A band where everyone's welcome!

January 1994, I initiated a music instruction program for adults (primarily seniors) which teaches them to perform on wind instruments in a concert band setting.

This program has run for the last twenty years at La Salle Secondary School (Kingston), two hours daily, four days a week with the fifth day primarily for new entry students. At present, the course has over forty students. Of this number, six are original members from the first year of the course and the rest of the band is in their second year or more. There are seven students in their first semester as new beginners.

This program has been a very successful undertaking. Seniors and adults have learned to read and apply music notation as well as develop competent practical skills on a wind instrument.

The band performs many concerts during the academic year and continues each summer with rehearsals and concerts outside of the school. The Adult Band (as it is known in the high school) frequently performs with the teenaged high school concert band in rehearsal and concert settings.

It is evident that this program is highly valued by the participants both educationally and socially.

Working with seniors in this setting has been exciting and also very challenging. I have realized that this age group requires a different approach to the application of instrumental music instruction from that which is used when teaching adolescent musicians.

Listen: Puttin' On The Ritz

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