Reply To: Teaching Middle School Band with 6th, 7th, and 8th Combined
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I teach MS Orchestra (FULL!) with 6 – 8th grade. Actually, this year I’ll have a fifth grader and a 4th grader! Yikes!!
I start the school year with easier grade music (Grade 1.5 – 2) with maybe 1 harder piece than that to work on. As the year goes on, I gradually increase the difficulty and end about a Grade 3. I use ensembles with the older students (heavily encourage solo/ensemble) and have also called upon knowledgeable parents to help coach those ensembles. It keeps the enthusiasm higher.
I wouldn’t recommend beginners. Minimum of one year of experience even if it is only private lessons.
I use rhythm sheets daily. We do scales daily. The older ones “coach” the younger ones along.
I can give you more ideas and help if you like. Do you have any specific questions?