General Information for 4th Band Students
Welcome to the Fulton Elementary Instrumental Program!!!!
Congratulations on joining band! You will have an exciting year of music making.
At this time you should order your child their instrument and book so they will have it in time for their first lesson. But please read the information below carefully before making any purchases. Rental information from some local music dealers was sent home to you, but you should shop around and choose a music dealer with whom you feel comfortable.
1. Make sure that you purchase the CORRECT book for your instrument. And when you do get your child’s instrument, please make sure that they do not open it or try to play it!
2. Lessons will start soon… without instruments. Students should have their instruments by their second lesson. A tentative instrumental schedule will be sent home in Friday Folders.
3. When you get the instrument, please label your child’s instrument case with the following information: (Most stores have name tags available for you.)
Child’s name. (Their first initial and full last name are acceptable.)
Home phone number (or the school number)
Fulton Elementary School & Homeroom teacher
***There will be many instruments of the same type and make in the instrument room at any given time so it is important that this information is on EVERY instrument. Many students tie a colorful ribbon or key chain to their case to help them identify theirs quickly.***
4. Students receive an Instrumental Report Card for their participation. Once they join, they are expected to participate throughout the year. If discontinuation is necessary, a parent must have a conference with Mr. Twigg by November 4, 2016 (the end of the 1st quarter) or continue the rest of the year for it not to impact their Instrumental Report Card. But, the expectation will be for all students to participate for the entire year.
5. Read, sign and return the Fulton Elementary School Band/Orchestra Agreement that was sent home to Mr. Twigg as soon as possible.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call me @ 410-880-5957 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All beginning BAND students will need the following book at their first lesson:
Essential Elements (formerly Essential Elements 2000) Book One published by Hal Leonard
(Percussion students will need Essential Elements for Percussion which includes a snare/bass drum section AND a mallet section)
A tuner and metronome is recommended for your child but not necessary at this time. Many music stores have a metro-tune (combination metronome & tuner) for less than purchasing them separately. If your child has access to a computer or tablet, there are resources that will allow them to use these for free.
MUSIC STAND – It will be necessary for each student to purchase a music stand to use when they practice at home. Some stores include a stand with the instrument.
Students have lessons twice a week. In most cases, they will have one lesson during recess and for the other lesson they will be pulled from part of a class. The 4th grade team has worked closely with me to try to find a time that will have the least amount of impact on student learning. 4th grade students will have a rotating A/B schedule. This means that usually students will miss 30 minutes of one class once every 2 weeks… this does not impact most students’ learning. But students will be expected to find out what they missed and make up missed work. We will implement a system for students to help with this.
CLARINET & SAXOPHONE PLAYERS
It is recommended that you purchase approximately TEN reeds (a box) as beginners often use quite a few during the first year.
2 1/2 strength (NOT 2) “Vandoren” or “Mitchell Lurie” reeds are preferred for beginners. I also recommend buying a silk swab for your instrument instead of using the one that comes with it. They will also need cork grease.
BRASS PLAYERS (Trumpet, Trombone & Euphonium)
Students need to make sure to rent (please do not purchase without contacting me) a BRASS or similar (silver) instrument. Plastic brass instruments should not be used. Recommended brands are listed below in "Winds" section. Please make sure to have valve oil (Al Cass "Fast" recommended) and tuning slide grease. A cleaning kit is a great buy.
It is very important that you rent the BELL KIT, which includes a bell set and a snare pad. I will expect all percussionists to have this kit at home to complete my homework assignments. (The bell set must NOT have any note names on the keys.) You will also need to purchase hard rubber mallets and/or drum sticks, if they do not already come with your bell kit. Please note that I prefer Vic Firth or Promark 5A drumsticks for beginners.
You can be a great help to your child (and me) by encouraging and observing daily practice. Each child will be required to practice a minimum of 15 minutes daily, 5 days a week, to achieve success. Each child will be expected to write their band homework in their lesson book and fill out a weekly online practice page. Failure to practice consistently will result in a lowered Practice Habits grade.
If you would please choose a music store and rent your child’s instrument before October 1st for students will need instruments by their second lesson.
Please do not let your child try to play their instrument until he or she is shown the proper way at his/her lesson!
Students will be expected to perform in 2 concerts this year. This is a mandatory for they will receive a concert attendance grade. Students will be required to wear a white blouse/dress shirt, black skirt/pants, black socks/stockings and black/dark shoes for the Winter (January) & Spring (May) Concerts.
Private lessons (outside of school instrumental lessons) are strongly encouraged but not necessary.Your child can progress much faster and have greater success on their instrument when taking private lessons. This one-on-one time with a professional cannot be replaced or replicated in school. They will also perform better when opportunities for solo playing become available. If you are interested in private lessons, see the Howard County list of local instrumental teachers on this website.
RECOMMENDED INSTRUMENT BRANDS :
The following brand of instruments are generally regarded as good quality student-model wind instruments: Yamaha, Gemeinhardt, Bach, Selmer/Conn, Buffet and Jupiter. (If you would like a recommendation for a specific instrument, please contact me.) Saxophone & bass clarinet students, please try to get a Yamaha brand instrument… they are easier to handle and play.
As mentioned earlier, percussion students will need a percussion kit, which includes a set of orchestra bells and a practice pad. The Pearl PK-800C is what I recommend; remember the bells may NOT have the note names written on them. Students will need to purchase a set of rubber bell mallets and drum sticks, if they do not come with the kit. I recommend the Vic Firth hard mallets for bells and the Vic Firth or Promark 5A drumsticks. A pack of all the required sticks and mallets are sold with a nice bag. This pack will get them through high school.
REPUTABLE STORES IN THE AREA:
Baltimore Brass Catonsville 410-744-1722
Music & Arts Center: (Cherrytree Center) Laurel 240-568-0600
Mike’s Music: Ellicott City 410-465-0700
Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center: Wheaton 301-946-8808
And more, please contact me if you’d like me to find more information on a store not listed.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN DECIDING WHERE TO RENT AN INSTRUMENT
What percentage of your rental payment is applied toward the purchase of the instrument?
Will you have to pay extra for regular maintenance and repairs?
Are instruments insured against theft or loss?
If there is a trial period payment, what is the cost of regular monthly payments after this period?
(You will want to compare these prices with the quality of the instrument you are renting.)
Will you have to pay a fee if/when your child wishes to upgrade? What percentage of money would transfer if they switch from (example) alto sax to tenor sax?
(This could be important for students who plan on continuing on their instrument into middle & high school.)
NOTE – If you have any questions concerning the instrumental music program, please call me at school (410-880-5957) or e-mail me at email@example.com.
It is advisable to check your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure lost or stolen instruments are covered.
NOTE – If you have any questions concerning the instrumental music program, please call me at school (410-313-5957) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.