1. Do I have to know how to play an instrument to join the band?
For all woodwind and brass instruments the answer is NO. Most students who join beginning band do not know how to play an instrument and have little or no musical experience. If you have experience, this will be a plus as you learn your band instrument.
If you are interested in playing percussion it will be helpful to have at least one year of experience on the piano.
2. Do I receive a grade for band?
Yes. Band at all Joshua elementary schools is considered an academic course. Being successful on your instrument does take work but it has many rewards. We recommend 100 minutes per week of practice at home (that is 20 minutes - 5 days per week). Students come to band every day for 45 minutes. Band students are required to come to band daily.... even if they forget their instrument or have a sore throat. We don't want you to miss anything important!
3. Can I quit band at any time during the year if I don't like it?
No. Band is a full-year class. We are extremely serious about promoting responsibility, commitment, and dedication in our students...so quitting is not an option after the 1st 6 weeks. If a student does not enjoy band and they realize it is not for them...we allow the student to withdraw from the program at the end of the 1st grading period. A note from the parent, signed by the campus principal, is required.
4. Can I participate in sports and band?
Yes. Students can participate in band and school sports at LMS as well as at JHS. We have many band students that participate in volleyball, football, soccer...you name it. We encourage our students to be well-rounded. Band students are also in choir, student council, as well as other activities. Band students stay focused on band in 6th and 7th grade - but by 8th grade they are able to enjoy a variety of other electives AND band.
5. How often does the Beginning Band perform?
The beginning bands from all 5 elementary schools will combine together to perform at least once per semester at Acker Auditorium. In December we perform in the Band Holiday Concert and in May we present our Band Spring Concert.
6. What other activities will we have in band in the 6th grade?
On top of our performances all together, the beginning band from each campus will perform a number of times at their own school beginning with classroom concerts in October. Band students will also have an opportunity to participate in two field trips - one per semester. Our first field trip this year is to hear the TCU Percussion Ensemble in October, and in January we will go to Bass Hall in Fort Worth to hear the Fort Worth Symphony perform Peter and the Wolf. Band students participate in Solo and Ensemble contest in March and Sandy Lake FunFest in late April or May.
7. How do I get an instrument?
Students are tested on the mouthpieces at the Spring Instrument Drive and an appropriate "student-instrument" match is made. For any student new to the district, or that did not register during the Spring enrollment period, a short Fall enrollment will occur during the first two weeks of school. After that time students will not be able to enroll in band.
The best way to acquire your own instrument is the rent-to-own plan from a reputable music company. With this plan, all the money that is paid towards the rent is applied towards the purchase of that instrument. If the director and student decide to change instruments, the instrument can be swapped and no money is lost. We recommend Music & Arts Music Company.
Here is a link that takes you right to the on-line rentals. Parents, if you purchase an instrument on-line and have it delivered to the school IT WILL TAKE ABOUT A WEEK.
If you purchase an instrument on-line and you want to pick it up at the store IT TAKES 24 HOURS TO BE READY TO PICK UP.
Our representative is Rick Thorley. He visits our schools every week and provides a great service.
Please do NOT secure an instrument without first being tested by a band director.
If you decide to purchase or rent your instrument somewhere else, that is fine. Do not buy instruments from mail order catalogs, e bay, or non-music retail stores! These instruments often look shiny and seem like a good deal, but our experience is that they are usually poorly constructed, are often not playable, and not repairable. Please do not set your child up for failure by purchasing a poor quality instrument. There are lot of people ready to deceive you into buying shiny junk!
8. How can I rent an instrument from the school?
JISD does provide a program for students to rent an instrument from the school for the 6th grade year. There are 3 different rental options based on the instrument the student chooses to play.
1. A few instruments are always available from the school and are NOT expected to be provided by the student. These instruments include Tuba, Baritone, French Horn, Oboe, and Bassoon. An $100 district fee must be paid, and a contract must be signed to use them.
2. Students who are financially unable to provide their own instrument and want to rent from the school may do so for a $100 district fee if they choose to play the Trumpet/Cornet, Trombone, Flute or Clarinet. A contract must also be signed to use these instruments for the 6th grade.
There are NO school-owned Saxophones or Percussion kits. Students approved for Percussion will need to rent/buy a Percussion Kit which includes bells, drum pad, stand, sticks and mallets.
9. Why is the school instrument rent so expensive and may I pay by the semester?
In the last 3 years our repair bills for school-owned instruments have more than doubled. Once again, in order to be successful, a student must have an instrument in playing condition...it does not have to be shiny and new - but it does have to be in playing condition. Woodwind instruments are the most expensive to repair so our rental fees vary to accommodate repair and upkeep of the instrument and the case.
Yes, you may pay your instrument rent by the semester but we can not accommodate any other alternate payment plan unless a parent speaks with a director in person. The first semester rent must be paid before the instrument will be allowed to be taken off campus (home to practice). All of the first semester rent must be paid on or before the end of the 1st grading period. All of the second semester rent must be paid on or before the end of the 4th grading period.
10. May I use or purchase a used instrument?
Sometimes you can find good deals on used instruments or you may have one available from a family member. If you are going to use an instrument that has not been played in a while or has been used a lot, it will probably need some repairs for it to be playable. It is worth the repair expense if it is a quality instrument. Just remember that your child will be more motivated to work hard if they have a quality instrument in great playing condition.