There are six instruments students can choose from in 4th grade: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, and Snare Drum. In 5th grade, students may choose Tenor Saxophone or Baritone instead if they'd like. These instruments are not harder, just bigger. All of the instrument options from 4th grade are still available as well.
At the end of 3rd grade, I demonstrate the instruments for students to give them a chance to hear what these instruments sound like. We have also been fortunate enough to allow students to test play a few of the instruments they are interested in. When choosing an instrument for your child, please take their opinion into account! Students nearly always do better playing an instrument they chose rather than one that was picked for them.
All band activities will take place during school hours except for performances, which are announced at least a month in advance.
Small group lessons take place once per week for one period. Students will be told what day they need to bring their instruments and it will remain consistent for the entire year. It is incredibly important that students bring their instruments and music to school on their lesson day. Depending on the students and homeroom teacher's schedules, lesson periods will either be assigned (the students will consistently miss the same class) or will rotate (students will miss a different class each week). I will work with the homeroom teachers to make a schedule that works for everyone.
We will also have rehearsals for the full band sporadically throughout the year. These are not required but are highly recommended for students to attend as we prepare for our concerts. Because of the number of students in the band, rehearsals will take place at the high school and a permission slip will be sent home for you to return giving your child permission to attend. I always strive to make sure students feel comfortable with what they are playing, so if they haven't attended lessons consistently I may not give them a permission slip until they come and can play the music we will be working on in our full band rehearsal. Please see the calendar for specific dates of these rehearsals.
Students will receive a grade for band. Grades will be based on preparation of material each week, behavior during lessons, and skill level. Students will need to practice at home each week between lessons to make sure they don't forget what we've learned in class. I recommend students practice 10 minutes each day. A short period of practice time more often will reap many more benefits than practicing for a long time once a week.