Attention Future Stevenson Musicians!

 

Be Part of the Music

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Be Part of the Music

Future Stevenson High School Musicians: Why take Instrumental Music in Junior and Senior High School?

Dear future secondary school musicians & parents/guardians,

My name is Mr. Sekich, I am the Band Director at Stevenson High School. This web page will provide information about opportunities students have at their secondary school as they begin their time as a member of the Stevenson Instrumental Music family. In addition, students can look forward to a visit from me during the school day so I can get to know them a little better and answer questions in person about our band programs.

All of our music instructors care about your children as people and musicians. I give you my word that I will do everything in my power to teach your child to be a more responsible person as well as making sure they receive the best musical instruction at all times. I am dedicated to creating the highest standards of music and creativity in our program.

Be sure to read down to the end of this page to view two videos, one for students and one for parents, that are very helpful in explaining some of the advantages you can expect from being involved in band.

At Stevenson High School, we have an award-winning instrumental music program that offers a variety of ensembles and experiences for our students. We are very proud of our accomplishments. We offer three Concert Bands, Jazz Band, and Marching Band. Through learning about music, rehearsals and performances, it is our goal that the students of the Instrumental Music Department become:

  • Creative Problem Solvers who can think critically and can make decisions through artistic modes and in situations where there are no standard answers
  • Culturally Aware Citizens who have a sense of history and an appreciation for the fine arts through multicultural experiences
  • Humanistic Thinkers that are creative and sensitive
  • Collaborative Workers who are self-confident, receptive to others’ ideas, and utilize peer input to develop interpersonal relationships within the framework of their learning

How playing an instrument benefits your brain:

Secondary school instrumental music opportunities begin in 7th grade at our three Junior High schools:

  • Davis JHS, Mr. Condne- Director
  • Heritage JHS, Mrs. Hofer- Director
  • Jeannette JHS, Mr. Johnson- Director

Mr. Condne, Mrs. Hofer, and Mr. Johnson collaborate with me, Mr. Sekich, to encourage their students' success in junior high school and prepare them for instrumental music classes at Stevenson. Junior high school band classes meet five days each week and are typically organized by grade so students have the opportunity to advance their skills with a familiar group of their peers.

Finding your place in the Stevenson Instrumental Music Family:

  • Marching Band: The Titan Marching Band is an all-volunteer group that meets outside of the school day in the summer and the fall. You must be in an instrumental music class to be able to be in the marching band. The band performs at various parades, football games, MSBOA Festival, and community events. The members of the marching band are very dedicated and always have a lot of fun while together.
  • Concert Bands: All of our Concert Bands are ability-based groups and meet five days per week during school hours. This means you can audition to be in every ensemble we offer here at Stevenson. All of the Concert Bands are full-year academic classes. The groups are: Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble. All of these groups perform throughout the school year at concerts and MSBOA Concert Festivals.
  • Jazz Band: A high-level performing ensemble which meets five days per week during school hours and plays concerts throughout the year and attends Jazz Festivals across Michigan. Placement in this group is by audition only.
  • Jazz Combo: Jazz Combo rehearses after school and within the Jazz Band class. This group is student lead.
  • Chamber Ensembles: Student leadership in leading Chamber Ensembles is essential to the development of the entire musician. These ensembles are student run and perform at MSBOA Chamber Festival.

Get more information by visiting these pages on our web site:

Ten Lessons

More info:
Ten Lessons the Arts Teach (pdf)

Scheduling Band in Grades 7 - 12:

The most frequent topic I am asked about involves students being able to keep band on their schedule throughout junior and senior high school. I have had many students that continue band classes in addition to participating in specialty programs such as CSI, MST, MADE, and AVID.

Did you know:

The Michigan Department of Education has a set standard of requirements that each student must meet in order to graduate with a state-endorsed diploma. Called the Michigan Merit Curriculum, it provides Michigan’s students the learning opportunity, knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college or in the global job market. The standards require that each student obtain a minimum amount of credits in various subjects.

The great news is that, like you, the Department of Education considers the arts to be a critical component to the educational process and insists that a fine art requirement be included in the state-wide curriculum. When an 8th grader adds band to their schedule for 9th grade, they are on their way to a successful high school career by fulfilling this requirement!

Current college-bound students in grades 9-12 at our secondary schools are taking courses that meet Michigan Merit Curriculum standards while also having a band class all four years! In addition to their primary band class, some students will take Jazz Band or an extra concert band class as their electives in 11th and/or 12th grade. With a little planning and consideration to scheduling as a student is entering 9th grade, everyone, even those enrolled in specialty programs, can find a way to take band from grades 7 - 12 while still satisfying graduation requirements. Colleges and employers look highly upon band students in the application process because it shows commitment, discipline and teamwork.

As the Michigan Department of Education has recognized, student involvement in the arts is an important factor for a well-rounded education. We look forward to seeing current junior high students at Stevenson as they continue their music education!

Twelve Benefits

More info:
Twelve Benefits of Music Education (pdf)

Travel:

At the high school, we do attempt to have a student trip each year. Travel is a crucial part of the musical experience and is a wonderful opportunity for kids to bond and learn how to be responsible for themselves in an age-appropriate manner. Encouraging these types of annual musical experiences  helps students to learn and advance musical growth.

In the past, Stevenson Instrumental Music students have had the option to travel and/or perform in Chicago, Florida, Washington D.C. for the President, Virginia Beach, Nashville, and New York City in the famous Carnegie Hall - just to name a few. We travel all around the USA! Join band and be a part of Stevenson Instrumental Music annual trips! 

All members of our high school ensembles (including Marching Band members at the junior high schools) are eligible to travel on our annual Instrumental Music trip.

Musically Yours,
Mr. Sekich

Quick facts:

  • The SHS Instrumental Music Program has been recognized as one of the top music programs in the State of Michigan
  • Participating in High School Band classes does not interfere with participating in after school activities like athletics
  • Participating in High School Band does not interfere with college prep classes. Being in Band meets the Fine Arts requirement for High School graduation in Michigan
  • SHS Instrumental Music students have the opportunity to take an educational trip in the Spring. Past trips have included New York City, Disney World, Washington D.C., performing for Presidents Bush and Clinton, Virginia Beach, Chicago, Nashville, Cleveland, Cincinnati. Educational trips are voluntary
  • Our Band Booster organization raises funds for the students involved with the Instrumental Music Program. These fundraisers help to support the students’ overall Instrumental Music experience
  • Participating in Marching Band as a freshman means you will start the school year knowing many upperclassmen and can talk to those older experienced students about classes, transportation, school activities, schedules, finding your way around SHS and the teachers
  • Did you know? “The nation’s top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the 21st century” (Business Week Magazine)

Students! Welcome to band!

Video courtesy of Marshall Music & Yamaha

 

Parents! The benefits of music!

Video courtesy of Conn-Selmer


National Standards of Music Education:

  • Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music
  • Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments
  • Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines
  • Reading and notating music
  • Listening to, analyzing, and describing music
  • Evaluating music and music performances
  • Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts
  • Understanding music in relation to history and culture
     

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