Music, dance, drama and visual arts programs open children to new ideas, new experiences and new challenges and instill the habits of mind that last a lifetime – confidence, perseverance, a drive for excellence, the ability to analyze and solve problems.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, June 2005
The performing and fine arts provide an important means of communication where thoughts, creativity, and expression can be directed to ennoble, uplift, inspire, and build. As educators, we strive to help students develop aesthetically, academically, and culturally.
Our goal is to teach our students:
As the saying goes, talent is good...but preparation is essential. The arts make a contribution to education that reaches beyond their intrinsic value as direct forms of thinking.
Because each arts discipline appeals to different senses and expresses itself through different media, each adds a special richness to the learning environment. As students imagine, create, and reflect, they are developing both verbal and nonverbal abilities necessary to school progress. At the same time, they are developing problem-solving abilities and higher-order thinking skills.
Research points toward a consistent and positive correlation between a substantive education in the arts and student achievement in other subjects and on standardized tests. A comprehensive, articulated arts education program also engages students in a process that helps them develop the self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation necessary for self-esteem and success for life.
An integral part of the total instructional effort is the private lesson program offered by the Music Department. Private teachers are specialists on their particular instruments and are chosen by the district. They may be public school music teachers, professional musicians from the Houston area, or music majors from various colleges. It should be understood that many of these teachers are associated with professional school groups and it may be necessary for them to reschedule lessons at various times during the year. Questions or problems of an instructional nature concerning private lessons or teachers should be brought to the attention of the student's band, orchestra or choir director at the time the question or problem occurs.
Private lesson enrollment must come through the enrollment application and must be returned to and processed by the student's band, orchestra or choir director. Tuition rates are either $17.50 for a 1/2 hour lesson for a college-level teacher or $20.50 for a pro-level teacher.
Every attempt is made to schedule a student with a private lesson teacher as quickly as possible after the enrollment form is received by the band, orchestra or choir director. Occasionally there is a delay due to teacher availability, but it is the intention of the Music Department to provide a teacher for every student who desires to participate in the private lesson program and additional teaching staff will be employed where circumstances justify the need.
All private lessons taught through the Spring Branch Independent School District Private Lesson Program are taught on the campuses of the district's secondary schools. Private lesson teachers are screened for security. Directors are not required to be in the room during the lessons. Parents always have the option of waiting in the music hall where the lesson is being taught.
Lessons are designed primarily to teach fundamental concepts and utilize the characteristic literature of a particular instrument or voice rather than rehearse the music a student is performing in a school organization. Consequently, students will be expected to furnish the necessary method book(s) for their lessons.
All payments will be made directly to the private lesson teacher. Each lesson is documented and verified by the band, orchestra, or choir teacher.
Private lesson teachers will allow students to make up at least two lessons per semester provided:
- the student had given the teacher at least 24-hour notice
- the lesson was missed due to physical illness or other emergency for which 24-hour notice could not be given
Make-up lessons should be scheduled at a mutually-convenient time.
District-owned instruments checked out by families are the responsibility of that family. They should be insured. The Performing Arts Office offers insurance ranging from $20-$40.00 per year depending on instrument value. The forms must be obtained from the band or orchestra director and returned to them with payment. Please read the forms carefully. Negligence is not covered. Deductibles range from $50-80.00.