunities for improvisation and a more in-depth look at the role of music in past and present society. 

In 8th Grade Band we build upon the musical foundation laid in the previous classes through the performance of more advanced repertoire and technical studies.  Some highlights of the 8th Grade Band experience include marching in the Annual Zionsville Fall Festival Parade, IBA All-Region and All-State Honor Bands, opportunities to travel, a performance at the ISSMA concert band festival, and a collaboration with the ZCHS Marching Eagles in the 8th grade ZWMS/ZMS Crossover Event.  Students continue to develop as young musicians through the study of more advanced concepts in music theory, additional opportunities for improvisation and a more in-depth look at the role of music in past and present society.

Classroom Expectations

To make great CHOICES, excellent band students...

C- Practice CHARACTER by cooperating when classroom directions are given and listening when others are speaking or playing their instruments.  They make every effort to be respectful and responsible by realizing when the time is right for speaking and for listening.

H- Practice HONESTY by using technology responsibly.  They do not have cell phones or laptops out in class unless given specific permission by the teacher for an in-class activity. This includes the transition time before and after instruction begins while assembling and packing up instruments.  The school cell phone policy will be strictly followed.  

O- Practice ORGANIZATION by being prepared for class each day.  They bring a pencil to class every day as well as all other necessary materials including their instruments, music, and accessories.  

 I- Practice INITIATIVE by taking ownership of their property.  They store their instruments in their band lockers for secure protection and respect the security of others’ lockers.  During class they protect their books and supplies by storing them in their band locker or neatly under the chair.  

C- Practice CARING by keeping food, drink, candy and gum outside of the band room in order to protect the cleanliness of our outstanding rehearsal space.

E- Practice ENGAGEMENT by being present in class on time so that other students are not distracted when they enter the room.  They are also mindful of waiting for teachers to dismiss class instead of the bell.  Students should always ask permission to leave the classroom.

S- Practice SAFETY by being aware of one's own actions.  Follow designated traffic flow patterns in order to be careful of band equipment and students.  

Students are expected to follow classroom procedures.  Repeated offenses will result in behavior contracts, referrals to the office and/or a College and Career Readiness (CCR) grade deduction.    

There are also a few other items...

The "Martial Laws"

These are rules that your band directors feel have such a strong impact on your success and the success of the program that there is a NO TOLERANCE policy.  After a reasonable grace period, you will receive an automatic detention without warning for breaking the following three rules:

1. Non-percussionists touching percussion equipment

2. Playing your instrument at an inappropriate time or location

3. Leaving your instrument/case in an inappropriate condition or location

Locker Policy

Saxophone, bassoon, bass clarinet and brass instruments will be stored in lockers in the band room.  You may bring a lock if you wish, but it is not required. Flute, oboe, clarinet and percussion will store stick bags and binders in the school locker and bring these items to band class each day.  If you have any questions regarding this policy please do not hesitate to ask.   

Bathroom/Return to Locker/Nurse/Water Bottles

In order to leave the band room you must ask permission from a teacher.  When permission is granted, you must also complete the sign-out form located in the band room.   If you are going to the nurse, a separate nurse pass must be completed.

YOU are a very important piece of the puzzle. YOUR contribution makes a difference.  We are excited to work together as a team to make this year a fun, musical adventure!

Grading Policy

In the ZWMS and ZMS Music Departments, we strive to award grades that accurately reflect students' effort and achievement in class as we share the common goal of helping students become independent musicians creating high quality performances.  

Grades are comprised of formative and summative assessments.  Formative Assessments are designed to monitor student learning providing both teachers and students ongoing feedback to improve the learning process.  Summative Assessments are designed to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit in relation to specified musical standards.  In music class, students will receive three grades reflecting mastery of the standards below:

Performing: Student is able to perform a varied repertoire of music both alone and with others.

Performance assessments may include part checks, individual performing tests, skill assessments, sight reading evaluations and formal performances at concerts and convocations.

Responding: Student is able to read, notate, analyze, describe, evaluate and interpret written and performed music.

Creating/Connecting: Student is able to improvise and compose melodies, harmonies and accompaniments, as well as being able to explain relationships between music, the arts and other academic disciplines.

Creating/Connecting, Responding and Performing assessments may include quizzes, tests, written assignments and projects.

ATTENDANCE FOR PERFORMANCES IS REQUIRED.  Performances are a necessary component for success in band.  Unlike a traditional written individual exam, a musical performance is a unique experience that cannot be duplicated because every musician plays an important role in the success of the band.  Preparing for and attending after school concerts/rehearsals is expected and are included in each student's grade. Any schedule conflicts resulting in absence from a concert (other than emergency or medical) must be approved by the directors in writing at least one month prior to the rehearsal/performance. Students will be required to complete an alternate assignment. 

Rehearsal Habits 

Productivity - quality of participation

Initiative - demonstrating appropriate vocal/instrumental habits

Preparation - arriving to class ready with music prepared and appropriate materials

Ensemble Etiquette - following class guidelines

Note: Performing ensembles require students to develop effective rehearsal habits that allow for individual as well as ensemble growth and mastery.

Rehearsal habits will be documented throughout each quarter as part of the College and Career Readiness grade. All students are expected to master excellent rehearsal habits.

