Do You Want to Join?
Thinking about joining band in high school? The Kell Longhorn Band has a place for YOU! We hope you'll explore our web site to learn more about our band program and everything we do that makes us unique. We have put together this page to help you reach an informed decision about making band a part of your high school experience.
You will probably find some of your questions or concerns about being in band are very similar to some of same things we get asked most often. We've put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and their answers for you to find out more.
Band and Your Future
We are proud to be a part of Kell High School, where our academics, athletics, and all of our extra-curricular activities are very successful and strong. When you graduate, you will be a well-rounded person that has much to offer in your college or professional career. So how does BAND fit into the big picture of learning and living in high school? And what are the benefits of being in band for me later in life if I'm not going to be a music major? Someone else has already asked those questions, and we have researched the answer for you. Check out The Benefits of Being in Band.
Still Not Convinced? Still Have Questions?
If you still would like more information or have additional questions you would like answered, feel free to email Mr. Roth or Mr. Watts. They will either answer your question, or if you would like, put you in touch with one of our students that can answer your question from their point of view. There are no dumb questions, so feel free to ask away!
Don't forget to explore the rest of our web site using the links on this page. You will find a lot more information about our band just by taking a look around!
Some frequently asked questions from rising 9th graders:
Is marching band a class offered during the school day? No, marching band is not a class. The marching band is one of the most visible units of our band program, however, so there will be some time spent working on Marching Band music during the first few weeks of school in all band classes.
Do I have to be in band class in order to march? Yes, as long as you play an instrument that is offered in a band class. If you march in the color guard or play an instrument that is not offered in band class, you do not have to register for band. If, however, you do play an instrument in band, you do need to be in a band class in order to be a part of the extracurricular marching ensemble.
I'm not sure about all those older kids, will they be mean to me? NO WAY! When you step into a high school band its like you suddenly have 100 new friends. Band is the largest student group at Kell High School. As you walk through the halls you'll see lots of people you recognize from band. Just imagine having that many friends on your first day of high school.
Can I be in sports and in band? Yes. We have people in band that participate in just about every sport: tennis, swimming, football, track, wrestling, baseball, soccer, etc. We sometimes have to juggle schedules, but we will work it out. All we ask is you communicate with us regarding your schedule. With open and up-front communication, we can make anything work.
If I am in band, can I also belong to other student clubs? YES! In fact, most of the Kell band students belong to a second, and sometimes third student club! We encourage involvement!
High school is so hard, will I be able to keep up my grades? Yes, you will. Band students learn better than any other students how to manage their time, and typically score higher than non-band students on standardized tests. Band students on the whole make better grades than non-band students…it’s a fact!
Will I have time for band? Yes, you will. Everyone has the same amount of time, and anything worth doing takes some time. During marching season, it takes Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights with football games on Fridays. After football season, the time demands outside of school are significantly less.
Will the work be too hard for me? NO! Everyone starts from scratch, and like anything else, with hard work and practice you will get it. That’s exactly why you need to be in band in the first place. Band helps you develop a good work ethic. Anything – sports, a job, etc. – takes work to be good. There is nothing wrong with work! We have never lost anyone in this program due to working too hard!
How much does band cost? - Fortunately, not as much as you might think!!! Sure it will cost SOME money, but it will be much less than many other programs and various other activities in the area. We are also able to have several fundraisers throughout the year to help students with the financial obligations of participation. If you have difficulty paying the band fees, communicate with the band director immediately.
Benefits of Being in the Band
Some general statistics and facts about music participation:
Students of the arts continue to outperform their non-arts peers on the SAT, according to reports by the College Entrance Examination Board. In a recent report the College Board found that students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the critical reading, 43 points higher on the math and 58 points higher on writing than students with no arts participation; students in music appreciation scored 62 points higher on verbal, 41 points higher on math and 61 on writing. - The College Board, Profile of College-Bound Seniors National Report.
The arts provide young people with authentic learning experiences that engage their minds, hearts, and bodies. Engagement in the arts nurtures the development of cognitive, social, and personal competencies.
While learning in other disciplines may often focus on development of a single skill or talent, the arts regularly engage multiple skills and abilities. Music requires the integration of eye-hand coordination, rhythm, tonality, symbol recognition and interpretation, attention span, and other factors that represent synthetic aspects of human intelligence. In addition, critical thinking, problem-solving, and learning how to work cooperatively toward shared goals are all skills which are reinforced through music education.
