Departments > Visual & Performing Arts > School Bands

School Bands and Instrumental Music

Instructors: John McLellan and Sharon Phipps.

Visit Chenery Middle School Bands web site at

In order to help the teachers keep closer contact with individuals, students of band instruments at Chenery Middle School are asked to perform one "level" per grading period. Generally, each student self-initiates an appointment with either Mr. McLellan or Ms. Phipps after school by signing up on the sheets just outside the bandroom door. Appointments are brief (usually ten minutes) and can be scheduled between 2:30 and 4:30 each afternoon.

The student brings his/her set of "levels" which are in the band binder and the teacher crosses out items that are passed satisfactorily and writes notes for future work or comments for improvement on items not yet passed. A student can come back several times during a grading period to pass, or just to work on the level.

Once a level is passed, the student's name will travel through the "Levels Boards" in the front of the band room. Once he or she has passed the required ten levels, a new "advanced level" is written specifically for that student, targeting specific points that might improve in the student's playing. This advanced level is then known not as "Level 11" but is named for that particular student. Once this advanced student has successfully performed her own level, she then can "go shopping" through the other advanced levels, each named for the student for whom it was written. To "go shopping", the student might look through the pdf Boards here on the website or can view the "Boards" on display in the band area in Chenery. Although the students will eventually move on to the High School, these advanced players have been immortalized on the walls of the Chenery Band Room forever through their advanced level. We recommend that everyone come and glance through what our students have accomplished.