Assessment Retakes

Assessments are given to determine if a student has achieved mastery on a particular standard. If needed, students are encouraged to complete retakes to demonstrate new learning or increased mastery.  Retakes will primarily be scheduled during homeroom on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or outside of class by appointment.

Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to check CANVAS for any music or assignments distributed on days that he or she is absent.

Obtaining a Band Instrument

There are several music companies in the area that rent and sell band instruments.  We primarily work through Paige’s Music Store in Indianapolis.  We find them to be the most reliable, cost efficient and reputable music dealer in the area.  They visit ZWMS every week on Monday to pick up any instruments that need service and provide students with loaners to play while their instruments are being repaired.  If you need to make instrument rental arrangements we encourage you to call Paige’s Music at 317-842-2102 or visit www.paigesmusic.com to make rental or purchase arrangements.  If you have a financial concern that would prevent you from being able to rent or purchase an instrument please be in touch with one of the band directors and we will find a way to arrange an instrument for you.  All instruments will be securely stored in the band room.  

School Owned Instruments

School-owned instruments are assigned to students who play very large instruments such as bass clarinet, bassoon, baritone saxophone and tuba.  These instruments will be distributed to students according to the needs of the band department.  

Band students are responsible for school instruments at all times.  Any damage to these instruments will be the students’ responsibility.  Any repairs needed on these instruments must IMMEDIATELY be brought to the attention of one of the directors.  The school covers routine cleaning and maintenance costs, but students and families are responsible for any damage caused by the student. For more information about school instruments and rental procedures, please contact Mrs. Granlund (cgranlund@zcs.k12.in.us).

Additional Necessary Equipment

All ZWMS Band students should come to class each day with the following: 

If there is a financial concern, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Students will also be required to wear the band uniform for all performances:

Band Polo Shirt (click for ordering information)
Black dress pants (NO LEGGINGS!)
Black dress shoes/socks

Please also note that the instrument specific items and the beginning band book will come with new Paige's rentals and do not need to be ordered separately.

All students need to have a cleaning kit for their instruments.  If this is used regularly it will save A LOT of money in repairs and upkeep of musical instruments.  Students will be taught how to use all cleaning supplies at the beginning of the school year. 

*Reed Players:  Students must have three GOOD, WORKING reeds at all times. Clarinet and saxophone players should purchase Vandoren Brand only 2 1/2 strength unless instructed by private teacher to purchase a different strengthClarinet,  Advanced Clarinet (7th and 8th Grade) and saxophone reeds may be purchased through Paige’s Music or Amazon, but are no longer available for purchase at school.  Oboe and Bassoon reeds are purchased at the advice of private teachers.  If you need to purchase an Oboe or Bassoon reed from school, they are $15.  Reeds should be replaced when chipped or dirty.  Obtaining a reed case is highly recommended.  It is also recommended that clarinet and saxophone players have the following mouthpieces: clarinet players-Vandoren B45, alto saxophone-Vandoren AL3 and tenor saxophone-Vandoren TL3.

*Brass Players:  All trumpet, French horn, baritone and tuba players must have their own valve oil and slide grease.  Trombonists must have slide cream (Yamaha slide cream is recommended), a water spray bottle and tuning slide grease.  It is recommended that brass players have the following mouthpieces: trumpet players-Bach 5C, french horn players-Holton-Farkas Model MDC and trombones/baritones-Bach 6 1/2 AL unless otherwise directed by a private lessons instructor.

 *Percussionists:  All percussionists should have their own pair of drum sticks, timpani mallets, bell mallets, and marimba mallets. Sticks and mallets are included in the student percussion kit if purchased from Paige's Music. All percussionists must have a stick bag with their name on it. Students should also label drum sticks with initials written in permanent marker.

Private Lessons

The ZWMS Band department offers private lessons during band class.  We know parents and students have busy schedules, so we are happy to be able to offer lessons during the school day to help ease some of the juggling.  Lessons last 25 minutes each and the average cost is $20-25, but rates vary among teachers.  Our teachers are all professional performers and educators.  This list of tutors is being provided solely for the convenience of parents and students but should not be considered an endorsement of these individuals and their qualifications.  These individuals are not employees of the Zionsville Community Schools.  However, in accordance with ZCS policy, background checks are run on all teachers.

Private lessons are offered as a supplemental aspect of the band program that compliments the classroom experience with opportunities to strengthen and progress your child's playing abilities at their own rate.  Working one on one with a specialist on any given instrument gives your child the opportunity to explore his/her instrument in the areas of jazz, chamber music, and solo literature making the band experience one-of-a-kind.  

Our private teachers will be contacting you via e-mail with information about the details for each instrument, however their schedules tend to fill up quickly.  Please feel free to contact our instructors directly using the information below to insure your child has a spot reserved.

Confirmation Form

By filling out the form, I acknowledge that I have read and understand ZWMS Band classroom policies and have located the calendar of events on https://www.zwmsbands.org/events. Please electronically sign this form by Wednesday, August 16th. 


Andrea Raes

(317) 529-4985 araes29@gmail.com


Crystal Barrett

(812) 360-3534



Katy Blocher




Keith Whitford



Sharon Weyser


Trombone/ Euphonium/Tuba

Brad Koser



Back to School Night (1).mp4