4th Grade: Elementary Beginning Band
This class provides an introduction to the instrument and establishes basics, including music reading, tone production, correct playing techniques, and basic performance techniques. There will be a minimum of one concert. Classes meet at each elementary school once per week for 1 hour.
5th Grade: Elementary Intermediate Band
This class is a continuation of Band, picking up from the end of Beginning Band. It continues on more advanced topics related to music reading, playing techniques, and tone production. There is also a focus on harmony and musical independence. There will be a minimum of one concert. Classes meet at each elementary school once per week for 1 hour.
6th Grade: Advanced Elementary Band
This class involves 6th grade students from all elementary schools in the Mission Attendance Area. It provides a continuation of Band classes, with a focus on large-ensemble performance. It also includes “sectional rehearsals” with instrument specialists. This class is an opportunity for students to switch to some of the larger band instruments (such as Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, etc.). It is also an opportunity for band students to meet and interact with students from the other schools who will join the same band program in 7th and 8th grades. This ensemble performs at least three times per year: in January/February, and two other concerts in May/June. This class meets at Hopkins once per week for 2 hours in the evening, and is taught by the Hopkins Band Director.
7th Grade: Hopkins Junior High School Concert Band
This class represents the first opportunity for students to have music classes as part of their daily school schedule. Classes meet as part of the regular school schedule for 48 minutes per day. Continuation and refinement of skills such as tone production, ensemble balance, blend, and intonation are the points of focus. Also, students learn and master an advanced level of music reading, notation, and theory. Many students switch instruments in the class in order to form a balanced ensemble. These students who switch to a new instrument receive private group lessons (by instrument) once per week from the band director. This ensemble performs at a very high level, and requires a lot of musical growth during the year. Concert Band performs at a minimum of 3 evening concerts during the year, as well as traveling to the local CMEA Band Festival in the Spring, and performing at the Music in the Parks Festival at Great America.
8th Grade: Hopkins Junior High School Symphonic Band OR Wind Ensemble
These are the second in the comprehensive Band sequence at Hopkins. Classes meet as part of the regular school schedule for 48 minutes per day. These classes also continue refinement of all previously-learned skills. There is an introduction of more advanced performance and music reading concepts. Both Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble are each considered to be one of the highest-level middle school/junior high bands in the state of California. (Wind Ensemble is a slightly more advanced group with students accepted by audition.)
Both classes are designed to prepare students to participate in the bands at Mission San Jose High School. Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble perform at a minimum of 3 evening concerts during the year, including the Mission Attendance Area Concert at Ohlone College. They also participate in the CMEA Band Festival in the Spring and travel to Anaheim, CA (Disneyland) to participate in the Music in the Parks Festival in May. Students in these classes have the opportunity to audition for the Hopkins Jazz Ensemble, which is a “Big Band” that meets before school every day. Also, selected students from Wind Ensemble will be asked to play with the Hopkins Full Orchestra.
* There are exceptions to this sequence, and students always have the option of testing into a higher level if there is space in the class. Students may also begin the sequence at any time in elementary school. However, starting an instrument in 4th or 5th grade is strongly recommended.