• Be Part of the Band!

    Music does more than just make sounds. It changes the way we think and act. The skills we learn in music will help you be successful on the stage and in the classroom for the rest of your life.

    Why should I sign up for band in high school?

    1. The program is growing and is successful.  We offer concert bands, percussion ensemble, two jazz bands, and an extra-curricular pep band that performs at basketball games and travels to state tournaments. 
    2. Band is fun and you get to travel!  In 2023, the Wind Ensemble will tour Hawaii!
    3. We have a beautiful band room and performance hall at Hellgate.
    4. You will make friends immediately in band that will last throughout high school.  We all work together for the common good of making great music.  When you are in band, you are choosing to surround yourself with great people!
    5. Students who are in a successful music program all 4 years in high school score 10-12% higher on the SATs.  *College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001.
    6. Band is the ultimate collaboration. We practice listening, adjusting, and creativity on a daily basis. Study after study tells us that employers look for people who are great collaborators.  Students in band do this in everything they do and remember, there is no “bench” in band.  Everyone contributes.
    7. Being involved in a group like band all four years in conjunction with taking IB/AP type classes in high school looks great on college applications and scholarship applications.  Many current music students earn college scholarships as well as acceptance into their first choice of school, regardless of what they choose to study in college.
    8. All students are required to earn an arts credit to graduate high school.  Band fulfills this requirement.
    9. Victor Wooten said it best for University of Vermont:  "What the world needs is good people."
    10. 16 Benefits of Playing an Instrument 

    College/Trade School Admissions

    Colleges and schools are looking for sustained, well-rounded activities that enrich your life and contributes to the community. Being in a music class for four years speaks volumes about a person's character, skills, attitudes, and work ethic. 70% of admissions officers at major universities say high school credit and achievement in the arts are significant considerations for admission. 


    Deeper Reasons

    This is the most essential element of what makes music ensembles unique; in a band (or any ensemble), we practice listening, tuning, awareness of others, and the alignment--physically and mentally--with a group of collaborators. On a daily basis, we focus and refine our skills of LISTENING TO OTHERS and changing ourselves for the benefit of the music and the group, and yet we express ourselves in a unique, abstract, and individual manner. This is a phenomenal set of life skills, right? Just ask the most successful employees at Google.

    Advocate For Yourself and Your Art!

    If you also feel strongly about involvement in music, please advocate and support through actions and attitudes. Encourage your friends to continue with band, encourage our teachers and administrators to support your band program, and highlight all of the exciting activities, rewards, and joyful moments that music has provided you. This is your community, after all. Your leadership will go a long way to sustain the quality of programs at Big Sky.

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  • Advocate for Music

    Music for Music Sake

    In the article Why study music?, music education professor Donald Hodges explains 10 understandings/experiences unique to music. He writes:

    1. Feelings – central to any discussion of music as a knowledge system must be the idea of feelings. From one end of the continuum dealing with vague, unspecified moods to the other end dealing with crystallized emotions such as grief or joy, music is intrinsically connected with feelings.
    2. Aesthetic experiences – all human beings have a need forbeauty and to activate their innate responsiveness to the organized expressive sounds that we call music.

    3. The ineffable – precisely because music is a nonverbal form of expression, it is a powerful means to express or to know that which is difficult or impossible to put into words. Two of the most common human experiences that are frequently known through music are love and spiritual awareness.

    4. Thoughts – musical thought is just as viable as linguistic, mathematical, or visual thought. It can be a potent means of expressing ideas and of knowing truth.

    5. Structure – closely allied to the idea of thinking is structure. The human mind seeks patterns, structure, order, and logic. Music provides a unique way of structuring sounds across time, as well as providing a means of structuring thoughts, feelings, and human experiences.

    6. Time and space – time and space are the ‘stuff’ of the universe. All human knowledge systems provide ways of dealing with time and space. As indicated in ‘Structure’ above, music is a means of organizing sounds across time. Although music occurs in ‘real’ time, it deals more with ‘felt’ time. Music, especially in connection with dance (bodily-kinesthetic knowledge system), is a primary means of experiencing space in time.

    7. Self knowledge – music’s role in intrinsic, and especially peak (transcendent, life-changing), learning experiences provides for powerful insights into our private, inner worlds.

    8. Self identity- many gain their sense of self through a variety of musical activities and experiences.

    9. Group identity- group identity through music is both inclusive and exclusive in that (a) music helps cement the bonding of those members of a group who share common ideas, beliefs, and behaviors, and (b) music helps isolate and separate one group from another.

    10. Healing and wholeness- from more specific applications of music in therapy and medicine to more general interactions, music has profound effects on human beings. Music provides a vehicle for the integration of body, mind, and spirit.