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.