During my last year of teaching I decided to take on directing the fifth- and sixth-grade after-school jazz band on top of my regular high school teaching schedule.
I have always felt that introducing students to composition can dramatically improve their ensemble experience. NAfME agrees. The following is from the NAfME website pertaining to the National Core Arts Standards on the “Opportunity-to-Learn Standards as Needs Assessment for Ensembles at the Elementary and Secondary Grades” page:
The curriculum emphasizes the Performing process but also provides experiences in Responding and Creating to enable students to understand these two processes and their components, allowing them to transfer what they have learned in the area of Performing.