Music Education

Intro to Instrumentation

Band and Orchestra starts in 5th grade at Ferndale Upper Elementary, and meets daily for 40 minutes. While optional, in most years 70-80% of students elect to play a band and orchestra instrument. We are able to break the classes down into like instruments, and the daily instruction allows students to build very solid fundamentals from the very first year. This is crucial to the long-term success of both the students and the program of which they are a part, as it is very easy to build bad habits without that regular instruction, and simultaneously very easy to build strong habits WITH that regular daily instruction.

Ideally, students learn all the fundamental skills they will ever need as a musician that very first year, and then spend the rest of their time just refining and expanding those skills and knowledge, much like an early and solid start at reading gets students ahead and keeps them ahead! We are seeing significant growth in quality and number of students in the program thanks to this approach and the recent full integration of the Ferndale school community at FUEL.

Brain-Based Music Integration Awards & Recognition

Music News

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June 7, 2017
Ben Moy 1 of 3 finalists for Teach of the Year

Congratulations to Ferndale Orchestra teacher Ben Moy who was selected as one of the three finalists for the MSBOA Orchestra Teacher of the Year award. The winner will be named at the Michigan Music Conference in January 2018. Good luck, Mr. Moy!

May 5, 2017
Mr. Moy Named Orchestra Teacher of the Year
MSBOA honored Ben Moy for his talents

Ferndale orchestra teacher Ben Moy was named Teacher of the Year for District 4 by the Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association (MSBOA). Fittingly, Moy, who also swings a mean lightsaber, learned he had received the award on May 4th (May the 4th Be With You), also known as international Star Wars Day.

Congratulations, Ben. We're so glad you have been recognized outside the district for the amazing work we have grown to appreciate over the years.

Orchestra Teacher Ben Moy shows off his lightsaber skills.

November 10, 2016
8 Students Selected for Oakland University Honors Orchestra

We are proud to announce that Ferndale Schools has 8 students who have been selected to perform as part of the Oakland University Honors Orchestra weekend Nov. 11-13, 2016. The students will work with Alan McNair and perform two movements from the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings as well as the Overture to "Candide" with wind and percussion players from the Oakland Symphony. It is a very exciting opportunity for these students. The students who are participating are:

  • Katie Keener
  • William McElgunn
  • Anabel Sicko
  • Jacob Keener
  • Rachel Arquero
  • Margaret Dominic
  • George Van Der Vennet
  • Kita Van Der Vennet
November 5, 2016
Ferndale High School Golden Eagle Marching Band Wins State Championship!

Congratulations to the FHS Golden Eagle Marching who won their second straight state championship at the The Michigan Competing Band Association Championships this past Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit.

This title bolsters the already overflowing trophy case for the Golden Eagles, as it was the 9th State Championship for the storied program. In addition to taking first place in Flight IV the Golden Eagles also took home all three caption awards; Outstanding Music Performance, Outstanding Visual Performance, and Outstanding General Effect.

“While it is wonderful for the band to have earned their 9th State Championship in the last 13 years, I am particularly proud of this year’s band because over 1/3 of the entire band are first year marchers, and yet the group as a whole ‘showed up for work’ every rehearsal and got incrementally better each time. That’s hard for any group to do, even far more experienced bands,” said Marching Band Director Elon Jamison.

The competition was tough for the Golden Eagles, but they won Flight IV with a total score of 91.65, besting the second place Newaygo, who finished with a score of 89.875. 

A huge shout out to all of the parents and marching band boosters for their tireless work in support of the marching band.

A special thank you to the Golden Eagle Marching Band Facebook page for providing these outstanding images! Check out the page for more great images and video:

May 9, 2016
2 FHS Students selected for Michigan Youth Arts Festival Orchestra

Two Ferndale High School students were selected to perform in the the MYAF Orchestra this month: David Traines on viola and Alex Maccoll-Artrip on violin. Congratulations!