Do I have to know how to play an instrument already?

Middle School— especially 6th grade — is a great time to start an instrument or switch to a different one! Many of our Orchestra and Band music classes are appropriate for beginners and are set up to accommodate a variety of music levels and abilities. Beginning Orchestra, Concert Band, Guitar, and Percussion classes do not require any music experience.

Contact Ms. Dustin or Mr. Aguilar with specific questions. They are eager to get your child connected to music— no matter what level they are at.


Can I start in the music program even as an 8th grader?

No music experience is necessary to be a part of the RESMS music program. RESMS music levels (Beginning Orchestra or Concert Band / Intermediate Orchestra or Symphonic Band / Senior Orchestra or Wind Ensemble) are based on ability and experience, not by grade, so even 8th graders with no previous music experience can choose music as their elective and can have a rewarding experience. In the 2018-2019 school year, there was a grade level represented in every music ensemble.


Do I have to audition?

Anyone who wants to take music for an elective does not have to audition and will automatically be placed in the Concert Band or Beginning Orchestra level. Incoming orchestra students are placed in the appropriate level ensemble based on their previous teacher’s recommendation, and do not usually require an audition. Incoming band students will need to audition if they want to be in a higher ensemble than Concert Band.

Students previously enrolled typically move up a level each year without needing to audition.


What if I can’t afford an instrument?

Instruments are available for use (at no cost) by students in need. Please let Ms. Dustin or Mr. Aguilar know if you need to use a school instrument, or need assistance in purchasing books at the start of the year. No student will be turned away from participating due to financial constraint. All students are welcomed.


How many students are enrolled in RESMS music program?

Nearly 50% of the student body participates in a music class!

Did you know? Research on the impact of early childhood music education shows enhanced social and intellectual development for students. Music also gives them the opportunity to learn a new skill, collaborate with peers, perform for an audience, go on trips, work with professional artists, and gain independence and responsibility.


Are there performances?

Each ensemble typically performs 3 times during the school year: a winter concert in December, a spring concert in April, and an end of the year concert in June. These concerts are held at RESMS on weekday evenings. Your child’s teacher will have these dates available at the start of the school year, or you can see the calendar here.

Additional performances may come up during the year for upper level ensembles, and as part of any concert trips that students may attend.


Is there a uniform for performances?

All music ensembles do have a concert attire requirement. See our performance attire page for specifics for your child’s ensemble.

Please note, however, that if purchasing performance attire is a financial hardship or issue for you, talk to your music teacher at least two weeks prior to a performance, and this can be resolved. There is a bin of gently used outgrown items in the music area, and FORESMA also funds the purchase of new items.


Isn’t music an extra time commitment?

Music at RESMS is a daily class, which means you will learn during the school day. It does not impact participation in after-school sports or activity participation, and over half the RESMS population are able to fit it into their daily schedule, so your student will probably be able to, too.

Balancing responsibilities and managing one’s time is an important part of middle school. Learning a new instrument or a new piece of music does take practice, but it’s fun!


I’d like to help out, but I don’t have a music background or have a lot of time…any ideas?

No music experience is necessary! Helping the RESMS music program thrive needs folks for a variety of roles and time commitments. See our volunteer page for more information.