Avondale Elementary's Summer Band Academy - AZEdNews
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Avondale Elementary’s Summer Band Academy


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  • Video by Mary Irish/AZEdNews and story by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Students Play Songs During Avondale Summer Band Academy On June 18, 2019 At Desert Thunder School In Goodyear. Photo By Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Avondale Elementary School District hosted a three-week Avondale Summer Band Academy at Desert Thunder School in Goodyear that included opportunities for beginning band students and advanced musicians throughout the school district.

“This is our second year of actually doing it,” said Marietta Swim, a general music and band teacher at Desert Star School.

“Mr. Hillius, my other colleague, had brought it to the administration about extending the band program throughout the summer months so we could start kids on instruments and get them used to playing,” Swim said. “As well as our advanced kids, so they have the opportunity to continue playing and continue working on their skills throughout the summer months.”

Video by Mary Irish/AZEdNews: Avondale Summer Band Academy

The band academy is open to all the schools in the district, so students get a chance to meet each other and learn together with like instruments and share their experiences, Swim said.

“We’re looking forward to continuing it for the next couple of years,” Swim said. “Hopefully, we can keep it going and get more students actively involved in it and successful.”

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Marietta Swim, a general music and band teacher at Desert Star School, leads students in the Avondale Summer Band Academy at Desert Thunder School in Avondale Elementary School District. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Toward the end of the band academy, students did warm ups together as a group, before launching into playing.

“We’re going to do our whole note line, then the half note line,” Swim said to the student orchestra. “Remember those eighth notes, how are we going to keep them together? What are we going to do?”

Then one student told Swim what they could do.

After playing several songs together, a few band members took time to share what they liked best about Avondale Summer Band Academy.

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Students take part in Avondale Summer Band Academy on June 18, 2019 at Desert Thunder School in Goodyear. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Adrian, an 8th grader in Summer Band Academy, said what he likes about Summer Band is being able to get out of the house and learn a new instrument.

“I started off playing guitar, but that has died down a little bit,” Adrian said. “When my Mom heard about this, I was all psyched up and now I’m playing clarinet and I love it.”

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Avondale Summer Band Academy teacher Marietta Swim talks with students about how to play the eighth notes in their song at Desert Thunder School on June 18, 2019. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

As Swim worked with students on another song, another student shared what she liked about Avondale Summer Band Academy.

“I like the fact that we can play different instruments,” said Larenia, a student taking part in the Summer Band Academy “I play the flute and the piccolo. Right now I’m practicing my flute, because my piccolo broke. I really like this because it can give others a learning chance, and advanced kids can come here and help beginners learn more.”

She also said she liked getting more practice so you’re more ready for the next year in band. Larenia said she plans to be in marching band in the fall at Desert Edge High School.

“This is just a really great learning experience for advanced and beginners even intermediate, because not many schools will have an education system for music or art,” Larenia said. “This is one of those opportunities, you can go here and learn music.”

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Students play songs as part of Avondale Elementary School District’s Summer Band Academy on June 18, 2019 at Desert Thunder School in Goodyear. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews