Frequently Asked Questions
How do I sign-up for band?
1) Select Band as your FIRST Choice elective on your Course Selection Card
2) Attend our Parent Meeting: March 28th, 2023 (Tuesday) at 6:30 PM / Location: Microsoft Teams (Online)
3) Attend our Band Instrument Selection Day: April 1st, 2023 (Saturday) 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Interested in Percussion?
Attend our Percussion Auditions*: March 31st, 2023 (Friday)
Band Instrument Selection Day: April 1st, 2023 (Saturday)
*Audition sign-up times will be released at the Band Parent Meeting on March 28th
What instruments do we offer?
Percussion Interviews: All students interested in trying out for percussion MUST sign-up for a Saturday time to choose their second choice. This is a procedure we do every year for beginner percussion students. On Friday, March 25th, we will have our percussion “try-out” (you don’t have to have previous skills, we are looking for innate coordination). Families who selected percussion as their first choice will receive an additional email at a later date.
What if I’m not sure about band?
We truly believe that there is a place for everyone in our band program and we would love for you to come to try out instruments and meet the directors to see if it’s something you want to try.
Can I do band and other activities?
Absolutely! We have band students who are cheerleaders, football players, theater students, choir students, student council members, basketball players, karate ninjas, dancers, and so much more. We are always working with coaches and fellow teachers to make sure kids can participate fully in every activity they are in. In 6th grade, there are no school-sponsored sports, so there are no schedule conflicts. In 7th and 8th grade, many students participate in both band and sports. The directors and coaches work closely together to schedule activities so they interfere as little as possible. There are many 7th & 8th grade students who are in band, athletics, and other organizations. Because of the unique nature of playing a musical instrument, we try to encourage students to begin band in 6th grade.
What is a “like-instrument” class?
In order to truly learn about your instrument during that first year, classes are divided by instrument for optimal learning. (i.e. trombones with trombones, flutes with flutes)
Will this cost money?
There are some instruments that Clear Creek ISD helps provide because of their large cost and others that we ask families to rent through “rent to own” programs using our approved companies. These companies will be at instrument selection day to show you the exact cost and help you in any way possible. All electives have class fees associated with them, but please don't let that stop you from signing up! Assistance is available for those who need it.
Will there be before/after school obligations?
During the 6th grade year, there are very few obligations outside of school. They participate in 2 concerts a year and do not have any regular practices before/after school. We want to ensure that they focus on their studies during their transition into intermediate.
Why should I join band?
Learning a band instrument teaches students valuable life lessons.
learn how to be more personally responsible.
learn how to organize your time to achieve a goal.
learn how to work as a team toward a common goal.
learn how to think critically about themselves and their learning.
learn how to analyze and react to what they see, hear, and feel.
learn how to adapt quickly to changing situations during a performance.
learn how to respond appropriately to failures and successes.
learn the value and reward of focused, goal-oriented work
be challenged, intellectually and personally.
experience the joy and excitement of performing music.
How do I choose an instrument?
There will be a beginner band instrument selection day on Saturday, April 1st. This is where the incoming band students and parents are able to try out and choose an instrument. Students will have an instrument interview, and a band director will guide you through the available instruments and help match the instrument that you can be the most successful playing. During our virtual band parent meeting, you will sign up for an interview time. The process should take approximately 15-20 minutes.
How will I get an instrument?
Purchasing an instrument is not necessary. There are several options:
Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, and Trombone rent instruments from a local music retailer. The rental companies will be at our instrument interviews so that you can visit with them and place an order ahead of time.
Oboe, Bassoon, French Horn, Euphonium, and Tuba are instruments rented through the school. School-owned instruments are in limited supply and must be divided among each class for use. These instruments also receive a home instrument for home practice.
Percussion has a list of specific equipment they have to purchase before the school year begins.
If a student and parent are not able to attend the beginner band instrument interview, please e-mail Mrs. maloy (email@example.com) and we will send an informational e-mail about instrument and rental options.
If cost is a concern, please don't let that stop you from choosing to be in band. Contact a band director to speak about possible options.
Is any previous musical training necessary?
No. The method books used in beginner band are for the musically untrained student. We teach the fundamentals of reading music as well as the fundamentals of playing an instrument. As students progress, you will be able to recognize familiar tunes. Their progress culminates in a in several concerts throughout the year.
Are certain instruments for girls and others for boys?
When do students need instruments?
Instruments will be needed by the second week of school. Students will need to keep their instruments in the band hall for safety. Please make sure that the case is labeled with your child's name. We will have a music company attend our instrument selection meeting for you to reserve an instrument for the school year.
Should I rent or purchase an instrument?
RENT! Renting an instrument will give your child the opportunity to begin in band with only a small initial investment. Your child can have the advantages of a brand new instrument, such as pride of ownership, freedom from error due to poor equipment, and the opportunity to be the best player they can be by having the best available instrument for their age level. Your child will have the instrument and mouthpiece recommended by the band directors. The instrument can be returned to the company at any time without further obligation. All rental applies towards purchase.
What about buying used instruments?
Some used instruments are good bargains. However, you could possibly end up spending more money on repairs than the instrument is worth. For this reason, we ask that if you do purchase a used instrument, try to let a Band Director examine it prior to purchase. Local music stores and former band students are excellent sources of used instruments. You might see if the music companies have used instruments available. We have found most pawnshop instruments to be of dubious quality. Please contact us if you find an instrument online or in a store before investing in a purchase.
Are there any school-owned instruments available?
Yes. The school provides the more expensive instruments: tuba, euphonium, French horn, oboe, and bassoon. These are assigned on the basis of aptitude, suitability, and availability - NOT financial need. Parents whose child is selected to play one of these school instruments are required to pay a usage fee, and will still be required to purchase necessary accessories such as a mouthpiece, books, reeds/valve oil. Due to the unique nature and difficulty of the oboe, bassoon, french horn, and percussion instruments, it is REQUIRED that they take weekly private lessons. Private lessons for all instruments lessons are strongly encouraged.
Can my child start playing as soon as he/she gets an instrument?
In order to prevent costly repairs and the formation of bad habits, we prefer that the instrument stays in the case until the student can receive instruction. After formal instruction is given on the care and assembly of the instrument during the first week of school, your child will begin playing at home. This is to protect your investment! If you rent/purchase from a music company, the store will deliver the instrument and materials to our band hall before the first day of school.
What about private lessons? Are they required?
Private lessons are strongly encouraged for all students but are not required. (The exception to oboe, bassoon, french horn, and percussion) We are very fortunate here at Westbrook Intermediate to be able to provide private lessons for every band instrument. We have a FANTASTIC private lesson staff who are specialists at their instruments and have dedicated their time to perfecting their performance skills and teaching their respective instruments. Some of our private lesson teachers have graduate and doctoral degrees in music, have made professional recordings, and even performed professionally in symphony orchestras!
We highly recommend private lessons for all students who exhibit self-discipline and are serious about getting better at their instruments. Private lessons are in no way a form of remediation or tutoring. In fact, we expect and encourage our most skilled band students to take private lessons.
A private lesson is a one-on-one session (generally 30 minutes) with a professional on your child's instrument. They occur each week. Many students have their private lessons at school during their band class, although some occur before or after school. Payments are made directly to the teachers.
Private lessons are not like tutoring, in which only students who are struggling take them. This can be true for some, but the vast majority of students take private lessons to get ahead. Their instructor will give them techniques, goals, and exercises that are specific to their needs, ability, and interest.
Financial assistance may be available for those who qualify. Please contact Mrs. Maloy for more information. (firstname.lastname@example.org)