Elective Descriptions

An Important Decision:
The Elective choice
Middle School provides students with an opportunity to explore a variety of subjects.
Each year of middle school, students have more options to pursue additional subjects of interest
while continuing to delve more deeply into a continuing subject area.
With that being said, the selection of a student's first elective is an important decision. Students
will want to continue in this subject throughout middle school and obtain their high school fine
arts credit in this area as well.
There are lots of questions that need to be answered.
The most frequently asked questions and answers follow.
All 6th graders at Pioneer and Pearson get to choose ONE elective for their 6th grade year.
They should plan on sticking with their elective choice for the entire school year.
In 6th grade their choices are:
Art
Band
Choir
Orchestra
Theatre
ATHLETICS (football, volleyball, basketball, track) and CHEERLEADING are not
elective choices for 6th graders.
All 7th graders at Pioneer and Pearson get to choose TWO electives for their 7th grade year
AND they get to choose between PE and Athletics. Again, they should plan on sticking with
their elective choices for the entire school year.
All 8th graders at Pioneer and Pearson get to choose THREE electives for their 8th grade
year. (However, in 8th grade athletics does count for one of their elective choices.) Again, they
should plan on sticking with their elective choices for the entire school year.
SO, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY 5th GRADER????
Next year, they will get to choose ONE elective for their entire school year. Attached is a break
down of each elective and contact information should you have additional questions.
(Please be aware that the NO OBLIGATION instrumental fitting/screening day for BOTH
PIONEER and PEARSON band and orchestra is Thursday, Jan 29th and Tuesday,
Feb 3rd @ PHMS. Sign up information follows! If you cannot make it , please
contact a director so that your child may be screened BEFORE the start of school
next year. Spaces at both schools are limited and filled on a first come, first served basis.)
THE Pioneer and Pearson
Music Departments!
Invites you to our Instrument fitting
and selection night!
An instrument Petting Zoo!!
Thursday, Jan 29 OR
Tuesday, Feb 3
4:30-8pm @ PHMS (both schools at PHMS)
Sign up at:
www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0F4CA9AD2EA3F94-5thgrade4
Screenings take 60-90 minutes
Come be a part of the biggest and best
organizations at Pioneer and pearson!!
Make Music, Make Friends, Have Fun!
Pioneer and Pearson
FINE ARTS
6th Grade Elective Information Packet
*Parameters for Pearson will be similar to Pioneer – questions may be directed to the
Pioneer Teacher listed in each section*
ART
Time commitment: The commitment is regular class time and some outside time to
complete weekly sketchbook assignments. If you want to be involved in the Art Club there are
meetings generally before or after school.
Monthly Cost: none
One time Fee: for the art pack and sold at the beginning of the school year
Supplies Needed: You may purchase the art pack which is a zippered pouch that contains
the spiral-bound sketchbook, Ebony pencils, hand-held sharpener, and eraser.
Screening Process: no screening
Class specifics: If you sign up for art class, you will have art every day as part of your
schedule (unlike elementary school) with much more time to create exciting projects! Sixth
grade students will utilize a variety of art media and tools to produce designs, drawings,
paintings, prints, sculptures, and ceramics. Students will be introduced to the elements and
principles of art and will create both two and three dimensional works of art. The students
enrolled in the semester-long art course will engage in a sampling of projects based on the same
elements and principles. After sixth grade, students may continue their study of art in higher
level courses (Art II and III); however, Art I is a prerequisite of Art II,. (This means that if they
wait to take Art until 7th grade; they would have to begin with Art I.)
Contact for More info:
Stephanie Lambert, art teacher, 469-633-4735 or [email protected]
Band – see additional info at end of packet
Time commitment: Two outside of school practices one before each concert (2 total for
the school year).
In order to see consistent improvement, students will have a daily playing requirement.
We do have A LOT of extra FUN activities!!
(Look under additional info for more!)
Monthly Cost: varies per instrument; financial aid available (ask director for more info)
*Finances should not keep any student from joining band. If the
fees/instrument rental create undue financial burden, please talk to a director and
something can be worked out.
One time Fee: registration fee: $30; activity fee (optional) $25
Supplies Needed: Instrument, method book, black binder/sheet protectors/pencil,
tuner/metronome, wire stand for home practice
Screening/Fitting Process: Each school is limited to the amount of students we can
have playing each instrument. In order to make sure that each child is placed on the instrument
on which they will be the most successful, we do have a screening/fitting date. Students can try
as many instruments as they want and our staff will help guide them and look for facial
characteristics that might allow them to be successful on any given instruments (for example:
thin, more flat lips work better for flute/trumpet, while full lips work best on
trombone/euphonium or tuba). Our “screening” nights are no obligation and by
appointment. They will be Thurs, Jan 29 and Tues, Feb 3 ,from 4:30-8pm @
Pioneer. (Both schools will be screened at Pioneer.) They are scheduled every 15 minutes
and last approx one hour.
