Mariachi Band and Violin

Mariachi Band and Violin at Mason Elementary School

 Dear Parents / Guardians of 4th and 5th Grade Students,

Each year, your children have the opportunity to play classroom instruments and, since 2nd & 3rd grade, recorders (from home the past two years, due to COVID-19). This year’s, 5th graders also had a chance last year to work as a class on learning to play the ukulele.  This year, 5th graders are invited to join Mariachi Band, playing ukulele, xylophone, violin, or percussion instruments. Both 4th & 5th graders are also invited to take beginning violin lessons!

Violin lessons will be after school on Wednesdays, ending at 4:15, starting October 6, 2021.

Mariachi Band will be after school on Thursdays, ending at 4:30, starting October 7, 2021.

VIOLIN:  Besides learning to play the instrument, participants learn the basic skills of playing in an ensemble, allowing them to continue playing in a string group or to switch more easily to a traditional band instrument when they leave Mason Elementary School.  As soon as a 5th grader can play any of the parts in Mariachi Band on the violin, they can use the violin in Mariachi Band, while continuing to study violin playing.

If your child does not already have a violin, you can purchase or rent an instrument.  The school has made arrangements for students to rent violins from Music & Arts in Manchester, NH.  The instruments will be delivered to the school unless you plan to pick up the instrument early.  If you would like to take advantage of this service, a flyer is attached, which states clearly the cost for rental.

We will be using the Violin 1 book from Hal Leonard Essential Elements for Strings, and the cost of the book is $12.99.  You can order the book at the same time you arrange for violin rental.  We will also use additional resources as soon as students need more challenging music!

MARIACHI BAND:  A Mariachi Band is a group of musicians playing a wide variety of instruments, focusing on music from Mexico and surrounding areas.  We take the “surrounding areas” to the limit, and enjoy playing music from the Caribbean, from South America, from…well, maybe from New Orleans, or Ireland, or Bali, or Russia, or…who knows?  If we like the music, and we can play it together, then we will!

If your child plans to take violin lessons or join Mariachi Band, please fill out the following form to indicate your shared commitment to the program, and return it by September 24, 2021.

Please note:  The school wants to make sure that the cost of renting an instrument or purchasing the book is not preventing any students from participating.  If your family’s financial circumstances make renting a violin an impediment to your child’s participation, please write a note on the bottom/back of this form; we will try to accommodate your need.

Participation in any artistic pursuit requires commitment – attending rehearsals, paying attention, and doing one’s best.  If your child is committed to playing in Mariachi band or in the violin ensemble, your child will learn to play.  Such a commitment takes time.  Children who sign up for band are expected to remain in band for the full school year.  Of course, if you have a concern about your child’s participation at any time, please let me know.

Thank you,

Mrs. Smith, Band Director