Elementary Music


Instrument FAQ

Every instrument has its difficult issues, especially in the beginning weeks of instruction.


  • First few notes require learning where to put multiple fingers on the notes.
  • Many students have difficulty getting a clear sound out of the flute during the first few weeks.


  • Putting the instrument together requires more time than any other instrument.
  • A player must learn to completely cover the open holes with their fingers.

Saxophone (not offered 2014-2015)

  • Requires a strap, because of the heavier weight of the instrument.
  • Must have a large enough finger span to reach keys correctly.


  • Lips must be able to loosen or tighten to create the correct pitch.
  • Student must have the ability to hear the differences between pitches –can you hear the difference between the notes C and G?

Trombone (not offered 2014-2015)

  • Largest instrument with the lowest sound, so student must be able to hold instrument (though not very heavy in weight) properly.
  • Student must have the ability to hear the differences between pitches –can you hear the difference between the notes C and G?

Glee Crew

[slider title=”Are there auditions for Glee Crew? (Chorus)”]No – there are no auditions for chorus. Students will learn vocal and breathing techniques. Classic, pop, folk, patriotic and holiday music will be rehearsed. The ensemble will participate in 1-3 on and off school site performances each year.

[slider title=”Is chorus just for girls?”]NO! Boys and girls benefit from a choral experience. Singing is the most natural way to experience music. Singing in an ensemble helps students learn to match pitch, have a better sense of rhythm, gain confidence being in front of a crowd, and enables one to be a part of a team. Male singers have always played a large role in music throughout history. Today, male singers can sing for TV/radio commercials, record hit songs, sing in school, community or church functions, and just have fun experimenting with their musical voice. Most high school, college and university band professors state that singing helps instrumental students become better musicians![/slider]

[slider title=”Should a student come to chorus with a sore throat?”]Students who do not feel well, including a sore throat, should not sing in chorus. The student should bring a note from home, stating the child’s illness.[/slider]

[slider title=”How can a student become a better singer?”]

  • Learn to match pitch
  • Listen to professional singers (all styles)
  • Practice making your voice go higher and lower
  • Remember to open your mouth while singing
  • Breathe from your diaphragm (near your belly)
  • Pronounce words (lyrics) clearly


[slider title=”Why does chorus sing many styles of songs?”]Just like every person has their favorite food, every person has their favorite style of music. But, a good cook serves a variety of foods to create a balanced meal. Chorus students are given a variety of musical styles to experience, for a “well balanced” musical “meal.”[/slider]

Band Squad

[slider title=”Where should I get an instrument?”]Please refer to the list of local music stores in the area.[/slider]

[slider title=”Is a pawn shop instrument/used instrument ok?”]While used instruments can sometimes be a great bargain, it is advised that you get the instrument thoroughly checked by a professional before arranging to buy the instrument. If you purchase an instrument online, be sure to order it in plenty of time to be delivered before the first day of band. Many music stores offer repair insurance – this is a great idea!

[slider title=”Is it better to rent or buy?”]Regardless of whether you rent or buy, get the best instrument possible. A cheap, malfunctioning instrument will make it almost impossible for your child to be successful in band. Most local stores offer a rent to own program – make payments every month, and after 2-3 years, the instrument is yours to own! [/slider]

[slider title=”Are school instruments available to borrow?”]A limited number of instruments are available from the district to borrow for the school year. Students who would like to apply for a free instrument need to bring a note from their parent, stating why they are in need of this free instrument. A letter from the student stating his intention to play the instrument with commitment, and practice every night, is also required. These letters must be submitted no later than one week before band begins. It must be attached to the permission slip for the school music program. Instruments are given out on a need, and first come, first served basis. Teacher and principal recommendations are also considered. [/slider]

[slider title=”What supplies are needed for band?”]
All students need:

  • Instrument
  • Accent on Achievement, Book 1, with CD
  • Three ring notebook, with 5 plastic sheet protectors

Instrument-specific supplies:

  • Clarinets – 10 #2 reeds, cork grease
  • Saxophone – 10 #2 reeds, cork grease, neck strap
  • Trumpet – valve oil
  • Trombone – slide grease
  • Drums (when offered) – drum pad, 2 pairs drum sticks


[slider title=”Will my child miss instruction time in school?”]
Band rehearsal is 40 minutes, three times every two weeks. Your child will not miss any regular classroom instruction this year.

[slider title=”How will my child be graded in band?”) Each student is allowed two times per grading period to forget their instrument (this incluces not having book or supplies). Students will not be allowed to call home for parents to bring their instrument. This is the student’s responsibility to remember his instrument! The student’s band grade will go down one letter grade after the third miss in band.

Students will be regularly tested on assigned materials.
All students are required to practice at least 20 minutes, 5 times per week. A practice chart will be checked occasionally for a practice chart grade.[/slider]

[slider title=”What if my child wants to drop out of band before the school year is over?”]
Once students sign up for band, they are required to continue band throughout the school year. If there are extenuating circumstances, which require a student to drop, and note from a parent must be submitted at the end of the grading period. The principal will give permission fro the student to drop.[/slider]

[slider title=”What do I need to know to be in band for middle school?”]Scales.[/slider]

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