Welcome to the Band and Percussion program at Faith West Academy.
What to Expect
“Music is characteristic of heaven, is everywhere in the universe to praise God. Music is one of God’s gifts to us. God made man’s voice, the most complex of instruments and gave him the ability to invent musical instruments and made the materials from which instruments are made. God established the principles by which sound works, and which govern music. God enables men to write music and words. God made man with a responsiveness to music. Music has both a vertical and a horizontal function. Our use of music should be for the glory of God and should be tempered by its effect on others and our concern for them. God is pleased with excellence in musical performance which is done for His glory. (From Encyclopedia of Bible Truths by Ruth C. Haycock; Music Fine Arts/Health)
Band at Faith West Academy is available for students in grades 5 through 12. The thinking is to take the time to pray with students, parents, and teacher about the instrument that the Lord would have a student play. It is the Lord who knows how He wants to use the talent and gift for playing an instrument 10, 20, or 50 years later.
In all the grade levels, we use a software program called SmartMusic to aid in the learning and ear-training process for each chosen instrument. This is a fabulous program with many features, among which is the ability for the students to see their accomplishment when they play correct or incorrect notes. Smart Music allows the students to play the assignment through their computer at home that the teacher has given and send the assignment back to the teacher with grades and comments.
Fifth Grade is the first opportunity for a student to learn to play instrumental music. They are enrolled in the Beginning Band and the first few weeks are spent praying and talking about the instruments, rhythm, note names, and value. After this time, students are told they can go and purchase or rent to purchase the instrument that has been selected. Some students choose to have band only four days a week. Students are given assignments to send back to the teacher through SmartMusic. The students who take band everyday will excel about two-thirds faster than those who take band fewer days a week. In the fifth grade, we sometimes offer a Beginning Percussion class that meets after school. Students are picked up at the end of the day during the Secondary Car Pool.
Sixth Grade students move up to the Intermediate Band. If a student begins band as a sixth grader, they will be a part of the fifth grade Beginners Band. In some cases, a student may have to take their Bible study at home with parent involvement in order to participate in band. The second year percussion students move into the Advanced Percussion class when that class is offered and on occasion participate with the Football Band at football games, pep-rallies, and concerts.
Seventh and Eighth Grade
Seventh and Eighth Grade students become the Junior High Band and are required to play with the Senior High Band at football games, pep rallies, etc.
Ninth through Twelfth Grade
Ninth through Twelfth Grade students are in the Faith West Academy Performing Band. This is the Senior High Band class that represents the school at TAPPS and any school function or public presentation.
Daily Participation including SmartMusic-50%
Fine Arts Letter Jacket
Your 9th through 12th grade student may qualify for a Fine Arts Letter Jacket.
A Personal Note from Mr. Turner, Band Program Director
I thought I would share how instrumental music has played an important part of my life. I became a believer in Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was about ten years old. It was about that time when I joined the band as a fifth grader. The reason I joined the band at that time was because a buddy of mine said I could get out of regular class for an hour. That sounded good to me. As I look back, I really think the Lord was directing that situation. I continued on into high school where I started taking private lessons and I excelled very quickly and I went to All State the last two years. I went to a three-week summer band camp where I learned much and got to know many students from different parts of the state and met many college and university band directors. As a result, I was offered many scholarships in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The Lord directed me to the University of Houston where I had the opportunity to play many times as an extra with the Houston Symphony, New York Ballet, Corpus Christi Symphony, and others. I had the opportunity to play under the direction of many famous conductors, for example, Sir John Barbirolli, Malcolm Sargent, Andre Previn, and Arthur Fiedler.
While I was in college, I attended a small Bible Church where I led the music and also where I met my wife. After college I move to a larger Bible Church where I was involved with the music program playing my instrument, leading children and adult choirs, as well as orchestra. I started teaching band in 1966 in the Spring Branch ISD, first at Spring Forest Junior High and then at Memorial High School. After several years away from the band field, in 2007 the Lord led me to Faith West Academy. My point in the above information is to show how the Lord has been involved with all of my music events and how much He has blessed me with a talent and gifts that He has given me. This is why I like to spend time with students asking the Lord to show us what instrument He has in mind for that student. The Lord only knows the future and where He will take each student. I praise the Lord for the privilege of teaching instrumental music in a setting where He is honored and praised with no restrictions.