1. How much does participation in band cost?
$115 for the first half of the school year. $115 due after Christmas break. Families with multiple children in band will receive discounted fees. You also have the option to pay for the full year at the discounted rate of $200.
2. What if we don’t own an instrument?
There are many good options for obtaining an instrument. If you already have one in your family, I strongly recommend taking it to a reputable music dealer to make sure it is in proper playing condition. If the instrument works well or needs only minor repairs and your child wants to play THAT instrument, this might be the way to go. Otherwise many area music stores offer rental programs that start around $20 a month. This is usually the best option for beginning band students. And if they decide to continue with their instrumental music education, most of the rental applies to your purchase.
3. When and where does the band meet for practice?
Fifth grade Beginning Band will meet during their music class in the Church Hall.
4. My child is already in EVERYTHING! This sounds wonderful, but how can we fit band into our schedule?
Most Visitation sports do not directly conflict with band practice, and I am very flexible if a child needs to adjust their band schedule. Students do need to find some time at home to practice though so that they experience success and ultimately enjoy this new activity of making music with their friends. However, 15 minutes a day is all that is needed. I have found with my own children that associating practice time with something else that happens daily, like practicing math facts, eating dinner, or even playing video games, helps with the consistency of practice. And, of course, it has been my experience that the students with the most hectic schedules get the highest grades! I firmly believe it has something to do with them learning how to manage their time.
5. How many performances are there?
The Beginning Band will perform a Christmas concert in December and a “Pops” concert in the spring. There are outside opportunities to perform as well. Both Elder and LaSalle have “grade school nights” and LaSalle has hosted a “Festival of Bands” in the past. These are optional. Looking ahead, if your child stays in band next year, the advanced band additionally performs at the Kings Island Festival of Music.
6. My child plays piano. Can he/she play it in band class?
Unfortunately, no. Concert band repertoire rarely calls for a piano, and when it does, it is only for one. However, we have many students in band who also play the piano. Students who have a year or more of piano under their belt usually do very well starting rting a new instrument. That goes for students who play other non-band instruments as well. Plus, later in high school and college, there are often opportunities for band students who also play piano, guitar, or bass to do so in groups like jazz band, pep band, and sometimes marching band. Directors often prefer to pick those students from their concert band ensembles.
7. What if my child decides they do not like the instrument they chose?
That is why it is important to come to the band open house and let your child try every instrument available. Sometimes a child will think they want to play the flute, but get a clarinet in their hands, and they’re sold! Or maybe neither of you had ever heard of a baritone, but wow! What a sound! Sometimes a child changes their mind after starting band. If you are renting, switching instruments is not difficult. After switching, your child will need to get in some extra practice time, and maybe enlist the help of an advanced band member or private lesson teacher to get caught up with the class. If a student wishes to switch instruments late in the school year; however, it may be necessary to wait until the following school year and repeat beginning band on the new instrument. As soon as they are caught up, they can join the advanced band.