Carroll County Public Schools offer all students in grades 4-12 access to elective programs in instrumental music. In the elementary and middle school grades, students involved in the instrumental program receive small group lessons on their instrument as well as full ensemble rehearsal for the authentic study of musical literature. The small group lessons are scheduled as a rotating pull out from the school day schedule.
Instrumental music is one of the first opportunities a child's education for the child to formally reach beyond the required course of study into an elective. Children who study instrumental music develop a work ethic that emphasizes attention to detail and delayed gratification. These are two traits that are found in the most successful academic students. Since lessons are a pull out program, children will have the opportunity to develop habits of personal responsibility, such as making sure that they get any make up work completed that occurred while they were out of the room. Therefore, this is a discussion that parents should have with your child before joining the instrumental music program.
Many parents wonder if their child is ready for this responsibility, but research tells us that students who participate in instrumental music pull out lesson programs, academically out perform their peers who do not participate in the pull out programs. These benefits don't come easily but are well worth the effort required by the student and the effort of support given by the parent and the teachers.
The high school instrumental programs offer opportunities to explore sophisticated literature and active involvement in curricular as well as extracurricular music program experiences. Enrollment in these classes fulfills the fine arts graduation requirement mandated by the State of Maryland. The high school music programs offer course work that can provide students with the ability to begin their journey to have music as a profession or to gain a richer insight to a life long avocation.
Although many people in the community know the instrumental ensembles for their performances at the various school and community events, the focus of our program is on comprehensive musicianship – specifically, the development of musical perception, aesthetic sensitivity, and technical mastery. Certainly there are other social enrichment by-products and the development of priceless life skills learned by all of our instrumental music students, but these are in addition to the foundation of our instrumental program's number-one priority – music education of our students.