Skip to main content
Voice Recognition

Commack School District

Excellence in Education



I am Theresa Stopper, the 4th and 5th Grade Band Director. Allow me to share with you that a child learning an instrument for the first time is definitely an exiting event that affects the whole family - even your howling dog. It is a decision in which children must be highly supported and encouraged to practice routinely from the beginning. The work is always made a lot more fun when there are people at home cheering you on through all of the squeaks and squawks! Here is a general overview of what we have to offer your child at MSIS.

4th Grade Beginning Program:

At the end of 3rd grade, children are given the opportunity to choose to study a musical instrument the following year in 4th grade. The various instruments are presented, studied and reviewed in general music classes. The children then list their top three choices. As the success of the program depends on the development of instrumentally balanced groups, the final decision as to the type of instrument assigned to the child is that of the teacher's.

Students begin to learn their individual instruments in small group settings called lessons. Lessons typically consist of the same or similar instruments to make learning easier. Lesson groups meet once a week for ½ hour.

Students will also begin meeting in September in large group settings of varied instrumentation called band rehearsals. Band rehearsals expand upon lesson material and cover musical skills applicable to all instruments. Rehearsals meet once a week, before school at 7:55am. Please note: 4th Grade Band only performs at the Spring Concert.

5th Grade Intermediate Program:
A year built upon skills learned in 4th grade, 5th grade is exciting as there are new opportunities that open up for your child. This year students will be able to:
  • Perform in both Winter and Spring concerts. 
  • Participate in Rock Band: a non-audition, non-performance, “fun” group which meets Monday mornings at 7:55 am from October 5th through November 9th.
  • Audition for All-District Band in the Spring which is comprised of students from Burr, Sawmill, and the Middle School for a one-time concert event.
  • Be selected to participate in the NYSSMA Spring Solo Festival

Special Note: 5th Grade is a benchmark year for your child. As the Commack Music Curriculum states, each student must be able to perform at a set, minimal level by the end of the year in order to be recommended to continue on in the band program. If it appears your child may struggle to reach this level, please know you will be contacted and worked with, with ample time to make a difference in your child's musical progress.

Allowing your child to learn an instrument and participate in the band program has the potential of becoming a life-long gift of happiness for your child and future generations to come. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to e-mail, call (631) 858-3650, or check out my eBoard at