Elementary Band Survival Guide

Below you will find some quick information for new band members and their families to get started this school year. Please take some additional time to familiarize yourself with the rest of our website, especially the Handbook.

Who are the band directors?

How do I sign up?

You can sign up online by using the “Join” link to the left. The link is the same for students joining the 4th Grade Band or continuing (or starting up) with 5th Grade Band.

How do I stay informed?

The best way to stay up to date is to subscribe to the [calendar][../#calendar].

How do I get an instrument for my new band student? Buy? Rent? Borrow?

We typically discourage families from purchasing instruments over renting when students are starting out. If you would prefer to purchase an instrument or use a family instrument, please contact either band director so that we may help guide you through the purchase or refurbishment of a band instrument.

For your convenience, here are some local options for instrument rentals:

Does my new band student need anything else?

Every band member needs some additional materials for rehearsals and home practice:

  • Instrument w/ appropriate supplies (reeds, valve oil, maintenance supplies, etc.)
    • Percussionists should rent a bell kit w/ a practice pad - not a snare drum
    • Clarinet players should purchase a box of 10 strength 2.5 reeds
  • Black 1” 3-ring binder w/ all music, exercises, etc. in sheet protectors
  • Pencil (we recommend purchasing a pencil case that will clip into their binder)
  • Method Book: “Sound Innovations for Concert Band,” Book 1 (Blue Cover)
    • Students should have the book for their instrument, i.e. Flute, Bb Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone Horn (Euphonium), Combined Percussion etc.
  • Music Stand (for home practice)

When does band start? I’m not sure my child should attend yet because of (blank).

Band begins the first week of school. Students should come to band every week no matter what - even if they don’t have their instrument yet, forgot their materials, have a sore throat, are feeling tired, etc..

4th Grade Band

  • Alcott: Tuesdays at either 9:00 or 9:45
  • Thoreau: Thursdays at either 9:00 or 9:45
  • Willard: Wednesdays at either 9:00 or 9:45

5th Grade Band

  • Alcott: Lessons on Fridays at either 9:00 or 9:45 and rehearsal on Tuesdays at 8:00
  • Thoreau: Lessons on Mondays at either 9:00 or 9:45 and rehearsal on Thursdays at 8:00
  • Willard: Lessons on Fridays at either 11:00 or 11:45 and rehearsal on Wednesdays at 8:00

What happens when there is a delayed start to the school day?

In the event of a two-hour delay there are no band rehearsals, with the exception of Fridays at Willard. In the event of a one-hour delay, there is no 8AM 5th Grade Band rehearsal and only rehearsals taking place after the delay will occur. This is subject to change and is handled on a building-by-building basis according to the needs of classroom teachers.

What about expectations? Can I find out more?

Information regarding expectations, home practice, etc. is in the Handbook.

Are there any performances I can put on my calendar right away?

Most years the 4th Grade Bands participate in an Informance concert at the All-Town Band Concert at the end of the school year, though additional performances earlier in the year are a possibility. 5th Grade Bands will typically have their Informance before February vacation, an Arts Night at their school in May or June and the All-Town Band Concert at the end of the school year.

All dates are available on the Calendar.

Should I sign my student up for private lessons outside of school?

YES! Thought they are not required, they are highly recommended! In some cases, it may be necessary to take lessons to catch up with the rest of the ensemble but they are not remedial. Private lessons are often the difference between good and great. More information (including resources and more great reasons to take lessons) is in the Handbook.

I’m curious as to how I can best support my new band student - any advice?

Absolutely! You may want to read one of the following articles. You can also get involved by “liking” the Concord Bands on Facebook.