Music is one of the seven intelligences identified in the brain and the only one that utilizes all seven intelligences simultaneously. Thus, students who participate in music courses exercise more of their brain than in any other course they take in school.
Band reinforces the skills of cooperation which are among the qualities now most highly valued in business and industry, especially in high-tech contexts. Members are required to shift from an I/Me focus to a We/Us focus. Instead of the logic being, "what's in it for me," it becomes, "what's in it for us?" Band is a group effort which focuses on group goals and the completion of those goals in each and every rehearsal and performance.
The benefits conveyed by music education can be grouped into four categories
Success in society
Success in school
Success in developing intelligence
Success in life
Benefit One: Success in Society
The U.S. Department of Education lists the arts as subjects that college-bound middle and junior high school students should take, stating "Many colleges view participation in the arts and music as a valuable experience that broadens students' understanding and appreciation of the world around them. It is also well known and widely recognized that the arts contribute significantly to children's intellectual development." In addition, one year of Visual and Performing Arts is recommended for college-bound high school students. - Getting Ready for College Early: A Handbook for Parents of Students in the Middle and Junior High School Years, U.S. Department of Education
The College Board identifies the arts as one of the six basic academic subject areas students should study in order to succeed in college. - Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do, The College Board
The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians. - Grant Venerable, "The Paradox of the Silicon Savior"
Benefit Two: Success in School
In an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students (NELS: National Education Longitudinal Survey), researchers found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show "significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12." This observation holds regardless of students' socio-economic status, and differences in those who are involved with instrumental music vs. those who are not is more significant over time. - Catterall, James S., Richard Chapleau, and John Iwanaga. "Involvement in the Arts and Human Development: General Involvement and Intensive Involvement in Music and Theater Arts." Los Angeles, CA: The Imagination Project at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
Students with coursework/experience in music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT: students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math, and students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math, than did students with no arts participation. - College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001
Data from the National Education Longitudinal Study showed that music participants received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that the percentage of music participants receiving As, As/Bs, and Bs was higher than the percentage of non-participants receiving those grades. - NELS: First Follow-up, National Center for Education Statistics, Washington DC
Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66% of music majors who applied to medical school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. 44% of biochemistry majors were admitted. - As reported in "The Case for Music in the Schools," Phi Delta Kappan
Benefit Three: Success in Developing Intelligence
"The musician is continually making decisions on tempo, tone, intonation, style, rhythm, balance, phrasing, and feeling--training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attentional skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression." - Ratey John J., MD. A User's Guide to the Brain. New York: Pantheon Books, 2001
A research team exploring the link between music and intelligence reported that music training is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children's abstract reasoning skills, the skills necessary for learning math and science. - Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright, Dennis and Newcomb, "Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children's spatial-temporal reasoning," Neurological Research, Vol. 19
Researchers at the University of Montreal used various brain imaging techniques to investigate brain activity during musical tasks and found that sight-reading musical scores and playing music both activate regions in all four of the cortex's lobes; and that parts of the cerebellum are also activated during those tasks. - Sergent, J., Zuck, E., Tenial, S., and MacDonall, B.
Researchers in Leipzig found that brain scans of musicians showed larger planum temporale (a brain region related to some reading skills) than those of non-musicians. They also found that the musicians had a thicker corpus callosum (the bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two halves of the brain) than those of non-musicians, especially for those who had begun their training before the age of seven. - Schlaug, G., Jancke, L., Huang, Y., and Steinmetz, H. Proceedings of the 3d international conference for music perception and cognition (pp. 417-418). Liege, Belgium
Benefit Four: Success in Life
"The nation's top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the 21st century." - "The Changing Workplace is Changing Our View of Education." Business Week
At perhaps no other time have music and arts education been more important. Apart from their obvious benefits, music and the other arts produce critical thinkers, people who are decision makers. In the information age, our company needs people with these critical thinking skills. - Susan Driggers, Bell South Corporation
"Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them - a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music." - Gerald Ford, former President, United States of America
"During the Gulf War, the few opportunities I had for relaxation I always listened to music, and it brought to me great peace of mind. I have shared my love of music with people throughout this world, while listening to the drums and special instruments of the Far East, Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Far North - and all of this started with the music appreciation course that I was taught in a third-grade elementary class in Princeton, New Jersey. What a tragedy it would be if we lived in a world where music was not taught to children." - H. Norman Schwarzkopf, General, U.S. Army, retired