Arts & Education: Hard work pays off for MCPS 5th grade musicians

Posted at 11:07 AM, Jun 01, 2018

MISSOULA – We headed over to CM Russell Elementary School to take in the fifth grade end of the year band and orchestra concert for this Arts & Education report.

Students came into CM Russell Elementary School with many not knowing the difference between a trombone and a tuba but what a difference a year’s learning can make.

Band teacher Randy Zschaechner obviously loves orchestra and band, and it’s his job to try and pass this love of music on to his students. And one of the best ways to do that, play songs that the kids will be excited to learn and play — for example, movie themes. 

The progress these students make throughout the year is just incredible and hearing these kids play now it’s hard to imagine that many of them had never even picked up an instrument before this school year began.

"When the kids first come in, they literally don’t know what end to blow into.  So the very first lesson is making a tone or sound on the instrument.  And then we progress that into how the instrument is put together and then how to hold and how to make a sound," Zschaechner explained.

"It’s pretty neat to see it all come together. At the beginning, it is a sound only parents could love. Then, at the concert here, it is sounds everyone can get into.  So it is a lot of fun to watch it happen," Zschaechner concluded.