The Mantua Band Program is a large and exciting program open to students in fifth and sixth grade. As stated in the FCPS Program of Studies, music develops intellectual skills in the language of music, produces physical expression, fosters an understanding of history, provides an appreciation through listening and performing, develops performance skills, and enables music literacy. At Mantua, the band program is one area that helps to expand learning and expression.
Band classes focus on the enjoyment of music through performance and skill development with fellow musicians. This creative process focuses on individual progress in the following areas: Tone Quality, Intonation, Rhythmic Accuracy, Technique, Ensemble Balance and Blend, Interpretation and Stage Presence. Each child is allowed and encouraged to reach his or her full potential by providing quality music instruction in a setting that is pleasant and positive. By doing so, it is hoped that Mantua students become life-long consumers of music and are able to make intellectual, critical and informed decisions based on their particular interests.
Students in the Mantua Band Program meet once per week for 45 minutes. Most years, fifth grade beginner classes are grouped by like instruments – all flutes together, all trumpets together, all clarinets together. Scheduling homogenous groups for beginners allows instruction to be tailored to a specific instrument, giving students the ability to progress quickly. Sixth grade advanced classes meet in heterogenous groupings – a mixture of different instruments together. This grouping allows freedom to focus more on ensemble performance and growth where multiple lines of melody, harmony and rhythm occur at the same time. The sixth grade year marks a turning point in the child’s band performance development in that intellectual and performance skills become broader and more sophisticated. By exposing band students to a variety of literature in sixth grade, they become more aware of different styles which lead to more advanced study.
The Mantua Band students perform two concerts for the school each year – one in February and one in May. These concerts are the highlight of the year and prove that through diligence, hard work, creative instruction and positive reinforcement, a successful and enjoyable performance is a great reward.