To sign up for a time, go to:
www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0F4CA9AD2EA3F94-5thgrade4
If you are unable to attend this night, please call/email and set up an appointment
([email protected])
Oboe, Bassoon, Saxophone, and Percussion are chosen on a lottery system – you MUST come to
the screening night or speak with us to make it into the drawing for these classes.
Class specifics: Both schools Beginner Bands will be divided into like instrument classes
EVERY day. In other words, they meet only with their instrument group each day. The
following are the available beginning band classes and the number of spaces available in each
class for each school. Flute class (11), Oboe (2) and Bassoon (2), Clarinet Class (2 classes of 10),
Saxophone Class (6), Trumpet Class (12), French Horn Class (7), Trombone Class (2 classes of
8), Euphonium Class (5), Tuba Class (5) and Percussion Class (8). ALL spaces are filled on a
first come, first served basis and oboe, bassoon, saxophone and percussion and chosen
by a lottery system. Students must come to the screening day or you must speak
with us to have their name in the lottery. (Please contact us if you are unable to
make the screening date and we can schedule a separate time for you!)
In 7/8th grade, students can be a member of one of our advanced bands. The advanced bands
play for pep rallies and football games in addition to concerts and various competitions.
Performances: Beginners perform at Fall and Spring Concerts. They also compete at
Sandy Lake in the Spring.
Additional Info: We have personal trainers on each instrument available for a fee before,
during, and after school for a fee. Some of our extra activities have included Main Event,
GattiTown, Costume Party, and Six Flags/Medieval Times!!
Contact for More info for either Pioneer or Pearson:
Kelly Desjardins, Director of Bands (DAY-jar-den) 469-633-4721 or
[email protected]
Gina George, Asst. Director of Bands, 469-633-4720 or [email protected]
Scott Gustafson, Percussion Instructor, [email protected]
Choir –see additional info at end of packet
Time commitment: We are usually able to accomplish learning everything during class time,
but occasionally we may have an after-school dress rehearsal before a concert.
Uniform: All choir students are expected to purchase the official $10 PHMS Choir T-shirt. This Tshirt will be worn for most of our performances throughout the year. We are also in the process of
fundraising to purchase formal choir dresses for the girls and vest/tie combo for the boys.
Supplies Needed: 1-inch binder, pencil pouch, dry erase marker, & pencil
Choir Classes: 6th graders meet together in co-ed classes where students focus on healthy
singing techniques, sight-reading sheet music, stage presence, and performance skills. Sightreading ability and music literacy are also further developed and expanded. 7th * 8th graders meet
in separate boys’ and girls’ class, so the specific physiology of the changing voices can be better
addressed. Showstoppers, the PHMS’ pop/show choir, is available by audition to choir students.
Rehearsals are for this group are outside of class.
Performances: The choirs put on three formal concerts in the Fall, Winter, and early Spring.
In May we combine with theatre for the annual school musical, and we have a separate popsstyle show choir concert. Students also have many other performance opportunities, including
football and basketball games, pep rallies, community performances, choir competition, solo &
ensemble competition, and all-region choir. Private Voice lessons are also available for a fee
during students’ choir class.
Other fun stuff: Many fun events are planned for choir students to get to know each other
better and have a good time. Examples from this past year include: pizza & video game parties,
costume party, and trips to perform at Texas Legends Games, Rough Riders Games, FC Dallas
Games, Northern Lights Ice Festival of Prosper, Hawaiian Falls, Medieval Times, or Six Flags!
Contact for More info:
Bo Shirah, Choir Director: (469) 633-4726 [email protected]
Orchestra –see additional info at end of packet
Time commitment: Two after school practices before each concert (4 total for the school
year).
In order to see consistent improvement students will have a daily playing requirement.
We do have A LOT of extra FUN activities – approx 1 every 6 weeks!
Monthly Cost: varies per instrument, i.e. violins rent for $19 per month.
Some financial aid is available (ask director for more info) *Finances should not keep
any student from joining orchestra. If the fees create undue financial burden,
please talk to a director, and something can be worked out.
One time Fee: registration fee: $25; activity fee (optional) $25
Supplies Needed: Instrument, method book, black binder/sheet protectors/pencil,
tuner/metronome, wire stand for home practice.
Screening Process: In order to make sure that each child is placed on the instrument on
which they will be the most successful, we do have two screening dates. Students can try as
many instruments as they want and our staff helps them try them as well as look for
characteristics that might allow them to be successful on any given instrument (for example:
long fingers might be great for the viola! or strong muscular fingers are great for the bass; do you
like a high sound near your face or low sound and a good beat?.). What is most important
that the student likes the sound the instrument produces!
Our “screening” night is no obligation and by appointment. Screening will be Thurs,
Jan 29 and Tues, Feb 3 ,from 4:30-8pm @ Pioneer. (Both schools will be
screened at Pioneer.) (If unable to attend this night, please contact Mrs. Winkler for a
screening time that works with your schedule. – [email protected]) They are scheduled
every 15 minutes and last approx one hour.
To sign up go to:
www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0F4CA9AD2EA3F94-5thgrade4
Beginners select from violin, viola, cello or bass. Students who are interested in playing the harp
will have a second scheduled screening time but should plan to attend the initial session.
