Back to School

Expose your child to a lifetime experience through music!

Parents all want to see their children do well in school and become successful in life so an important decision for parents is exposing their children to music as they head back to school.

There are many sound reasons for choosing music courses in school. One of the most significant and important reason is: Students who take music classes do much better in other academic courses than students who do not take music classes. This fact has been confirmed in many research studies, and should not be dismissed or ignored by both parents and student.

Group of students (8-10) playing musical instruments in classroomThere are other positive factors to be gained by taking music classes. An obvious one is learning to play an instrument and acquiring basic musicianship skills. “Playing a musical instrument is a lifelong skill which benefits children academically, socially and emotionally,” said Kara Angle, elementary school music specialist. “Students learn discipline and focus and how to work together.” Angle is the principle flute in the Danville Community Band (DCB).

Vocal students learn to develop the voice for solo or ensemble performance, in addition to learning basic musicianship.

Self-discipline plays a vital part in music classes. The student is a member of a team (ensemble) and learns how to contribute to the group effort when making music together. Learning to practice individually helps in learning to use their time wisely.

Leadership skills are important lessons learned in music classes. Students may become involved in elected and appointed positions, such as Drum Major, Student Director, Manager, Secretary, Treasurer, Music Librarian, Uniform Manager or Equipment and Instrument Manager. All of these positions teach leadership skills to the students and are valuable for future endeavors.

We are fortunate to live in an area where music is an important and vital part of one’s education. The San Ramon Valley School district supports music programs in elementary, middle and high schools.

Classes offered in elementary school include K-5 General Classroom Music; third grade recorder; fourth and fifth grade band; fourth grade string program as well as instruction on Orff Instruments (percussion-like instruments). Hand chimes, as well as before and after school chorus, are also offered. Beginning band instruments for elementary fourth grade students are flute, clarinet, saxophone and trumpet.
“Learning music builds camaraderie, team spirit, responsibility and dedication, as well as life skills,” said Jeanette Brown, middle school instrumental teacher and clarinetist in the DCB. Middle school offers Band; Jazz Ensemble; Strings and Chorus, including classroom general music for 6th, 7th and 8th grades.

High school subjects include three levels of concert band; jazz band; orchestra; several choruses; chamber singers and Advanced Placement Theory (AP Course).

One can readily see there is a myriad of classes both for those who choose nonperforming or the performance classes. There is something for everyone! Don’t let the kids miss out on something that will benefit them their entire lives. Music can be a life changing experience.

“Formal training and active performance on a musical instrument not only provides a wholesome pastime (away from video games) and an excellent addition to college applications, but a fulfilling lifetime activity through community and professional music ensembles,” said Christine-Ann Immesoete, music specialist in the Dublin School District. “I hope that my students intend to play their instruments well into adulthood. Immesoete is also principal French horn in the DCB.

An education that does not include exposure to the Fine Arts is basically lacking in a well-rounded, informed individual and can result in a citizenry and society that is impoverished in many ways.

Learning, playing and singing music is an experience in self-worth, self-discipline and fulfillment. It also provides students with the ability to be real team players.

The beauty of music is that it doesn’t have to stop after high school or college—it can be enjoyed for a lifetime. There are many community organizations including bands, orchestras and choruses available for anyone looking to be involved in music. The Danville Community Band, which my wife and I started, has players aged from fifteen years to over eighty-plus; one is never too old to enjoy playing and singing, and the younger one starts, the better.

Do not hesitate to call your local elementary, middle or high school and speak to the teachers, both instrumental and choral, regarding classes your child can take.

Please submit your questions and comments to
Visit our website at for up-to-date information about the Danville
Community Band.

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