High School Band Mentoring Program Surpasses Expectations

The Southwestern High School band mentoring program, initiated for the sixth-grade band, has surpassed all expectations for both the band director, Elizabeth Christensen, and her students. The program provides one-on-one instruction for sixth graders by members of the High School band.

One goal of the program is to elevate interest and retention levels of young musicians. Leigh Yartz, a senior saxophone player, has enjoyed the interaction with her students.

“This program is wonderful. It’s amazing to see how much these young musicians have grown in a few short months.”

Currently there are 20 high school band players who volunteer for the program. They receive extra credit towards their band grade as well as community service credit for National Honor Society and Key Club. The sixth-grade band members also receive extra credit. They are responsible for logging in times spent with their mentor and then noting the skills they worked on together.

The high school band members take time out of their own day to give private lessons over and above regular band lessons given by Mrs. Christensen. They cover skills, exercises and current repertoire. Laurel Finson, a sophomore flute player, has experienced more than just giving a lesson.

“Through the mentoring program, I have found great joy in watching how I can help younger students progress and develop as musicians.”

To experience the fruits of their labor, please come and enjoy the spring concert on Wednesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium as Mrs. Christensen’s sixth-grade band proudly performs with their mentors.