How to Join and FAQ
How to Join
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Beginning Band:
1. When does the band class meet?
Beginning band meets as a regular class at different times throughout the school day for the entire school year. Students are grouped in classes according to what instrument they play. The teacher-student ratio is kept low to facilitate individual supervision of students' progress. Skills develop slowly at first; therefore, students and parents must be patient and committed for the entire school year in order to get the full benefit of band instruction. Skills developed during beginner band are to prepare students for 7th and 8th grade band, so diligent practice during the school year is a must.
2. What instruments are started?
Beginners are started on flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, alto saxophone, cornet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, and percussion. We will help you choose the instrument that is best for you at our Band Interview Nights in the Spring.
3. Is any previous musical training necessary?
No. We teach the fundamentals of reading music as well as the fundamentals of playing an instrument. As students progress, you will be able to recognize familiar tunes that they play for you. Their progress culminates in the Spring Concert at the end of the year.
4. Can my child be successful even if I don't have musical talent?
Yes! The most important requirement for success is the desire to succeed. We begin students from a very basic yet detailed approach to learning the instrument. Students are taught basic fundamental building blocks that will make them successful through their senior year in the Klein Band and beyond!
5. When do students need instruments?
Instruments will be needed on the first day of school. Instrument storage for all instruments is provided in the band hall. Please make sure that the case is labeled with your child's name. Don't wait too long to rent your child's instrument. Most music companies run out of stock in July and raise their prices. We will have a music company attend our instrument selection meeting for you to reserve an instrument for fall.
6. Should I rent or purchase an instrument?
RENT! Renting an instrument will give your child the opportunity to begin in band with only a small initial investment. Your child can have the advantages of a brand new beginner model instrument, such as pride of ownership, freedom from error due to poor equipment, and the opportunity to be the best player they can be by having the best available instrument for their age level. Your child will have the instrument and mouthpiece recommended by the band directors. After their beginner year, most instruments can be upgraded to a professional level model.
All rental payments are applied towards the purchase of the instrument.
7. What about buying used instruments?
Some used instruments are good bargains. However, you could possibly end up spending more money on repairs than the instrument is worth. For this reason, we ask that if you do purchase a used instrument, try to let a Kleb Band director examine it prior to purchase. Local music stores and former band students are excellent sources of used instruments. We have found that instruments from pawn shops to be of dubious quality. WARNING: Please do not purchase a musical instrument from a department store. These instruments, in our opinion, are poorly made, and once broken are usually not repairable. Again, we recommend that you RENT an instrument the first year from a reputable music company. We INSIST on every student having the recommended mouthpiece so that no student has a competitive advantage over another and so all students sound the same.
8. Are there any school owned instruments available?
Yes. The school provides the more expensive instruments: tuba, euphonium, French horn, oboe, and bassoon. These are assigned on the basis of aptitude, suitability, and availabitly - NOT financial need. Parents whose child is selected to play one of these school owned instruements are required to pay a $50 per year usage fee. They will also be required to purchase necessary accessories such as a mouthpiece, reeds, books, valve oil. Due to the unique nature and difficulity of the oboe, bassoon, and French horn, it is critical that they take weekly private lessons. Private lessons for all instruments are strongly encouraged.
9. Can my child participate in both athletics and band at the same?
YES! If it fits into your schedule, we make it work with ease. There are many middle school students who are in band, athletics, and other organizations. Due to the unique nature of playing a musical instrument, students should sign up for band for their 6th grade year. Band directors, teachers, and coaches all work together to make schedules work for the benefit of the student.
10. Are there any extra rehearsals required? Concerts?
Beginners are required to attend only two performances . There will only be one after school rehearsal prior to the Winter Concert and one prior to the Spring Concert, as well as a Solo Contest after school in March. Other than these few performances and rehearsals, there are no after school responsibilities. We also have a variety of fun/social events throughout the year and even more in 7th and 8th grade band!
11. Will my child be required to practice at home?
Yes. Students are required as part of their grade to practice outside of class. As with all things, communication is key if your student has a "busy week". We don't want anyone to worry or get stressed out, but there is homework in every class, including band. They record their time on a "Practice Record," which is turned in and graded weekly. For home practice, students must use a folding music stand and a metronome. These items come with your intial rental from our music stores. Parents are encouraged to give positive support to the student as he/she progresses. All instruments are required to be taken home every day even if they cannot practice that evening.
12. Are private lessons available? Are they required?
Private lessons are strongly encouraged for all students, but aren't required. If your child takes private lessons, he/she will get one-on-one instruction from a professional musician/educator. Lessons are held once a week and can help challenge faster-paced students and strengthen slower-paced students. Lessons are very important and are one of the backbones of our program.
13. What other costs can we expect throughout the year?
Students will be required to purchase their band books, proper accessories to maintain their insturments, and a band shirt that will be worn as their uniform. Private lessons are strongly encouraged and information regarding private lesson costs will be sent home. We ask that all students participate in band fundraisers since the cost of many paper, music, supplies, clinicians, master classes, etc, come out of our yearly budget that we must raise funds for.
14. Why do some beginning band classes have limited enrollment?
Some of our band classes have limited enrollment due to the availability of school owned instruments. We also limit enrollment in some classes in order to fill out normal band instrumentation. Each grade level needs proper instrumentation (a correct number of instruments and students) to play the level of music literature that our performing bands play. We also need to consistently send a proper ratio of every instrument to the Klein High School band.