Grade 5 Music Selection
06 September 2022

Grade 5 Music Selection

Registration is open for the Grade 5 Music (2022-23)  

The following message contains information about the Grade 5 Music Program, with enrollment instructions below. 

Please read through this message carefully, and feel free to contact Arto Asadoorian (Director of Visual & Performing Arts, with any questions.

The Grade 5 Music curriculum at Chenery Middle School provides all students with their first large ensemble experience - Band, Chorus or Orchestra. Each ensemble includes FOUR classes per six day cycle. Two of those classes are in smaller groups, focusing on technical instrumental or vocal techniques. The other two classes are in large ensembles, focused on making music together in a performance setting.

All instruction takes place during the school day. There may be one or two evening performance scheduled over the course of the year, to which families, friends and neighbors are invited to attend.

Students will learn more about each ensemble in their music classes during the school day before making a decision about which one to enroll in for the year.

Keep reading to learn how to take advantage of this important opportunity for your student. 

Ready to Select Your Ensemble?


Instructions for Fee Payment, Waiver Application and Instrument Rental are included in the Enrollment Form.

What is the Difference Between Each Ensemble?

Chorus (Singing)

Sara Carson, CMS Chorus Director

The Grade 5 Chorus is a vocal ensemble (singing) that focuses on developing good vocal technique, music literacy and ensemble skills. The chorus sings a wide variety of music, including contemporary pop music as well as more traditional selections that reflect cultures from around the world. There is no Participation Fee required to enroll in the Grade 5 Chorus.

Orchestra (String Instruments)

Meg Dagon, Grade 5 Orchestra Director

The Grade 5 Orchestra picks up where the Grade 4 String Program left off. Students who began studying the violin, viola, cello or bass in Grade 4 are strongly encouraged to continue playing their instrument in the Grade 5 Orchestra. This program continues to build advancing technical skills on each instrument, and students will have the added experience of performing together in a large orchestra for the first time. 5th Graders are welcome to start a string instrument as a beginner. Please contact Meg Dagon if you are interested in starting as a beginner string player this year. There is a required Participation Fee of $250 for Grade 5 Orchestra.

Band (Wind and Percussion Instruments)

Jaclyn Viscardi, Ken Gable, Joe Wright, CMS Band Directors

The Grade 5 Band is the beginning year of instruction for wind and percussion instruments. As part of this program students can choose to study one of the following instruments:

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Percussion.

These instruments will be demonstrated for students in school during the first two weeks of music classes. The focus of instruction in Grade 5 band is on building strong fundamental technique on each instrument, and developing good ensemble skills and habits together as a large ensemble. There is a required Participation Fee of $250 for Grade 5 Orchestra.

What Does it Cost? What If We Can’t Afford It?

The Belmont Public Schools will ensure that every student who wants to play an instrument will have the opportunity to play an instrument, regardless of their family’s financial situation. Our partners, David French Music and Powers Music School, are equally committed to making this possible.

There are two costs associated with Grade 5 Band and Orchestra:

  1. Belmont Public Schools Participation Fee ($250)
  2. Instrument Rental Fee ($25-60/month, depending on the instrument)

The BPS Participation Fee is a one-time fee that is required for Grade 4 Strings, and for Grade 5 Band/Orchestra. After that there are no Participation Fees required for our in-school music programs.

Fee Waivers/Reductions and No-Cost Scholarship Instruments are available by application, with instructions included in the enrollment form. 

If you have any questions about applying for a waiver, please contact Arto Asadoorian,

Instruments are not provided by the Belmont Public Schools, and are not included in the $250 Participation Fee. 

How Do We Get an Instrument?

Families may choose to purchase or rent an instrument from any vendor they choose, but we strongly encourage that you rent through our selected vendor, David French Music. If you want to know more about why we suggest that you rent an instrument rather than buy one on your own, check out the information at the bottom of this message.

