About the Instrumental Music Program at Burgettstown Area Elementary Center
    (aka B.A.E.C.'s Band-land!)

    Thank you for taking an interest in the instrumental music program at Burgettstown Area Elementary Center. During my tenure in this district we have typically begun instrumental music study in the 5th grade. However, students can begin to learn an instrument at any age! 4th grade, according to existing research on the development of the child's brain, is typically the prime age level to begin formal study of a musical instrument.  

    We typically begin the pre-screening process in the students' 4th grade year. The students come out of  class to try their top two favorite instruments. We maintain records of their initial screening to use again for the next screening in the early fall semester of 5th grade, in order to gauge each student's consistency and progress. Details about this event will be sent home with the students as well as posted on the "BAEC Band-Land" main website.

    The instruments that are taught in either individual or small group lessons include:
    Flute                         Clarinet                      Saxophone               Ukulele               
    Trumpet                   French Horn               Trombone                 Violin                  
    Percussion          Guitar                    Viola                   Piano       
    Cello                       Bass                           Euphonium/Baritone

    Instruments can be typically rented from the most well-known music store in our Pittsburgh area: Volkwein's. I also have some Volkwein's rental contracts in my office should you wish for the information. The website for Volkwein's is: www.volkweinsmusic.com. 

    We do have an inventory of instruments as well that can be "loaned" to your student from the Burgettstown Area School District. In the past, these instruments were typically used for students who have mastered their primary instrument and wish to balance out our upper ensembles by learning a secondary instrument. However, our goal has changed and we are now striving to get as many 5th grade students playing an instrument as possible. Please contact Mrs. Betschart directly in order to discuss the Burgettstown Area School District's instrument loan program.
    The following method books will be used in our lesson program this year:
    Band instruments such as flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, euphonium/baritone, AND percussion - - Measures of Success by Sheldon, Balmages, Loest, Sheldon & Collier (price dependent upon the instrument, $8.06-$17.95, includes play-along CDs)
    Guitar and Bass/Bass Guitar - - Essential Elements for Guitar (CD/DVD included, approximately $13.75)
    Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass) - - Measures of Success for Strings (CD included, price approximately $9.75)
    Piano - - Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner by Faber, Lesson Book 1 and Theory Book 1(approximately $6.00-$8.00, each book) 
    Ukulele - - Essential Elements for Ukulele (approximately $13.99, includes play-along CDs) 
    All books can be purchased from Volkwein's, the local music store that services the Burgettstown Area School District. I have also found some of these lesson books for purchase on Amazon. Prices will be updated on this website as soon as they are provided to me.
    Small group and individual lessons are scheduled around the master class schedule for each grade level involved. We are continuously a "work-in-progress" this year as we maintain flexibility with scheduling the students' lessons. The students are designated a particular day of the week but will rotate through the time blocks within that day so that they are not missing the same class regularly. The students know their classwork schedules better than I, so if there is an important assignment, test or project occurring, then the students can re-schedule their missed lesson during one of my "open" blocks of time. This system has worked pretty well for the students and has made them become more responsible.

    Regular "BAEC Band-Land" updates are sent via email, and the "BAEC Band-Land" website is updated regularly. Parental communication has been vital to the success of our instrumental music program.

    Typical events to expect, but not guaranteed due to scheduling during the course of the academic year are:
    Christmas Performance at a school board meeting - usually in December
    Winter Celebration Concert - usually in late January/early February
     Music In Our Schools Month Side-by-Side Concert - usually in March
    Performance at Barnes & Noble Book fair - November or March
    Performing Arts Night - usually in May
    PMEA Elementary Band Fest for selected students

    You and your student(s) is/are encouraged to attend other performances within our overall music department in order to enrich the overall student-music education experience. The Burgettstown Area Middle/High School Music Department is quite active throughout the course of the academic year. Details about each upcoming event will be posted on the main "BAEC Band-Land" website.
    If you or your student is interested in becoming active in our "Band-Land", please download, complete, and return the enrollment form to me (click here). The enrollment form reflects both the band and chorus ensembles at B.A.E.C. Mrs. Betschart is now directing both ensembles to ensure that your student not only has the opportunity to participate in both ensembles, but finds success in both ensembles.
    Again, thanks for your interest in our instrumental music program and we am looking forward to working with you and your student on this year's musical voyage.
    Musically and Sincerely Yours,
    Heidi D. Betschart
    Director of Elementary Instrumental/Choral Music, General Music K-5
    Burgettstown Area School District

    piano keys

Last Modified on November 12, 2019