Required Activities affect grades and include the following:
Lessons are held during the day to teach instrument technique and music literacy.
Each building will have its own schedule: Edgewood on Tuesdays, Goodrich on Thursdays, Meadowview on Fridays, Murphy as Mr. Carlson determines, Sipley on Wednesdays and Willow Creek on Mondays.
Rehearsals are held at 7:00 a.m. to teach ensemble playing skills and to prepare for performances
- FYB students from the three north side schools meet on Thursdays at Meadowview
- FYB students from the three south side schools meet on Tuesdays at Edgewood
- SYB students from all six elementary schools meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
- Parents drop kids off, buses bring the kids back to their own school afterward
- Students will return to their home school before the start of the normal school day
Concerts are a required part of the band experience. Students who miss concerts are missing out on the “big project” that we work toward in lessons & rehearsals. Concert performance is a vital component of the band experience. Missing a performance is like missing a final project or a major exam in any other class. Therefore, absences are only excused for illness or family emergency. Please plan vacations, sporting events, and other activities around the band performance schedule. We only have a few concerts a year as opposed to the many games and practices of sports teams. Planning and communicating in advance is crucial!
- FYB will perform three times during the year
- Oktubafest, Winterfest, Grand Finale
- SYB will perform more often
- Oktubafest, Winterfest, Grand Finale
- District 66 Winter Invitational Band Festival at Lakeview JHS in Downers Grove
- ILMEA Large Group Festival at North Central College in Naperville
- Tours of the elementary buildings during the school day
- ALL band students participate in the Solo and Ensemble Festival & Memorial Day Parade
Voluntary Activities enrich the band experience but are not required and do not affect grades.
- Pre-concert dinners are sponsored by WOMP to make mealtime easy and to raise money for the program. A nominal fee is charged at the door.
- All band students (grades 5-8) may participate in the annual Solo and Ensemble Festival, which features 10-minute time slots scheduled between 5PM and 8PM at JJHS (March 6th). Local educators and performers serve as clinicians for this event. Students who participate may earn medals or certificates.
- Clinics and workshops are occasionally offered or advertised throughout the year.
- SYB students may choose to go to Six Flags Great America, following their morning performance
High quality instruments help kids play well. These instruments don’t break easily, they are easily and cheaply repaired if they do break, they sound good, and they offer good re-sale value down the road (should you ever decide to sell). Cheaply made instruments are difficult for kids to play well, they break easily, are NOT always repairable, they don’t sound good, and you end up with little or no re-sale value in the end. The difficulty in selecting an instrument is that the cheaply made instruments LOOK great! Plus, they are very affordable. Most of them are junk, however. Please try to stick to name brands (Yamaha, Bach, Holton, Gemeinhardt, Pearl, Selmer, Jupiter) from reputable dealers. It might seem tempting to purchase a cheap instrument rather than renting a good one, but your kids will not be happy playing on cheap instruments, you’ll probably be buying a piece of junk and you’ll end up buying twice because the instrument won’t hold up. Percussionists will need to purchase one pair of general purpose mallets (hard plastic, yarn, or rubber but NOT metal) along with one pair of snare drum sticks, and a stick bag to carry these back and forth. They will also need to rent a “Jr. Percussion Kit”, that includes a bell set (mini “xylophone”) and a snare drum practice pad.
Most of the band work gets done at home with individual practice time. Check the Practice Log inside the book to see what we’re working on and to document practice minutes. Private lessons are available through most area music stores or by contacting teachers directly. Private lessons are great for kids and can make a huge difference in their progress, their development, and their enjoyment of band. Please consider this expense as a valuable and cost-effective way of getting the most out of this experience. Local high school students can serve as Study Buddies, for extra help. Private lessons give individualized instruction from professional, adult musician-educators. Lunch time or after school help is available from the band teachers. Kids should also get together at home to practice with each other.
Essential Elements For Band is a comprehensive method book that is vital to participating in band. The book includes fingering charts, rhythm studies, simple melodies and complete band arrangements. It also has software for your computer at home. Please use all of these great features! The book includes a practice record on the inside front cover. Please check this every week, prior to band lessons to keep track of your child’s practice routine. Practicing every day toward specific goals is essential to success. The important issue is the GOAL, not necessarily how much time is spent practicing. Tips for success:
- Use the disc that comes with the book to keep motivated and to hear examples of great playing
- Consider private lessons to enhance learning
- Attend clinics and outside concerts to broaden exposure to good music
- Encourage daily practice in short bursts of focused energy rather than grueling, long sessions
Remember, every minute spent in band is an investment in your child’s future. Be supportive and generous with your time and stay understanding and supportive throughout the year.
To ensure that your investment in the instrument isn’t diminished by neglect, please purchase a cleaning kit and encourage your child to use it regularly.
- Woodwind instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet and sax) should be swabbed AFTER every playing session.
- Brass instruments (trumpet/cornet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba) can get a monthly bath.
- NEVER get a flute, oboe, clarinet or saxophone wet!!
Clarinets and saxophones require reed guards to hold four reeds, plus a box of #2½ reeds. Reed guards allow kids to rotate between reeds. This builds up their playing muscles and enhances the lifespan of the reed. Oboe reeds are very expensive and need special care to avoid breaking. Any reed that is chipped or cracked is worthless and must be replaced. Plastic reeds or cane reeds may be used, but known brands are preferred.
Valved brass instruments will need valve oil and slide grease. Trombones will need tuning slide grease and hand slide lubricant, such as Yamaha’s Slide Lubricant. Every instrument should have cleaning cloths, swabs, and/or brushed. Everyone needs a wire music stand at home (to practice with good posture). Everyone needs the book: Essential Elements for Band (Book I).
Band students earn grades that appear on report cards each quarter. Grades are determined by student progress towards learning targets and completion of assignments. Grades in band affect grade point averages and can impact honor roll or other grade-based events at school. Students who attend rehearsals and lessons earn a grade of B (Beginning). Putting in a good effort outside of school time typically leads to improved reading and playing skills, resulting in a grade of D (Developing). Students who routinely meet learning goals earn a grade of M (Meeting). Advancing beyond the point of meeting learning goals, by playing with exceptional tone, extended range, or with accuracy on advance rhythms and superior fluency, will earn a grade of E (Extending).
Getting information from school to home and back is crucial. Please respond to permission slips in a timely fashion. Send your email address to Mr. Payne to be included in Band Beats newsletters to stay up to date on events and activities. Visit the elementary band website to get updates, to find documents and forms, and to link to other websites.