Once you are ready to rent your instrument, if you choose to rent through David French Music you can rent through their website. Your instrument will be delivered directly to your school. Rent by Friday, Sept. 16 to receive your instrument in time for the first week of lessons.

If you are applying for a Participation Fee Waiver you may also request a Scholarship Instrument through David French Music, which will be provided free of charge as long as your student remains in the BPS Music Program.

Ready to Select Your Ensemble?


Instructions for Fee Payment, Waiver Application and Instrument Rental are included in the Enrollment Form.

Supplemental Opportunities

Saturday Morning Music School (SMMS) has been a Belmont institution for 40+ years, providing supplemental music instruction to beginning instrumentalists and teaming them with professional music educators and  mentors from Belmont High School. For the past several years, the Belmont Public Schools have partnered with our neighbors at Powers Music School to provide this incredible opportunity exclusively for Belmont students.

SMMS takes place on Saturday mornings at Chenery Middle School from October-April for a very low cost per student. Students who qualify for BPS Fee Waivers are eligible for the same waiver or reduction towards SMMS tuition. Use the link above to learn more about a Saturday Morning Music School.

Belmont High School Music Mentors volunteer each year to work with the younger music students in our school program. Later this fall we will send you information about how you can enroll in the Music Mentors program, to pair your student up with a musical role-model to help them practice at home.

Private lessons with a professional music teacher are always a fantastic idea for students who are interested in more focused, individualized lessons on their instrument. There are a number of excellent teachers in our area, including those who teach at Powers Music School. Families who qualify for BPS Fee Waivers are also eligible to enroll in the Belmont Scholars Program at Powers, which provides them with free or reduced tuition on weekly private lessons. This is an amazing opportunity that Powers Music School has generously provided to Belmont students for the past several years, and one that we hope families will continue to take advantage of this year.

Do You Still Have Questions?

  • Come to our Music Information Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 15 at Chenery Middle School, 6:00pm. 
  • E-mail Arto Asadoorian,
  • Call our office, 617-993-5990

Why Should We RENT an Instrument ?

Young string players do not start on full-size instruments.

5th Graders will start playing on smaller string instrument. As they grow, they will need to “size up” their instruments until they reach middle or high school, when they will begin playing full-size instruments. You can purchase ¼- or ½-size instruments if you would like to avoid renting, but you will need to purchase a new instrument at each increment as your child grows. Your rental agreement with David French Music includes “size-ups” as your student grows, at no cost to you.

It is cost-effective.

Band instruments are full-size from the start. Purchasing a high quality wind instrument can cost hundreds - or thousands - of dollars. And while we hope your child will want to play their instrument for the rest of their lives, we know that sometimes kids change their minds. They may choose to switch to a different instrument, or they may choose to sing in chorus next year, or they may simply decide that playing an instrument is not for them. In those cases, you don't want to be stuck with an expensive instrument that sits unused. If your child chooses to switch instruments, in most cases the money you have paid towards the original instrument can be applied towards the rent-to-own of the new instrument.

Your rental agreement includes school delivery and repairs.

This means that everything your child needs for their lessons will be delivered directly to their school. And should you need repairs to your instrument, David French Music will pick up/drop off the instrument at school, and provide your child with a loaner instrument to use in the meantime.

It is interest-free, rent-to-own towards your instrument.

Once your rental period is complete, you will own a full-size instrument that your student can play throughout high school and even beyond.

David French Music provides high-quality instruments.

You can do a Google Search and find ¼-size string instruments available for purchase online at a very low price. Keep in mind that “you get what you pay for.” Most of these low-cost instruments are not durable enough to get your child through their first months of instruction, and they are also not able to be repaired by most technicians. They may also be more difficult for students to play due to poor construction and design. You can help your student be successful by putting a high-quality instrument in their hands as they begin learning to play, and renting through David French Music (or another reputable vendor) is the best and most cost-effective way we can advise you to do that.

Ready to Select Your Ensemble?


Instructions for Fee Payment, Waiver Application and Instrument Rental are included in the Enrollment Form.