Return to the Instruments page.
What instruments are taught?
When are lessons taught?
When does band rehearse?
What instrument is best for my child?
What are the benefits of playing an instrument?
What if my child already plays an instrument?
How do I get an instrument?
What other items will my child need?
What kind of effort is expected from my child?
How do we sign up for band?
When are students notified of their assigned instrument?
Students in fifth grade may learn to play the flute, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, or percussion.
Students are excused from class once a week to have a group music lesson (approximately 40 minutes). Lesson times rotate so students do not miss the same class each week.
Beginning Band rehearses every other day during 9th period. This is a regularly scheduled class in the Middle School day. Students do not miss other classes for band rehearsals.
Some physical characteristics (underbites, overbites, tear-drop lips, finger size, etc.) can effect the potential for success of many instruments. As part of the recruiting process we will meet with each student individually to help determine what instruments they could be the most successful on.
The study of instrumental music is an investment in your child's future. Music is one of the only subjects that has been proven to improve a student's academic achievement regardless of their socioeconomic background. It improves a pupil's ability to comprehend math, understand and utilize the English Language, and to think creatively. Active participation in school music programs continues to rank highly on college admissions officers' criteria for acceptance. For more specific research based benefits, please read "Music Education Statistics and Facts".
Orchestra students of Ms. Vanderzyden are not eligible to start a band instrument in fifth grade. Students who already play a band instrument may continue on that instrument. This would also be an appropriate time to switch to another instrument if desired. Students who take piano lessons are encouraged to also play a band instrument. The study of piano and another instrument usually complement each other very well.
The school does own a limited number of oboes, baritones, french horns, and tubas that are loaned annually for student use. Most instruments, however, need to be rented from a local music store. Rental fees range from $100 to $130 for the school year, with trombone and trumpet being the least expensive and saxophone being the most expensive. More specific rental information can be provided by the local music stores. Please do no make rental arrangements until we have decided what instrument your child will be playing! In September, the music store will deliver your rental instrument directly to school. Students will receive the instrument at their first lesson. We do this to avoid accidental damage caused by curious students who have not yet learned how to handle and assemble an instrument properly. If you already own your instrument, we recommend you have it cleaned and checked for proper playing condition before the school year starts. Our closest music store is: Crino Music, 811 Central Avenue, Dunkirk, 366-4800.
Each student will need a lesson book which costs about $8. A folding music stand is a very useful item and strongly recommended. Students may also need instrument specific accessories such as reeds, valve oil, cork grease, mouthpieces, etc. You will receive more specific supply information after instrument decisions have been made.
Playing a musical instrument can be a very fun and gratifying activity. However, to be successful, each student must be willing to devote the necessary time and effort. Daily practice at home, a properly adjusted instrument, and regular attendance at lessons, rehearsals, and concerts is crucial. Strong parental support and encouragement is also an important factor in achieving success on a musical instrument.
All interested students will be given a sign-up sheet during our recruitment demonstration. Fill out the form completely and return it to your child's classroom teacher as soon as possible. Please be sure to indicate three choices of instruments, ranked in order. Not every student's first choice will be available or the best choice for success.
After receiving sign-up forms with each students' top three choices, we will meet with each student individually to help determine what instruments he or she could be the most successful on. We must also try to achieve a reasonable balance among the various instruments. For this reason it is not always possible to give each student their first choice, especially if it is saxophone or percussion. Everyone will find out what their instrument will be before summer vacation begins. Instrument rental arrangements, if necessary, should be made during the summer while instruments are still in plentiful supply.