Silver Run Band FAQs
Q: When does band meet?
A: Band is during the school day! Students attend weekly band lessons with their instrument group during their specials. Students take band lessons instead of regular music class, and if they miss another special for lessons they will make it up, so they never miss PE, STEM (library) or art. Students will be given a monthly calendar to keep track of their lesson days. The lesson schedule goes by the specials A-E schedule, NOT by day of the week, so students must keep track of their calendars!
Full band rehearsals are also once a week during the school day.
Q: When are the concerts?
A: We have 2 concerts per year, and they are held at Lakeside Middle School Auditorium. This year our concerts are Thursday, December 19th at 6:00pm and Thursday, May 21st at 6:00pm. Concert attendance is mandatory for all band students!
Q: Does my child have to practice at home?
A: Yes! Because I only see band students twice a week, it is VERY important that they practice at home! Each student gets a practice log for their parents to sign. They should be practicing 3 times per week for 15 minutes each time. The child must be responsible for bringing their instrument to/from school for lessons and band.
Q: What instruments can my child play?
A: Students have a choice of flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, and percussion. We “mouthpiece test” all of the instruments to find the ones that will be the best fit for your student, and I will make a recommendation based on that testing. Percussionists must audition by reading a rhythm and clapping a steady beat. I want to make sure your student can start off with the best chance of success possible!
Q: How do I get an instrument for my child?
A: I have a limited number of school instruments available for students to borrow. Depending on how many students register for band, these are loaned on a first-come, first-serve basis, free of charge. If the instrument your child selected is no longer available, you can rent one from our company of choice, Coles Music (www.colesmusicservice.com) or supply one that you already own. **I DO NOT RECOMMEND BUYING AN INSTRUMENT IN 4th GRADE!** We want to make sure your child is going to continue playing the instrument beyond the 4th grade before you make that commitment! If you do choose to purchase, I encourage you to speak with me first to get a list of recommended brands. There are a lot of inexpensive brands out there that seem great, but those instruments break easily and are expensive or impossible to repair. (see back for more information)
Q: What if my child wants to quit band?
A: Unless there are special circumstances, band students should finish out the entire school year! There are a couple of reasons I do not like to let students leave band halfway through the year: 1.) Many students go through an “I want to quit” phase halfway through the school year because they are over the initial excitement of the instrument, but they haven’t learned enough skills to really start making music at a satisfying level. I encourage them to stick with it, because by the end of the year most students come around and really enjoy being able to make great music! 2.) One of the most valuable lessons band students learn is a sense of responsibility and commitment, and this lesson will carry them through many obstacles in life! I ask that you join me in teaching them the importance of following through with the commitment they make to you, to me, to themselves, and to their fellow band members when they sign up to play in band.
Q: How do I sign my child up for band?
A: Beginning the first full week of school, I will be visiting all 4th grade students in their music classes, and at that time if they are interested in band and/or chorus I will send them home with paperwork to be signed and returned. **All paperwork will be sent home between September 9-13, and due back no later than September 20th. Please keep an eye out for these papers!**
Q: My child loves music! Can my child do both and and chorus?
A: YES, students can do both band and chorus! They meet at different times, so they can enjoy being a part of both groups. We encourage students to do both - singing makes instrumentalists better, and playing an instrument makes singers better!
If you have any additional questions before paperwork is sent home, please contact us! We look forward to a wonderful year of music-making!
Ms. Portik (Band)