Music at River Bluff
At River Bluff Middle School, band, choir, and orchestra electives are available to all 6-8th grade students. Ensembles meet every other day for large group instruction to work on music of various genres. Additionally, students have a small group lesson every other week to focus on instrument/voice specific skills. All instruction occurs during the school day. To showcase learning, each ensemble gives two to three evening concerts a year. In addition to in-class learning, each ensemble participates in at least one field trip per year which may include performing at local nursing homes, attending a professional concert or music clinic, and participating in the Music in the Parks Festival at Six Flags Great America.
In band, students may choose to play flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, or percussion. Orchestra instrument options include violin, viola, cello, or string bass. School instrument rentals are available for students needing financial assistance. Please visit the specific band and orchestra pages for more information on obtaining an instrument and needed supplies.
In addition to curricular course offerings, there are many extracurricular music activities students can be involved in at River Bluff:
- Valhalla Singers (auditioned 6-8th grade choir ensemble)
- River Bluff Musical (Open to all middle school students. Opportunities to be in the cast or on tech crew.)
- Victorian Holiday Orchestra
- Fiddle/Folk Orchestra
- Syttende Mai Orchestra and Marching Band Performances
- Honor Music Ensembles/Music Clinics
- Chamber Ensembles
- Jazz Band
Besides ensemble course offerings, several general music classes are run each year. All 6th grade students participate in a 6 week music class as part of the related arts rotation. In this class, students focus on basic musical elements including rhythm, dynamics, timbre, and melody to perform music and create compositions. Units of study include bucket drumming, keyboard, guitar, and music history. 7th and 8th grade students may elect to take a keyboard/guitar class. This course dives into the basics of playing each instrument and allows students to explore various songs while gaining technical playing skills.