We are excited that you are considering becoming a part of our band program at West Lake Middle School. You may have many questions regarding band, and hopefully this page will provide answers for you. After reading through this information, please feel free to contact our Mr. Brockman (firstname.lastname@example.org) with further questions. Here are some of the highlights:
* Beginning band is offered to sixth grade students. Sixth grade is the best opportunity to enroll in beginning band.
* Instruments taught in beginning band are flute, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone. Upon director recommendation, students may move to other instruments later in the year (oboe, bassoon, saxophone, euphonium, horn , tuba, and percussion). Please do not purchase an instrument prior to our open house (see information below).
* Although helpful, no prior musical experience is necessary for beginning band.
* Our beginning band classes meet as a separate class during the school day; students will not lose time in other core subjects while in band.
* Each beginning band student will need to supply their own instrument, instrument cleaning supplies, and band book.
* Instruments must be in good playing condition. Those that are purchased from a source other than Big Note Music Supply will need to be approved by Mr. Brockman, as some instrument brands are less reliable or difficult to repair. A list of recommended brands is provided below.
* It is sometimes necessary for us to limit the number of students on a particular instrument to achieve proper balance of instrumentation. Don't worry, every instrument in band is very important!
Registering for Beginner Band:
When 5th graders receive registration information for 6th grade, they are asked to choose an elective class. These are classes that allow students to explore academic areas that are not offered in their “core” or “team” classes. Band is a year-long elective, meaning that a student who enrolls in band will remain in band class for the entire school year. It is our hope that they will continue in 7th and 8th grade as well!
If your child has already registered for another elective, or if your child did not turn in an elective registration form, it is still possible to enroll in band. Please contact our band director for information on changing your child’s schedule. It is best to do this sooner rather than later, as schedule changes are discouraged after the first couple of days of school.
Obtaining an Instrument:
Your child will need to decide between flute, clarinet, trumpet, or trombone. We limit the options to these four due to cost and instructional efficiency. Students are allowed to audition for other instruments later in the school year. Students interested in auditioning for saxophone later in the year should begin on clarinet or flute. Students interested in percussion may start on any of the four beginner instruments.
We strongly recommend renting an instrument rather than purchasing. This allows us to be sure that the instrument is a good fit for your child before you have invested a large sum of money with a full purchase.You are under no obligation to obtain an instrument from any particular company, but be sure to seek the guidance of the band director prior to committing to an instrument! There is no need to rent or purchase prior to that date, as we will focus on music reading fundamentals during the first week of classes. In any case, please do not purchase an instrument without consulting Mr. Brockman regarding brand and model. Not all brands are approved instruments in our program.
Our rental company is Big Note Music which is a mobile sales and repair shop that will come to West Lake Middle School top drop off and repair instruments. Check out the website at www.bignotemusic.biz or call at 919-616-7100.