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Bernie Wolfe School
River East Transcona School Division

Students receive a music program that stresses music literacy, music appreciation and music performance. At the elementary level, K-5, students are taught using a variety of elementary music education methods. Students learn through singing, movement, listening, improvisation, playing of pitched and non-pitched instruments, composing and performing. Kindergarten students receive music two times per cycle. Grades 1 to 5 students participate in music three times a cycle. Students learn recorder in their upper elementary grades. Grade 5 students learn guitar basics and have the opportunity to choose a band instrument for Grade 6.

Band is an option for BWCS students in grade 7, and 8. Students may choose from brass, woodwind or percussion. Auditions and tests are held for students who wish to be considered for saxophone or percussion. Performance is an important part of the band program. Students may be in the jazz band, sing club, or play in small trios and quartets. Band members participate in school concerts, the Level 1 Band Festival and/or the Optimist Band Festival.

Band program skills are centered on the playing of an instrument.

The beginning year centers on the technical side of playing an instrument.  This involves the reading of music, physical co-ordination (fingering, posture, correct breathing) and the care of the instrument.  Later years consist of applying these basic skills to areas such as theory, musical style, interpretation, and history.

With practice and instruction, students will acquire instrumental skills.  As these skills increase, students will be able to perform individually at home.  As members of a band class, students contribute to group performances.

In order to gain full benefit of the program, we encourage students to remain in the band program for at least three years.  All divisional high schools offer a band program up to and including Grade 12.  Obviously, the more years a student participates in a band program, the greater will be the expertise on an instrument.

Grade 6 is the major entry point to our band programs.  In some individual situations we have been able to accommodate a student’s entry into the band program at a grade other than Grade 6 provided the student has had some instrumental background and that appropriate timetable arrangements can be made.

How playing an instrument benefits your brain -