In preparation for last month’s Instrumental Ensemble Concert, members of the Spence Middle School Rock Band rehearsed renditions of Harry Styles’ “Late Night Talking” and Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer.” The rock band, which started at Spence in 2017, provides students an opportunity to collaborate with their peers in a “garage band” way. For many students, the rock band is the first time they’ve worked in a music collective, and they learn how to honor their own unique sound or voice, while blending and working, in-time, as an ensemble.
The band has unique instrumentation with several vocalists, violinists, a pianist, guitarist and a drummer. Autonomous learning is key, and students are encouraged to learn songs in a manner that makes sense to them - this can be by reading the music or playing by ear.
The repertoire of music performed is typically determined by the members themselves. Spence’s Instrumental Music instructor Hannah Marks, who directs the band, highlighted that “teamwork is at the center of MS Rock Band, as we work together each semester to select songs that suit our collective tastes and abilities as a band. Part of the fun is working out different configurations for each song to highlight each member’s talent!”
This year’s band includes seven Middle School students, including four new members.
Middle School Rock Band Members
Medha I. - Grade 6 (Vocals and piano)
Alana M. - Grade 6 (Vocals)
Georgina M. - Grade 6 (Vocals)
Pepper P. - Grade 6 (Vocals)
Daphne R. - Grade 5 (Violin)
Eleanor T. - Grade 5 (Drums)
Valentina V. - Grade 6 (Guitar and vocal)