Classroom Procedures for
Instrumental Lessons and Band
Dear Parents and Students,Welcome to the band program at Valley Elementary Middle School! This handbook was created so that you and your child will have information about the band in one convenient place. Please review its contents and save it for future reference. If you have any questions regarding your child’s progress, please contact me at email@example.com
Course Requirements – Each student will:
Attend all lessons, band practices and 2 concerts. Concerts are currently scheduled for Dec. 16, 2016 and May 19, 2017 at 10:00 AM in the gymnasium. If any other performance opportunities arise, you will be notified well in advance.
Attend a weekly lesson and band rehearsal. If you cannot attend due to a major exam,you must inform me BEFORE the lesson. Missed lessons for any other class-related reason must be approved by the lesson teacher prior to the scheduled lesson. Any make-up lesson must be arranged and made up in a timely fashion. Ask about make-up times and obtaining a pass.
Learn his/her music in a timely manner as tomake a positive contribution to the ensemble. Band rehearsals and lessons arenot time to practice. You do that at home!
Be responsible for all materials used during the school year (music, books, etc.).
Supply necessary accessories & equipment and ensure that their instrument is in working order.
All students receive a paper folder from Robert M. Sides. They may use a binder as before. If they are going to do that, they should purchase a 1” durable binder and at least 10 page protectors. Band folders deteriorate quickly and students lose their music. Please purchase a binder that will lay flat on a school music stand. Page protectors should be anti-glare so students can see their music at any angle. The binder should be durable enough to last a few years.
Progress Reports – Although students do not receive a formal grade for band lessons, they may be given progress reports. These must be signed and returned the following day. Students may be dropped from lessons and band if they do not do their part.
Playing quiz – Informal quizzes will be given during lessons from time to time. Any band music and material assigned from the Tradition of Excellence band method book are possible test items.
Effort & Responsibility – Being successful at an instrument requires three things: knowledge, skill and desire. I can give the students knowledge and the students develop the skill through daily practice. The desire to do well needs to come from within. It is unfair to the rest of the students when attention must be given to students unwilling to do their work. Being in band is not just a reason to get out of class. If I feel that any students are wasting the other students’ time in any way (not practicing,improper behavior, etc.) I will remove those students from the program without hesitation.
Concert Participation – Students are expected to participate in the winter and spring concert. If a student is not prepared due to insufficient practice at home, the band director reserves the right to deny the student the privilege of performing. Please let me know if a conflict with another school activity asap.
Students are expected to:
1. Be on time for their lessons and band. Please be to my room within a minute or two of the elementary bell. Do not wait for announcements to be made.
2. Listen to directions and respond to suggestions for improvement.
3. Cooperate with the teacher and with each other at all times. Disruption and conversations will not be tolerated.
4. Respect the equipment used by all band members. No one except percussionists belong in the percussion section.
5. Respect the many levels of ability among musicians in a large group.
6. Put instruments/music in their proper place after every lesson/rehearsal.
7. Provide a pencil & other necessary equipment for each lesson/rehearsal.
Hats, gum, candy, or electronic devices are not permitted.
Required Equipment – In order for each student to progress smoothly on his/her instrument, he/she must have the necessary supplies and good working equipment. Music supplies are available from Robert M. Sides (1-800-326-9460); ask for Doug Stoddard…his company cell # is 570-419-6836 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org ). They will take an order over the phone and deliver any supplies to me at the school. There are some various stores in Hazleton that may have some supplies but mostly will have to special order. It would be better to order those supplies from Amazon in that case since there is a warehouse locally. All students MUST have a folding music stand.It is highly suggested that all musicians purchase a tuner/metronome to practice with at home (or download an app for that on your mobile device like I did).
All single and double reed woodwind players need at least 2 working reeds, a reed guard/case, a cleaning swab, and cork grease. Clarinet and saxophone reeds can be obtained from me if you cannot get to a music store. Oboe and bassoon reeds are around $15. I do not have many of these on hand so please have your child bring money if you need one.
All brass players need appropriate mouthpieces and lubricants for their instrument. I have valve oil for trumpets, baritones and tubas, as well as French horn rotor oil and trombone slide oil available if you cannot get to a music store. Bottles are $2. Please do not use olive oil. Yes it did happen…I wish I still had the note :-)
Homework -- The individual proficiency level of each band member is a result of time and effort devoted to home practice. The degree of excellence of the entire band reflects the efforts of its individual members. Twenty to thirty minutes of practice on adaily basis usually ensures smooth, steady progress. We practice outside of music lessons toenable us to cover all the required material in our large group lessons.
Extra Help -- If additional assistance is desired, students may request an extra lesson with the instructor. Available time depends on the schedule of both student and teacher.
Dress Code – A concert is a special event for which you must dress accordingly. All members of the concert band are required to wear the following clothing for the concert:
Men – White dress shirt, black pants, long tie of your choice (something fun is fine), black shoes and black socks. No jeans or sneakers.
Women – Black dress or black skirt/pants with white top, black shoes. No jeans or sneakers.
This is what band members wear at the high school for concerts as well. All of these items are available at Wal-Mart or your favorite clothing store. They need not be the most expensive. If your child grows quickly, consider buying a size larger so they last the whole year. Parental contact should be made well in advance if you will be unable to purchase the required uniform.
Enrichment OpportunitiesPrivate Instruction – There is only so much time in school to coverall the bases. Having a private music teacher as well is highlyrecommended. There are several qualified teachers in the area. A few are Frank Balon over at Young Artists Music Academy (brass), Ms. Gerhard (woodwinds and piano), Mr. Forte (woodwinds and percussion), and Ryan Lamoreaux (low brass). Some (like me) will even teach at your home! Please contact Mr. Fadden for more information.