Niu Valley Middle School

An International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme World School

Music Department

Music Department

Contact Information:

Niu Valley Middle School Music Department

310 Halemaumau St.

Honolulu, HI  96821

Mr. Fanning: (808) 377-2440, ext. 280, wayne_fanning@notes.k12.hi.us

Mr. Morita: (808) 377-2440, ext. 281, zachary_morita@notes.k12.hi.us

Course Offerings and Topics Covered

INTRODUCTION TO BAND (FMB0100)--for 1st year band students
This course is open to students with very little or no prior band experience. Students will learn about music via performance on a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. Along with introductory music theory and history, students will learn the basic techniques of tone production, embouchure formation, breath control, posture, articulation, and expression.

BEGINNING BAND (FMB0400)--for 2nd year band students
This course is open to students who have satisfactorily completed one year of band at the middle school level. Students will study a wider variety of music, further explore concepts studied in Introduction to Band, and be expected to perform music at a grade 2-3 level. Students in this class will be members of the Concert Band. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of Introduction to Band, and instructor consent. Possible audition required.

INTERMEDIATE BAND (FMB0700)--for 3rd year band students
This course is open to students who have satisfactorily completed two years of band at the middle school level. Students will study a wider variety of music, further explore concepts studied in Beginning Band, and be expected to perform music at a grade 2-3 level. Students in this class will be members of the Concert Band.
Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of Beginning Band, and instructor consent. Possible audition required.

INTRODUCTION TO ORCHESTRA (FMV0100)--for 1st year orchestra students
This course is open to students with very little or no prior orchestra experience. Students will learn about music via performance on violin, viola, cello, or double bass. Along with introductory music theory and history, students will learn the basic techniques of tone production, hand position, bowing techniques, posture, and expression.

BEGINNING ORCHESTRA (FMV0400)--for 2nd year orchestra students
This course is open to students who have satisfactorily completed one year of orchestra at the middle school level. Students will study a wider variety of music, further explore concepts studied in Introduction to Orchestra, and be expected to perform music at a grade 2-3 level. Students in this class will be members of the Concert Strings. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion Introduction to Orchestra, and instructor consent. Possible audition required.

INTERMEDIATE ORCHESTRA (FMV0700)--for 3rd year orchestra students
This course is open to students who have satisfactorily completed two years of orchestra at the middle school level. Students will study a wider variety of music, further explore concepts studied in Beginning Orchestra, and be expected to perform music at a grade 2-3 level. Students in this class will be members of the Concert Strings. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of Beginning Orchestra, and instructor consent. Possible audition required.

INTRODUCTION TO POLYNESIAN MUSIC (FMP0100)--for 1st year polynesian music students
This course is open to students with little or no music background. Students will gain an understanding and appreciation of people, culture, art, and music from the Polynesian Triangle, and other regions of the Pacific. Performance skills on folk instruments, ukulele, and rhythm instruments are explored. Students will participate in singing, dancing, and instrumental performances.

BEGINNING POLYNESIAN MUSIC (FMP0300)--for 2nd year polynesian music students
This course is open to students who have completed one year of Polynesian Music at the middle school level. Students will further explore concepts studied in Introduction to Polynesian Music. In addition, students will study a wider variety of music.

INTERMEDIATE POLYNESIAN MUSIC (FMP0500)--for 3rd year polynesian music students 
This course is open to students who have completed two year of Polynesian Music at the middle school level. Students will further explore concepts studied in Beginning Polynesian Music. In addition, students will study a wider variety of music, and will be expected to be section leaders of the Polynesian Music Ensemble.

Niu Valley Middle School Music Department
Frequently Asked Questions

Q) What if I don’t know how to read music or play an instrument?
A) Then you’ve come to the right place.  Nearly EVERY student comes in with no prior knowledge or experience.  We will teach you what you need to know as long as you have a willingness to learn and try your best.

Q) Do the students perform in concerts?
A) Yes, performance is a vital aspect of music-making, and part of our Hawaii State Content and Performance Standards.  All 425 students will be afforded this opportunity, from the most beginning to the most advanced musician.  Dates will be announced several months in advance so that you can plan accordingly. 

Q) What other types of activities are there in the Music Department?
A) Field trips to live performances, a three-day overnight music camp, neighbor island trips, mainland trips, weekend field trips to movies, Wet and Wild, and Ice Palace, and performances and social activities with Kaiser High School Music Department.

Q) What if I can’t afford an instrument?
A) NO student is expected to buy or rent an instrument.  They are provided free of charge for all 425 students.  Students will need to buy basic supplies such as mouthpieces, rosin, and extra strings.  If this is a financial problem, we can find a way to help you out. 

Q) What is the difference between the different ensembles?
A) In Band, you will learn to play either flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, or percussion.  In Orchestra, you will learn to play violin, viola, cello, or bass.  In Polynesian Music, you will learn to play ukulele, simple percussion instruments, as well as sing and dance. 

Q) What if I don’t know what instrument I should play?
A) The instructors will work with you to find an instrument which suits you best based on various criteria.  An extensive screening process ensures that the right student is placed on the right instrument.

Q) I heard that there are after school rehearsals every day--is this true?
A) NO-not at all.  Beginning band students are asked to come for two rehearsals in December and four rehearsals in May.  Second and third-year band students are asked to come for one rehearsal per week.  The reason for this is because band students are in four different periods, and we need to combine the full ensemble for performances.  These dates are announced several months in advance so that you can plan ahead.  The Orchestra and Polynesian Music Ensemble rarely have rehearsals outside of class. 

Q) What if I want to play sports or participate in extracurricular activities?
A) Please do!  Most of our students play sports or are members of clubs or community groups.  We will work with you to help accommodate your schedule as much as possible.

Q) What if I want to take private lessons?
A) This is not required, but if you are interested, we will help you find a teacher.