We're glad you're here! If you got here through this link - - and you're looking for information about signing up your current 5th grader for beginning band in 6th grade at the middle school in August, 2021, you've found it! Just fill out that information in the link's request, and we'll answer any questions you may have. Or simply indicate your interest in band there! No commitment at this time - just a show of interest from you. Feel free to browse band pages while you're here! 

LCMS Alum William Welter, performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as Principal Oboe, 2018 (third from center left)

Welter CSO

Check out this outstanding LCMS alum stepping into a big role in Chicago at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra! We are so proud of you! Don't forget to come visit!

CSO hires new principal oboe, William Welter, one of its youngest first chairs everChicago Symphony Orchestra Hires William Welter as Principal Oboe.

Academic Achievement isn't the Only Mission

See this 2017 Phi Delta Kappa Poll which finds that, of those polled...

"82% say that it is highly important for schools to help students develop interpersonal skills, such as being cooperative, respectful of others, and persistent at solving problems.  

These interests complement rather than supplant an interest in academics: 76% of respondents see advanced academic classes as highly important indicators of school quality. Notably, nearly as many say it’s also extremely or very important that schools offer extracurricular activities (70%) and art and music classes (71%)."

Three Ways Music Instruction in Schools Teaches Grit (and Why Children Need it So Badly Now) from The Music Parents Guide

Read at External Website

Value and Importance of School Music Programs
(from The Iowa Bandmaster Magazine, Fall 2015, Vol. 74, No. 2)
We talk a lot about the value and importance of extracurricular activities for kids. Want to know a really good one? Marching band. Or orchestra. Or just regular old band. The point being, music is like spinach or broccoli or apples - really good for your child's growth (mental, mostly, though there's evidence music also helps with the physical stuff). Consider these little nuggets from a Harris poll showing how more musically inclined kids tend to also go farther in education:

65% of those with a high school education participated in a music program.
That figure climbs to 86% for college graduates.
It reaches nearly 90% for post-graduates.

And if income matters to you, note that 83% of people earning $150,000 or more per year participated in school music programs. 

So why or is music such an important predictor of achievement? Herewith are five reasons your child should join band:

1. The music itself. Turns out human brains are wired for music and numerous studies have demonstrated that kids who learn music - sing, play an instrument, etc. - also are more adept at language, mathematics, and demonstrate higher verbal IQ scores. Music also is a great stress beater, reducing levels of depression and anxiety, which is especially important for teens. (And it's not just for kids. Music is known to slow the brain's aging process, help with sleep, and give the immune system a boost.)

2. The band. Like any team activity, perhaps even more so - band members must learn to play within and as part of the larger group. This commitment to teamwork, the discipline and dedication, the memorization and mastery of an instrument - all combine to develop life skills that will help your child as he or she moves into adulthood and forms lasting relationships (with a mate, kids, colleagues, etc.). Those skills also help us overcome professional and personal obstacles and hurdles, and to recognize the importance of working as part of a team.

3. Now add in the marching part. Anyone who has ever played an instrument knows that adding an extra task to the mix - merging with other instruments, singing, reading sheet music, etc. - amps up (pun intended) the complexities involved. Not surprisingly, band members who must march and play to different tempos and cadences develop multitasking neural connections that benefit them for a lifetime.

4. The friendships and networks. Fraternities are always celebrated for the networking connections they foster, but they don't hold a candle to a band. Kids who play together for years in an orchestra or band will enjoy lifelong friendships that, coupled with their potential for higher achievement, make them ideal networks for professional advancement (remember, most people still get jobs through personal connections).

5. Grit and determination. Every parent from time to time reminds their child that life is hard. Fortunately, participation in extracurricular activities like band - with their constant requirement for kids to fail and try again until they at last succeed - teaches grit and determination. And these two qualities better than most are predictors of how well kids will do in life. The bottom line: Kids who participate in orchestra, band, and marching band will enjoy numerous benefits that, as with any extracurricular activity, outweigh the hassles and headaches associated with practice.

The facts about the importance of music education don’t lie. Here are a few we think are important:

  1. Students in high-quality school music programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district.
  2. Schools that have music programs have significantly higher attendance rates than do those without programs (93.3 percent as compared to 84.9 percent).
  3. Schools that have music programs have significantly higher graduation rates than do those without music programs (90.2 percent as compared to 72.9 percent). In addition, those that rate their programs as "excellent or very good" have an even higher graduation rate (90.9 percent).
  4. The combined results of 30 studies indicate that music instruction is linked to significantly improved reading skills.

Top 10 Skills Children Learn from the Arts:
1. Creativity
2. Confidence
3. Problem Solving
4. Perseverance
5. Focus
6. Non-Verbal Communication
7. Receiving Constructive Feedback
8. Collaboration
9. Dedication
10. Accountability
Source: "The Artistic Edge: 7 Skills Children Need to Succeed in an Increasingly Right Brain World," by Lisa Phillips

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