(Students wishing to be screened for harp should bring a piece to play on the piano.) Beginning
orchestra is divided into high (violin & viola), low (cello & bass) string, and harp classes. Some
instruments fill up quickly. Students who attend the screening night will have the first choice of
instruments. Each class meets EVERY day. In other words, they meet only with their
instrument group each day. Students need no prior experience to join orchestra. Students who
have already begun to play violin, viola, cello or bass should come to the screenings and bring
their instrument and be prepared to play a piece because not every 6th grader starts in the
beginning class!
PHMS will have 3 orchestras (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) plus the beginner strings
and harp classes. The orchestras play for a variety of functions including FISD HS Scholarship
Night, Winter, Fall and Spring concerts, and competitions. Fun events include: GattiTown,
Stonebriar Movies, Game Nights, Costume Party, and Medieval Times/Six Flags.
Contact for More info:
Mrs. Mary Winkler, orchestra director, 469-633-4725 or [email protected]
Theatre
Time commitment: Theatre 1 – Students are required to do ONE performance after
school, in the evening for an audience, in December. They have opportunities to earn extra
credit by attending various theatre functions throughout the year. The following year, students
will have opportunities to audition for more advanced theatre classes, or just sign up for Theatre
II.
**Of course, you can also be in one of the TWO shows that PHMS does during the year. This is
purely optional, and is not part of the classes at all. (You don’t even need to be in a theatre class
in order to be in a play!) The plays take a lot of time after school – practices after school every
day until 5:30pm, and during Heck Week (the week when we actually perform) you will be here
until 9 pm!
Class Cost: An optional $20 per show cost if students attend a professional or high school
show via a drama club “field trip”.
Show Cost: varies per show; financial aid available (but it’s about $50 - $120 per show –
Play in Fall/Musical in Spring)
Supplies Needed: A Folder and a Spiral Notebook/Composition Book
Screening Process: There is NO SCREENING process for any of the “regular” theatre
classes. The Theatre Production class (ReACTion) and the Tech Theatre class (TechKnowLogic)
have auditions in April for the next year.
Contact for More info:
Anton Bucher, theatre teacher, 469-633-4795 or [email protected]
PIONEER HERITAGE MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC DEPT.
1649 HIGH SHOALS DRIVE, FRISCO, TX 75034
Dear Future Pioneer and Pearson Middle School Students and Parents,
We would like to make you aware of a special opportunity for your child! It has been our honor to work with
the outstanding families of PHMS to build award winning band, choir, and orchestra programs. For the 7th
year in a row, almost 2/3 of all incoming 6th graders chose either Band, Choir, or Orchestra as their elective,
making the Pioneer Music Dept. the largest at Pioneer! We know this is a tradition that will continue at
Pearson as well! There are many reasons for this high interest. The #1 reason is that our students LOVE
making MUSIC! The music departments’ programs are comprised of our best and brightest students. We
encourage everyone to take advantage of what our music programs have to offer! Students do not need any
prior musical experience to be in band, choir, or orchestra - only a positive attitude!
Here are some of the valuable life skills you will learn through music:
 How to play an instrument/sing correctly and make music.
 How to breathe correctly and sit/stand with proper posture.
 How to work with others as a team (there is no bench in music).
 How to truly listen to music and other people.
 How to set goals and achieve them.
Most importantly:
 Stay active in rewarding and positive organizations.
 Build self-esteem and confidence in yourself.
 Make life-long friendships and have fun!!
Choices Available:
Band
Flute
Oboe
Bassoon
Clarinet
Saxophone
Trumpet
French Horn
Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
Percussion
Orchestra
Violin
Viola
Cello
Bass
Harp
Choir
Soprano - girl
Alto - girl
Tenor - boy
Bass - boy
Adults tell us time and again how they feel as though they “missed out” on something very special by not
being involved in a musical endeavor when they had the opportunity. We are proud to say that we have never
met anyone who regretted being involved in music making! Music electives do not conflict with athletics as
students cannot join athletics until 7th grade. There is a place in music for everyone!
There will be a no obligation instrument/voice fitting and screening (try the instruments) on Thursday,
Jan 29 OR Tues, Feb 3 6th from 4:30-8pm at PHMS. (Both schools will screen at Pioneer.) This is your
child’s best opportunity to try instruments one-on-one with band/orchestra directors and discover which is best
suited for them. Screenings are done by appointment and generally take 60-80 minutes. If our child is
interested in choir, you may email Mr. Shirah directly!
You can sign up for a time by contacting a director OR going to:
www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0F4CA9AD2EA3F94-5thgrade4
Instrument slots are filled on a first-come first-served basis. Percussion, saxophone, oboe and bassoon are
lottery instruments due to their high popularity, so please do not wait! (Piano experience is required for Harp.)
If you are unable to make the fitting night, please contact one of us and we will work together to set up a
meeting time.
Come take advantage of this great opportunity!
Band
Kelly Desjardins (DAY-jar-den)
[email protected]
Choir
Bo Shirah
[email protected]
Orchestra
Mary Winkler
[email protected]