Contact Info
Main Office: (515) 457-6800
7111 Aurora Avenue
Urbandale, IA 50322
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Brian Coppess, Ed. D. Principal Message me Visit my page
About Urbandale HS
Urbandale High School, recognized as a State School of Character in 2007 by the Institute for Character Development, is a 4 year comprehensive high school with more than 100 semester course offerings in a wide range of subject areas, including accelerated classes, advanced placement classes, dual enrollment classes with Des Moines Area Community College and opportunities for students to take classes at Central Campus in Des Moines.

About Me

Welcome to the Urbandale J-Hawk Bands.
Our Mission:
Perform to Inspire 

5-12 Instrumental Music Governing Principles
Provide Opportunities for Students: 

  • to develop their lifelong appreciation as performers and/or consumers of music
  • to take ownership over their own accomplishments
  • to contribute to something larger than themselves

Urbandale HS

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Myron Peterson
Director of Bands
Urbandale HS

Info For You

My Blog Blog Archive +

A Great Start

March 27, 2013

A Great Start

We are fortunate to live in a community where everything has aligned to provide a quality music experience for students.   It is A Great Start.  In fact, no matter what your child’s passion, school programs are A Great Start.  If it’s science or engineering, writing or researching, students should consider the pursuit of additional experiences to augment their growth in that field.  If music is your child’s passion here are some additional experiences he should pursue frequently to fully develop his skills and talents.

Students should seek private lessons with a professional who plays the exact same instrument. There is no end to the subtleties in technique and tips that one can only learn by performing at a high level on a specific instrument.  Studying with a professional on the same instrument gives students access to the lessons learned by those professionals and steepens the learning curve to maximize students reaching their fullest potential.

Students benefit from hearing and seeing live concerts of high quality art music. Young musicians often overlook the importance of hearing and seeing professional musicians in the act of making music.  Just as a budding baseball player watches his favorite players in the game, so too should a musician listen to and watch great performances.  It is both inspiring and informative to their own growth as musicians.  Hearing live performances is also great family bonding time.  The best artistic music in town can be found at least one weekend a month at the Des Moines Symphony.  This is the place where the best compositions come together with the best musicians to be heard in the best auditorium.  (These are also the types of musicians that would be inspirational private teachers.)  The Central Iowa Wind Ensemble is another group that focuses on high-level performance of high quality compositions.

The best musicians have massive music libraries of the greatest artists on their instrument, the greatest symphonies and bands, the greatest compositions, and the greatest performances.  It starts small with one recording, but collecting an amazing library of recordings is second nature to one who is passionate about music. 

Another step to nurturing the growth of a musician is to (in the words of Jamey Aebersold – respected jazz educator) “Play on the best instrument you can afford.”  That might mean a $60 garage sale trombone (like the one this writer started on) or a custom built instrument that costs more than one’s first car.  The truth is, playing an instrument is hard; playing one that doesn’t work very well is even harder.  A list of the best instruments has been compiled thanks to contributions from many professional musicians and teachers around the state.  The list can always be found on the band staff’s webpage.  Either way, it’s worth the investment for a music student to “play on the best instrument’ affordable.  Playing will be more enjoyable and thereby more frequent!

With A Great Start from their school program, refined by learning from local masters, and inspired by great performances both live and recorded, Urbandale students can do anything towards which they put their minds and energy.  Becoming a great musician, or raising one, is not easy.  The good news is: the journey is fun and well worth it.


October 02, 2008

All itineraries for upcoming events are now posted under their respective catogories above!  We'll be working to keep all information on this site up to date frequently.