The Garwood Whaley Music Program (GWMP) is a local organization that offers contract music instruction to schools without a band program. GWMP was selected as the authorized teaching organization for the Diocese of Arlington in 1979. GWMP teachers serve more than 30 schools in the Diocese.
Every child enrolled in GWMP receives a weekly music lesson. These lessons are taught in small groups and are 30 minutes in length. The students are grouped according to ability (beginner or advanced) and by instrumental category (flute vs. clarinet for example). Lessons are held during regular school hours on a rotating basis; this procedure minimizes absences from the same class period each week. Scheduling is arranged with the cooperation and coordination of the principal. In addition, a new Beginner Band is created with new 4th graders and any student that is a beginner player. After one year, students move into our Advanced Band.
Our experience has shown that one-half a school year is necessary for students, parents, and music teachers to evaluate interest and progress by the students. For that reason, the minimum enrollment period in GWMP is September to January. Normally, students are initially enrolled during the “Back to School Night” in September.
For your convenience, rental instruments will be available that evening from a Music and Arts representative. Music and Arts has proven to be a reputable company that provides high quality instruments, with reliable service, and at reasonable prices.
Tuition for music instruction for GWMP is kept as low as possible; it is recognized that families are also paying for school tuition. Other costs for band are minimal, being primarily for the instruction books and incidentals such as reeds, and valve or slide oil.
GWMP teacher at St. Theresa Catholic School: Dr. Robert Little
Note from Dr. Little
Band activities outside of regular school hours will be kept to a minimum; however, the bands will participate in two concerts a year in December and in May. These concerts offer the opportunity for faculty and parents to observe their students’ progress and also serve as motivational tools for these young musicians. In addition, parents and principals are advised of each student’s progress by Instrumental Music Achievement Reports, which are distributed in early November, February, and May.
In addition to our two concerts at St. Theresa Catholic School, our Advanced Band will also participate in the Diocesan Band Festival at Bishop Ireton High School. We will travel to Hershey Park and attend the Music Showcase Festival in May.
Some students will be able to audition for the District XVI Band. They will need to prepare scales and an etude. I will provide that information to students that want to participate. Also, solos will be given to all students to work on for solo festival (April). While all will be learning a solo only a few will participate in the festival.
In January, I will be looking to recommend any outstanding advanced student(s) for our Honor Band program. Depending on the space and instrumentation needed, the students accepted into this program will perform with the most elite musicians from our diocese! The Honor Band will perform in a concert in May at Bishop Ireton High School.
Paul VI High School will be holding its annual Mini-Band Camp in July. This will be for interested fifth-eighth graders.
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