Q: When does 5th Grade Band Practice?
A: 5th Grade Band/Orchestra meets once a week for both a lesson and full ensemble rehearsal. Scheduled during the school day, students will have a 20 minute lesson in a small group of like instruments and a 40 minute full ensemble rehearsal. Exception: Wilson students with have their large group rehearsal after school from 3:00-3:45.
Q: How many concerts does 5th Grade Band perform a year?
A: We perform 3-4 concerts throughout the year. The Band students play at the Holiday Sing and May Spring Concert. They take a field trip to South in early January to record a CD with the SHS Symphonic Band students.
The Orchestra students perform at the Holiday Sing, the Coffeehouse Concert at Farnsworth in February, the District String Festival in April and the Spring Concert in May.
Q: How much should my child practice?
A: For 5th grade I recommend setting a goal of 5 times a week, for 20 minutes each time. This may seem obvious but… the more students practice, the more they can play. Being able to play a variety of songs is more enjoyable, so practicing on a regular basis leads to more enjoyment in class and more motivation to continue practicing. It is a positive cycle.
Unfortunately the reverse is also true. Kids who don't practice get discouraged because they are not able to play as well as their peers. This leads to demotivation and the desire to quit. Establishing a consistent practice routine from the beginning is very important.
I find that it is better to ask your child when they will practice and let them set a schedule. When they have some input into their practice schedule it makes it more likely they will stick to it. It also takes the option of not practicing off of the table.
Q: How much does Band cost? Is there financial assistance available?
A: The cost for a school rental is $20 per year. For a list of supplies needed for Band click here and for Orchestra click here. We want your child to play an instrument if they are interested in playing. We will work with your budget to make that happen.
Students on Free/Reduced Lunch can get their rental fee waived if they fill a "Sharing of Information Form" and return it to the school office at registration. Here is copy of that form for you to print out. It is in English, Spanish and Hmong.
Q: Where do I get an instrument?
A: Most students rent their instrument from the school in 5th grade. In 6th grade those who play flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, violin and viola need to provide their own. Students who play oboe, bassoon, bass clarinet, tenor or baritone saxophone, french horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, cello and bass may continue renting from the school.
There are several great local music stores that rent instruments for students who wish to get their own in 5th grade. The local stores have very affordable prices and ensure you will get a quality instrument. The cheapest instruments sold on most websites (Ebay, Amazon, etc) are of inferior quality and are made from materials that are easily broken and difficult to repair.
Don't overlook used instruments. Older instruments (made in the USA) that were well taken care of can be a better purchase than a new one, even if they are the same price.
If you are looking to purchase or rent please click on one of these links: Band Instrument Considerations; String Instrument Considerations. Also, Mrs. Milsted would be more than glad to help and provide feedback.
Q: If students begin Band in 5th grade, what does High School Band look like?
A: Our High School Band Programs consists of 3 Concert Bands, 2 Jazz Ensembles, Pep bands and marching band. For more information about the North High School Band program click here. For information about the South High Band Program click here.