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Local teachers start summer band program

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Posted: Friday, July 24, 2009 10:00 pm

Although the band program has been canceled for elementary students in Lodi Unified School District due to budget cuts, students fourththrough sixth-grade will soon have another option for learning musical instruments.

Brad and Dianne VanderHamm, both teachers in LUSD, have started a 15-week band class through Hutchins Street Square.

The class, Instrument Explorer, will help teach students the fundamentals of band and help prepare them for middle school and high school, said Dianne VanderHamm. She says it's an important foundation for them.

"I think any musical education is a real part of them getting a well-rounded, full education," she said.

She added that a lot of kids aren't sports-inclined and some are not as academic as others. Music helps get them to focus and also aids in developing selfdiscipline. Through the class, which will consist of three parts, students will learn about their instrument of choice, as well as how to set goals for practicing.

The first hour will focus on instruction for the woodwinds. The second hour will be the full band, including the brass and woodwinds. The last hour will be instruction for the trumpets and baritones.

The only requirements for the class are for the student to have an instrument and to have a willing spirit and commitment to practice time, said VanderHamm.

The class will meet on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Kirst Hall at Hutchins Street Square. Cost will be $348 per semester, which can be paid in two installments. Those who qualify for the free school lunch program will qualify for 50 percent off of the fee.

An informational meeting will be held on Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. in the Cottage Room at Hutchins Street Square. For more information, call Dianne VanderHamm at 261-0461.

Contact Features Editor Pamela Bauserman at pamelab@lodinews.com. Find the best bargains in Lodi. Read Pam's blog, Saving with Pam.

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  • posted at 7:12 am on Tue, Jul 28, 2009.


    Why the exorbitant cost?

  • posted at 7:11 am on Tue, Jul 28, 2009.


    What?...$348 per semester? That is way too much money for most families right now. I wonder how many will sign up at this cost. It's unfortunate that so many talented kids, and kids that would greatly benefit, will be priced out of this program.

  • posted at 11:24 am on Sat, Jul 25, 2009.


    By comparison, Lodi Children's Chorus has both spring and fall semesters and charges around $106.00 per semester. Children meet once a week for a few hours and have concerts at the end of the session. I hope they can find a way to bring the cost down on this music program or have some sort of monthly payment schedule.

  • posted at 8:49 am on Sat, Jul 25, 2009.


    The cost is for more than one month, so it may be less than the $100. each month. Maybe it would be open to more families if there were monthly payments, or family discounts, and scholarships.

  • posted at 5:57 am on Sat, Jul 25, 2009.


    While I applaud this effort I have to say this cost is excessive! Most children's instructional programs offered at Hutchins Street Square are usually around $ 100.00 or less. If the students already have their own instrument how can they justify this price? Seems like a lot of children from middle class families will not be able to participate. Too bad!

  • posted at 2:18 am on Sat, Jul 25, 2009.


    That's Great! MUSIC is one of the greatest "common ground" connections that the human race has. The more we share music, the more peace, love and good vibes there will be. Does that sound old fashioned? So what! Its the undeniable truth and at the top of the list of what humanity has been able to accomplish at its best. Me? I play drums and build the World's finest professional audio systems.It has been great working in an industry that makes millions of people happy instead of something less uplifting....

  • posted at 2:02 am on Sat, Jul 25, 2009.


    Fantastic idea, and a great alternative to doing private lessons. Will there be a performance?



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